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Viewing Results for

2010-2012 VT ETD Author Survey

1. While preparing your ETD, where did you find answers to your questions?
Please select all that apply.

1.04%\% Telephone (42/4042 responses)
37.38%\% VT ETD Web site (1511/4042 responses)
1.66%\% Other Web site(s) (67/4042 responses)
12.86%\% My committee (520/4042 responses)
0.67%\% InnovationSpace (was New Media Center) staff (27/4042 responses)
11.36%\% Graduate School staff (459/4042 responses)
15.69%\% Friends (634/4042 responses)
2.72%\% ETD tech support (110/4042 responses)
5.2%\% ETD seminar (210/4042 responses)
8.24%\% E-mail (333/4042 responses)
3.19%\% Other/Comments (129/4042 responses)
99.35% of the people who took this survey
(1824 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (129 for this question)
"2 prior experiences of preparing ETDs for my masters degrees"
"BSE staff (Susan Rosebrough)"
"Cindy Hopkins"
"Connie Lowe in Geosciences"
"Danielle Tillilie"
"Debbie Cash & Christine"
"Department graduate coordinator"
"department office staff"
"Department staff"( 3 ) responses
"ECE Staff"
"Economics Graduate Secretary"
"ETD Support at Newman Library"
"ETD support is kind of all over the place, it could be a little bit better organized so everything you need is relatively simple on one checklist"
"ETD walkin review"
"ETD Website"( 2 ) responses
"ETD Wiki"( 2 ) responses
"ETD wikki"
"ETD's of colleagues"
"Examples thesis online"
"figured it out myself"
"From Previous Experience"
"Grad coordinator, Dennie"
"Grad School Completion Site"
"Graduate Staff Coordinator"
"I looked at dissertations that had already been published through ETD."
"Individual session with Janice Austin"
"It is not clear on the graduate website that the dealine had been extended to Sept 9... this was VERY confusing"
"It is not easy to find and access this information"
"It was hard to navigate because links and information were random."
"iTunesU ETD Speaker Series"
"John Talerico"
"just used this site"
"Kim Grandstaff"
"Kristin Sorensen"
"library ETD database"
"Library staff"
"looked at ETDs online"
"Looking at previously submitted ETDs"
"My department office manager, Marilyn Echols"
"no where"
"NVC Librarians"
"NVC library resource center"
"NVC Library Staff"
"other"( 64 ) responses
"other dissertations"
"other students"( 2 ) responses
"other theses"
"Previous Dissertations"
"Previous Masters theses provided a starting point for formatting the ETD"
"someone that has submitted others"
"The process was not very straight forward due to the many "broken links" on grad school's website."
"Very hard to figure the process out. If the grad school is going to require this complex process, it should have the technical support people on staff to help students deal with this mess."
"websites from other universities"
"what questions are you talking about?"
"word of mouth from other grad students"

2. If you consulted the VT ETD Web site (, please indicate if the site was useful.

2.36%\% Not useful (42/1781 responses)
16.45%\% Useful (293/1781 responses)
34.87%\% Somewhat useful (621/1781 responses)
46.32%\% Very useful (825/1781 responses)
97% of the people who took this survey
(1781 / 1836) answered this question.

3. If you used the InnovationSpace (was the New Media Center), please indicate if the staff was helpful.

13.12%\% Not helpful (50/381 responses)
32.55%\% Helpful (124/381 responses)
23.36%\% Somewhat helpful (89/381 responses)
30.97%\% Very helpful (118/381 responses)
20.75% of the people who took this survey
(381 / 1836) answered this question.

4. What authoring application(s) did you use to create your ETD?
Please select all that apply.

12.2%\% Other (277/2271 responses)
0.13%\% Audio editor (e.g., Audacity, Garageband) (3/2271 responses)
0.26%\% Video editor (e.g., iMovie, DVD Studio Pro) (6/2271 responses)
13.17%\% Word processor--technical (e.g., LaTex) (299/2271 responses)
12.07%\% Graphics editor (e.g., Photoshop) (274/2271 responses)
62.18%\% Word processor--generic (e.g., Word, WordPerfect) (1412/2271 responses)
98.64% of the people who took this survey
(1811 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (277 for this question)
"3D software"
"ACD Chemsketch"
"Acrobat PDF"
"acrobat pro"
"Acrobat Pro, SPSS, Excel"
"acrobat, sketchup, autocad"
"Adobe"( 4 ) responses
"ADOBE Acrobat"( 5 ) responses
"Adobe Acrobat 7"
"Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro"
"Adobe Acrobat Professional"( 2 ) responses
"Adobe Acrobat X, Latexdraw"
"Adobe Illustator, Adobe In-Design"
"Adobe Illustrator"
"Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign"
"Adobe Indesign"( 7 ) responses
"adobe pdf 7"
"Adobe Pro"
"AutoCad"( 2 ) responses
"Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk AutoCAD"
"Chemdraw, Mnova"
"Dia, gnuplot"
"Endnote"( 4 ) responses
"EndNote X5, PDF Annotator, Adobe Acrobat Professional X, Adobe Acrobat Distiller X, Dropbox"
"EndNote, MathType"( 2 ) responses
"endnote, Papers2, and Preview"
"Engineering software, Excel"
"ESRI ArcMap 10.0"
"Excel"( 3 ) responses
"Excel, Mathtype"
"Excel, Powerpoint"( 2 ) responses
"Geometer's Sketchpad"
"Google Earth, Matlab"
"Illustrator"( 2 ) responses
"Illustrator, and InDesign"
"In Design"
"InDesign"( 28 ) responses
"Indesign, illustrator"
"iWork Pages; Word processor "generic""
"Latex"( 2 ) responses
"Latexian and Acorn"
"lightroom 3, powerpoint,"
"LyX (Latex)"
"Mathematica, Matlab"
"MATLAB, AutoCad Electrical, Vizio"
"Matlab, Mathematica"
"Matlab, Microsoft Visio, Paint"
"Microsoft Excel (for graphs)"
"Microsoft Publisher 2003"
"MS Paint"
"MS Powerpoint"
"MS Visio"( 2 ) responses
"Origin (figures)"
"other"( 133 ) responses
"Pages (mac)"
"pdf"( 3 ) responses
"PDF convertor"
"Powerpoint"( 3 ) responses
"Powerpoint for some figures"( 2 ) responses
"PowerPoint, Excel (for figures)"
"Powr Point"
"preformatted word document from where I did my Masters- UMD"
"R (for graphics)"
"Sigma Plot"
"Skim PDF Reader"
"SolidWorks, Matlab, Simulink"
"Visio"( 2 ) responses
"Weebly Website Builder"
"Zotero, Sigmaplot, Powerpoint"

5. Throughout the development of your ETD, what format(s) did you use to share your dissertation with your committee?
Please select all that apply.

13.67%\% Mix of electronic and paper (450/3292 responses)
3.4%\% Paper: Photocopy (112/3292 responses)
24.03%\% Paper: Printout (791/3292 responses)
0.94%\% Other (31/3292 responses)
31.99%\% Electronic: PDF file(s) (1053/3292 responses)
25.97%\% Electronic: Text document (855/3292 responses)
99.18% of the people who took this survey
(1821 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (31 for this question)
".jpeg figures"
"3d models"
"digital slides"
"dropbox"( 3 ) responses
"electronic, MS Word documents"
"Electronic: Word document"
"Mostly paper"
"movies, my blog"
"MS Word"
"other"( 15 ) responses
"Word file"

6. Compared to what you expected, how difficult was it to create a PDF file?

11.24%\% Somewhat more difficult (202/1797 responses)
2.89%\% Much more difficult (52/1797 responses)
15.47%\% Somewhat less difficult (278/1797 responses)
33.28%\% Much less difficult (598/1797 responses)
37.12%\% Neither more nor less difficult (667/1797 responses)
97.88% of the people who took this survey
(1797 / 1836) answered this question.

7. My computer is a

3.93%\% Other (73/1859 responses)
2.15%\% Unix (40/1859 responses)
73.53%\% PC (1367/1859 responses)
20.39%\% Mac (379/1859 responses)
99.35% of the people who took this survey
(1824 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (73 for this question)
"All Three"
"both PC and Mac"( 2 ) responses
"Dell laptop"
"Dual-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu"
"have PC and MAC"
"I have a PC and a Mac and use both."
"I prepared the pdf in PC, but to update it to a PDF/A-1b I used my MAC machine for that."
"I use both a Mac and PC"
"linux"( 12 ) responses
"Linux and PC"
"Linux Puppy"
"Linux, Ubuntu 10.04"
"Mac running Windows 7 OS"
"made on a PC, PDFs combined on a mac"
"other"( 36 ) responses
"Tandy 1000"
"Used both Mac & PC"
"Windows"( 3 ) responses

8. Compared to what you expected, how difficult was it to submit your thesis/dissertation electronically?

20.72%\% Neither more nor less difficult. (376/1815 responses)
3.42%\% Much more difficult (62/1815 responses)
12.51%\% Somewhat more difficult (227/1815 responses)
31.02%\% Somewhat less difficult (563/1815 responses)
32.34%\% Much less difficult (587/1815 responses)
98.86% of the people who took this survey
(1815 / 1836) answered this question.

9. Where were you when you submitted your ETD?

11.62%\% Other (224/1927 responses)
43.8%\% Off-campus residence (844/1927 responses)
0.83%\% Northern Virginia Center (16/1927 responses)
7.01%\% Off-campus workplace (135/1927 responses)
0.73%\% Newman Library (14/1927 responses)
0.62%\% InnovationSpace (12/1927 responses)
2.13%\% At another university (41/1927 responses)
32.8%\% Campus office (632/1927 responses)
0.47%\% Campus residence hall (9/1927 responses)
99.13% of the people who took this survey
(1820 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (224 for this question)
"airport on my way out of the country"
"at home"
"at home (permanent residence)"
"at work"
"campus academic building"( 2 ) responses
"coffee shop"( 5 ) responses
"Computer Lab"
"Computer Lounge in Graduate School"
"Corporate Research Center"
"Cowgill"( 5 ) responses
"Cowgill Hall"( 7 ) responses
"Cumpus Library"
"department building"
"Derring Hall"
"GLC"( 8 ) responses
"GLC Computer Lab"
"GLC hall"
"Grad Computer Lab in GLC"
"Graduate School Office (Donaldson Brown)"
"home"( 16 ) responses
"Home office"
"home->underwear->Saturday morning"
"Houston, TX"
"In bed"
"In Botswana!"
"In France, at a new job"
"in hate"
"in my skin"
"indianapolis home"
"Inn at Virginia Tech"
"Internet Cafe in Ecuador"
"Marlborough, MA"
"Mehcanical Engineering CAD Lab"
"Off campus 400 miles away"
"Off campus with VPN"
"Offcampus home"
"On Campus"
"on my bed"
"On the can"
"On the road"
"On-campus Lab"( 3 ) responses
"On-campus workplace, Durham Hall"
"other"( 107 ) responses
"Out of state"
"Out of state at home residence"
"out of town"( 2 ) responses
"outside the US"
"outside USA (INDIA)"
"Public Library"
"Randolph CAD-Lab (on-campus)"
"Research Lab in Torgesen Hall"
"residence near location of new job"
"South Korea"
"The Inn"
"Tidewater Agriculture and Extension Research Center"
"Vacation"( 2 ) responses
"VT Graduate School"
"VT off-campus research site"
"VT Research Center"
"WAAC"( 2 ) responses
"Washington D.C."
"Work"( 2 ) responses

10. How many ETDs did you consult while preparing your ETD?

3.46%\% more than 10 (63/1819 responses)
7.59%\% 6-10 (138/1819 responses)
36.56%\% 3-5 (665/1819 responses)
40.79%\% 1-2 (742/1819 responses)
11.6%\% Did not consult any (211/1819 responses)
99.07% of the people who took this survey
(1819 / 1836) answered this question.

11. If you restricted access to your VT ETD, on what did you base your decision?
Please select all that apply.

3.16%\% Sponsor(s) (43/1359 responses)
10.89%\% Other (148/1359 responses)
5.67%\% Advice of others (77/1359 responses)
25.09%\% Personal choice (341/1359 responses)
4.64%\% Patent pending (63/1359 responses)
2.87%\% Advice of publisher (39/1359 responses)
47.68%\% Advice of faculty (648/1359 responses)
54.08% of the people who took this survey
(993 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (148 for this question)
"advice of committee"
"advice of graduate school and innovative space"
"attempt to publish parts"
"authoring article"
"Awaiting journal publication"
"based on requirements of one of the copyright releases for published paper"
"desire to peer-review publish"
"Did Not"
"Did not restrict"( 2 ) responses
"didn't restrict"
"Didnt' restrict"( 2 ) responses
"Disciplinary Conventions"
"DoD Requirement"
"Does not apply"
"I can publish it online at my own discretion and I like to have the ability to remove it for any reason."
"I didn't get much idea about that because I had less time."
"I want to publish first"
"manuscript submission"
"material will be used for publication"
"MFA thesis intended as a book manuscript"
"must submit thesis for AFRL review"
"My thesis is a creative work, sections of which I intend to have published in literary journals or as a book in the future. In order to do this, access to my ETD must be withheld for a 10 year period. If given the choice, however, I would honestly prefer my ETD never be published in its current state. I think it's unfair to force everyone with a thesis or dissertation to do so."
"N/A"( 11 ) responses
"NA"( 2 ) responses
"need to publish"
"no restriction"
"Not applicable"( 2 ) responses
"Not restricted"
"one manuscript has not been published"
"other"( 75 ) responses
"paper pending"
"Papers to be publish"
"patent pending"
"pending journal paper"
"Plans to publish"
"Potential patent"
"Publication"( 2 ) responses
"publication pending"( 3 ) responses
"Publications pending"
"publishing papers"
"Required by Employer"
"soon to be published data"
"Still working on submitting manuscript to a journal"
"subject to submission"
"tier journal publication"
"Time to Publish"
"unpublished data"
"unpublished material"
"Unpublished research"
"USAF Clearance"
"Waiting to publish"
"Yet to published"

12. Within the next 1-2 years, what do you intend to publish from your ETD?
Please select all that may apply.

15.21%\% Don't know yet (370/2433 responses)
3.41%\% Will not publish (83/2433 responses)
18.66%\% Conference proceedings (454/2433 responses)
52.65%\% Journal article (1281/2433 responses)
3.82%\% Book chapter (93/2433 responses)
4.69%\% Book (114/2433 responses)
1.56%\% Other (38/2433 responses)
98.42% of the people who took this survey
(1807 / 1836) answered this question.

Other Responses (38 for this question)
"already published"
"architecture documents for construction purposes"
"background for scale up of process"
"digital edition/archive"
"Extension Pub"
"Individual Poems in Literary Journal"
"IP Disclosure"
"it has all been published"
"Ontology online"
"other"( 19 ) responses
"Patent"( 2 ) responses
"Policy Briefs"
"raw data"
"short stories in literary journals, collection of short stories"
"Story in popular media"
"Synthesis Research Report"
"Technical Report"

13. Please include any comments or questions that you have about ETDs.

Text Responses (261 for this question)
"A lot of ETD information is available across the VT website. It would be helpful to have all of it put on a single page."
"A more comprehensive template would be useful"
"A most updated Word template file can be very useful."
"A short course on the nuances of how to most efficiently format the ETD would be very useful. At the end I found myself manually inputting the Table of Contents, Lists of Figures, etc because of simple changes I made to numbering and figure captions that disabled the hyperlinking features. I also lost a chapter and had compatibility issues. Being explained best practices and what not to do could help future students. With it being such a stressful process in general I think future graduate students would be grateful not to be educated on how to avoid these types of issues."
"A very easy submission process and a very useful ETD wiki"
"A video walk-through of ETD submission process, and ETD word document preparation would be more useful to see it"
"Acrobat Pro 9 for Mac allows you to save a PDF document as PDF/A without going through distiller."
"Adobe Acrobat X Pro now allows for pdfs to be saved as PDF/A and there is a 30 day free trial available from adobe. This may be useful info to include on the website (assuming I've done this correctly)."
"Although the website had all of the information pertaining to completing and uploading the document, the information was very scattered and hard to find. Navigating through the websites via the index was difficult and time consuming."
"Better information about Proquest Form should be provided."
"Choices for restricting access on the ETD website are not quite consistent with those on the thesis approval form."
"Converting my document to a pdf, and then to a pdf a/1b file was extremely difficult and time consuming. None of the instructions provided on the tutorial worked, on my computer or on the computers in a computer lab on campus. After many frustrating attempts, I sought the help of my father, who ended up calling VCU tech support to get help. After several hours, my father was able to figure out how to convert the file to PDF a-1b format (the actual process turned out to be uncomplicated once you knew how to do it). This was a very frustrating process to go through at the end of a stressful finish to my thesis. Even more frustrating is that I paid a $20 fee to submit my ETD - a fee that should be used to pay someone to convert the files, instead of making stressed out students try to figure out how to do it themselves. Personally, I think that students should be able to upload the Word documents and then someone else can convert the file to the correct pdf form - once you know how to do it, it only takes a minute, but learning how to do it is a frustrating waste of time."
"Creating a PDF has been the least of my concerns (and also a ridiculous question, I might add). The only reason the VT ETD website is "somewhat useful" is simply because I'm comparing it to having no information at all. The site is constructed in a completely confusing manner, and I found myself disappearing down a rabbit hole of less-than-helpful information on numerous occasions. Information is presented in a roundabout, non-sequential way that makes it infuriating to read and decipher. The worst instructions of all may be the information on how to number pages for your ETD. Try to explain what it is that one needs to do in order to number the pages correctly (as in creating sections of the document and then numbering the pages) rather than "click this, and then this should happen" when there are a number of different word processing programs people preparing ETDs are likely using (how many iterations are there of Microsoft Word alone?). Preparing the ETD has been a nightmare. Please have someone with better communication skills oversee this website in the future."
"Creating a PDF is easy. However, creating a pdf that is PDFa1b compliant is a bit more difficult. I had a hard time trying to remove fonts from my MS Word document. Particularly the font used by Word for formulas. I was not sure if the font restriction was only for the title and abstract page or for the entire document."
"Creating an electronic library of etds is great idea. Etds take up less space than conventional bound thesis and are easier to access."
"Creating the PDF is a fairly simple process. What took more work was creating the PDF/A-1b complaint version."
"Creating the PDF wasn't the hard part but the difficulty came with converting to PDF/A-1b because it required Adobe Pro version which is not offered for free to students by the university. If this is not universally available, then converting the file should be a service provided by the graduate school. Otherwise, the service needs to be readily available to all students, even when they are not on campus as I am currently doing field work overseas."
"Didn't have .pdf creation software. Would be nice if it was made available, even if for only a short period. Or maybe it is available, and I'm just not aware!"
"EDT website is confusing. The tabs aren't obvious enough to those who read the entire text on the "About" tab. Should have a link to "submit" in that section as well."
"ETD approval proccess should rely on electronic signatures. Reality of NCR and Blacksburg committee Members makes paper signatures very cumbersome. Grad School ETD check-sheet not up to date (eg. UMI/ProQuest and NORC survey of earned doctorates)"
"ETD formatting difficult. Need to give step by step instructions as to how to number pages with numerals and numbers"
"ETD website needs to be updated for newer versions of software...example number the pages using office 2010 was difficult since the software menus were completely different."
"ETD website was very organized. It was very helpful."
"Finding previous studies from ETDs were very helpful and I am very please to join this!"
"For question 8, I indicated that I found it somewhat more difficult to submit my thesis electronically than what I expected. I base this response on the fact that when I clicked the link sent to me via e-mail to submit my ETD, I simply it me a minute or two to locate the button that prompted me to "submit your ETD." I don't feel like it's as obvious as it could be. Everything thing else worked out just fine."
"For some degree's, such as mine in Architecture, there should be more guidance about how to make ETD's that don't traditionally follow the methods used for a written paper."
"Generally, answers could be found on the website but not in the most intuitive manner"
"Generally, what is the deadline to submit an ETD."
"Getting the document into the ETD approved format was the most difficult process."
"Good job!!!!!!!"
"Good to share work with other graduate students"
"Had a bit of difficulty navigating ad finding information about the etd on the website, but I eventually found all I was looking for"
"Hello, I have attached all permission emails from the authors with regard to figures and tables"
"How do I go about requesting information to publish from my dissertation when I am ready? I selected restricted access for the first year."
"How long averagely does it take for the Graduate School to approve the ETDs?"
"How soon the ETD will be reviewed and questions will be emailed to me"
"How will I know if my submission was successful."
"I am not sure if the website is compatible with Chrome, but I lost the link on the main menu when I used Chrome."
"I appreciate this easier than expected process of submitting my dissertation via the ETD. VT library and graduate school thanks for the help and all you do to assist graduate students in becoming satisfied and successful alumni. Overall, the only area I am confused about is the format and document type that the copyright permission letters need to be in? Some more specifics would be very helpful."
"I believe that the ETD sight is quite awful. It needs to be revised to easily find comprehensive material and clear step by step instruction. I really had to search quite hard to find documents on combining PDFs and submitting an ETD. This should not be a challenge like it is currently."
"I called the help line with questions, Teresa was very helpful. She deserves a raise!"
"I could not figure out how to enter superscript characters."
"I did see instructions to convert my file to .pdf -- I uploaded the MS Word document. Hope that is ok."
"I didn't know if we had to submit in pdf format or word. I submitted in pdf. Is there a preference?"
"I don't agree with charging us $25 60 for ETD services and products after we have spend thousands of dollars over the years to work on it. We cannot graduate without sibmitting our ETD though. I know schools where graduates don't pay this fee and even get the gown for free (which is another $100 here)."
"I feel it is unethical to coerce students to publish their work electronically. Allowing access to an ETD should be optional, not mandatory."
"I feel that my thesis &/or dissertation is my work and belongs to me. Therefore, if I wish to restrict access indefinitely for whatever reason, then I should be allowed to do so."
"I feel that the ETD process is much smoother than what students make of it. I had no problems in my Masters and for my dissertation, the instructions seem pretty clear."
"I feel there should be less restrictions for theses related to design degrees. As designers our product is all about visual beauty and it is sometimes hard to fully express that through your red tape."
"I find the Grad School staff exceptionally helpful here."
"I found out that it was impossible to save a pdf_A1b from Adobe InDesign. It took me 6 hours to figure out a workaround."
"I had a difficult time finding where to submit the ETD. There was no website listed anywhere."
"I had a hard time finding help concerning the numbering sequence of my thesis on MS Word."
"I had no idea that submitting the ETD online was a necessary step, I had emailed graduate school staff with my PDF expected that the formating was already being reviewed."
"I had the hardest time noticing the tab at the top of the ETD website, "Submit an ETD." It blends too well into the website for how important the tab is. I would suggest making it, or making a link to it on the very first page that the user pulls up."
"I had trouble finding the proxy setting in my browser. Obtaining quick instructions for common browsers seems a great step for helping people solve common problem."
"I have just failed the CAPTCHA test four times. This has never been an issue for me on another site. It might be because it's 2 am and I'm exhausted, but it is the most disheartening thing ever."
"I have never had difficulty converting a word doc into a pdf on my mac. For some bizarre reason I could not get word to "print to" or "save as" as pdf in one pdf document. A friend of mine had a program that merges pdfs and I had to have him merge the separate pdfs even though it was all in one word doc."
"I have no other comments. Thank you."
"I hope i'm done"
"I love the process!"
"I prepared my original text in arial font and was shocked at ETD submission stage to see that this was not one of the accepted fonts. I reformatted to another font but am curious to know whether arial is really not accepted? its a commonly used font and it might be helpful to include an explanation of why its not on the website. I did some research on my own at other website to try and understand."
"I submitted by etd on 4/28/11. I noticed after two weeks that my my records (personal and committee information) and my etd were erased from the system."
"I suggest making the template match the guideline given on the website exactly. I noticed that guidelines stated that 1 inch margins should be used, but the Word (.doc) template had 1.25 inch left and right margins. It was a bit confusing."
"I think if the university wants to archive the files, then they should do the conversion. I did not earn a Ph.D. in word-processing, and it was very irritating to spend over an hour trying to figure out how to do something as silly as page numbers. If VT wants all these to be the same, then the university should hire someone to sit and play with them. Personally, I'm tired of wasting my time on it."
"I think the ETD system works very well and went much more smoothly than I expected. I think it may be useful to advise students submitting ETDs to have their title page printed just to make it easier to enter that information."
"I uploaded a word doc format, did I instead need to upload a PDF version of the same (happy to do so), no instructions indicating format requirements on submission/file upload page?"
"I used Latex to write my thesis, and ended up using a revised version of the template created by another student ( Please consider updating the "official" template."
"I was able to use a family member's Adobe Professional program to create the proper pdf file. I'm not sure if there are free resources to use when creating such a file. But if not, then it seems for those that do not own the program or have access to it, to be an additional expense."
"i was stumped on where to getthe software to creae a pdf a-1b"
"I wish I could have found everything I needed to know about writing ETD's on one webpage instead of looking at multiple sites."
"I would have really appreciated help early on about formatting ETDs. I realize these are available, however, use of the acronym ETD was not significant to me until very recently. I had no idea what it stood for and therefore did not know what it was when I received the many emails about workshops. I think spelling that acronym out somewhere for new graduate students is critical. It is used as if everyone knows what it is."
"I would like to receive an Email to remind me about the deadline about the ETD."
"I would love to see a downloadable brochure or process diagram for ETD which included all information, I found it difficult to find the exact order in which I should do things. Could be the brain numbness after defense but I think it would be helpful to others."
"I would recommend allowing users to view the files they upload to ensure that they have chosen the correct file."
"I'm good thanks" - ( 2 responses)
"I'm pretty sure I can't remove the page number from my second page (abstract page). I had this same problem two years ago for my masters ETD. Working in OpenOffice Writer, there is no way to remove that number and not remove the rest of the numbers."
"I'm usually pretty savvy with this kind of web-submission stuff but it took me 20 minutes to even find the correct link to actually begin submitting my ETD. There are also a lot of particular requirements and deadlines that are sometimes unintuitive and hard to keep up with and require careful reading and double-checking of official instructions /reqs. It just seems to me that this whole process is waaayaayyyy harder than it needs to be."
"I've heard numerous students complain about using the template materials from the ETD website to create ETD's, and subsequently reporting complaints from the grad school regarding formatting of the document. Is there any way that these template materials can be updated to more directly address what the graduate school's formatting requirements are? Or, at the very least, could the graduate school make their formatting requirements more obviously posted somewhere so grad students know what to avoid?"
"I've heard the ETD process is confusing and difficult and time-consuming, so I am not looking forward to possible formatting or other electronic changes I will likely need to make even though it has been submitted."
"If the research sponsor requests that the thesis work is closed and not released it better not! And closed thesis should be an option. DOD research pays the bills at VT."
"Im almost done thanks for the experiance I love the Hokie Nation. I will never forget you folks"
"In using Acrobat Pro 9 to create a compliant PDF, I repeated received a failed verification that says "XMP property not predefined and no extension schema present." I still get this when I strip out all graphics. A Google search indicates this may be an Acrobat Pro 9 bug. Please advise. I've spent 2 days trying without success to fix this. Thanks."
"Incorporating page numbers was the most challenging task. Is there a tutorial that can be made available for students?"
"Information and requirements for defense should be in one place. Deadlines confusing, and hard to find some information on websites (not super cohesive)."
"It is a good system and less difficult than I expected"
"It is a good system."
"It is hard to find information about ETDs from the graduate school website. There should be a link on the homepage of that site to redirect to the ETD site. It should be easier to find files relating what the graduate school is looking for in ETDs."
"It is impossible to find the database for ETDs. They should be linked with the library catalog so it is possible to find related topics for reference."
"It is very hard to read the code words below!"
"it is very useful and time-saving!"
"It might be helpful to add the appropriate way to save your file and the additional files needed on the "Items the Graduate School Looks for in Thesis/Dissertation Review" sheet."
"It took me a while to figure out how to submit the ETD. The greyed column on the left of the page needs to stand out out better (column with ETD submission instructions)."
"It was extremely difficult to follow instructions to create the ETD. There needs to be a SINGLE comprehensive manual that lays out clearly exactly what format the ETD should take. It was very confusing to use multiple documents (sample template, checklists, etc) to create the document. Instructions and formatting rules should be included in a single comprehensive document. Additionally, it was often unclear if the guidelines were recommendations or requirements."
"It was hard to find were to start to submit your etd. It should say somewhere that you have to go to the library websit"
"It was harder to create the PDF/A file then I expected. A tutorial on the ETD website might be useful."
"It was not clear whether it is okay to submit a word document or whether we need to submit a pdf."
"It was super easy to submit my ETD with the help of your website. Thank you."
"It was unclear whether I needed to upload permission letters for copyrighted images. The upload files page looked like those files would be included with the ETD that is available to the public, so I didn't upload my permission letter there."
"it was very hard to find the information that i needed to create my ETD. fellow grad students and i relied on eachother to help find all the materials and guidelines needed. some people did not know of these guidelines or word template. there should be a more accessible link on the grad school webpage. it was confusing and sometimes frustrating going from link to link."
"It works very well."
"It would be helpful if a list of software acceptable to create PDF/A is posted on the ETD website in addition to Adobe Acrobat and places on campus that have the software."
"It would be more helpful to have the ETD submission information on one page rather than multiple. I did not like going from page to page to page to find answers."
"It would be nice if the wording on the website for withholding access to the ETD matched the language on the Graduate School Dissertation Approval Form part A."
"It would be nice if you create an updated Latex ETD template."
"It would be very very very helpful if there was some information pertaining to how long it should take for an ETD to upload. Something that validates that it may take a VERY LONG time if you are not on campus would have decreased my anxiety immensely. IMMENSELY!"
"It would help if the website had included info about how to format page numbers. It was also difficult to figure out where/how exactly to submit (hard to find the right page)."
"It's not so easy to create a PDF/A-1b compliant document, assuming you don't have Adobe Distiller"
"It's very convenient to upload the thesis. But somehow I felt like it was not easy to fine 'VT ETD website'. Other than that, everything is very nice!"
"Its pretty funky having it called an ETD. Call it an "electronic thesis dissertation submission". The acronym is confusing and "does" cause one to expect complexity. The biggest complexity was understanding that this is just an electronic submission, which we use for pretty much *any* technical publication (no big deal)."
"Least awful thing about graduate school"
"Making pdf's was no issue."
"More examples would help with latex format."
"More information about usage of illustrations and tables from references would be helpful. I've been wondering how to use an illustration from a reference....was it correct to copy it insert a reference to it's source, or do i have to redraw it....maybe adapt it. More information about copyright issues would be helpful."
"My only question was whether to upload the IRB approval letters through the ETD Submission page or in another manner. The file type was never listed as it was for additional figures or copyright information."
"N/A" - ( 8 responses)
"NA" - ( 2 responses)
"Need more assistance for Pages on iWork. Section breaks for the roman numerals took 3 hours (with Google, AppleSupport, and meeting in person)."
"need to have better options for restricted projects"
"Need to make it clear that Abstract submission needs editing if you use special characters, subscript or superscript and bold italics. Library computers need word file converter to PDF"
"no comments" - ( 2 responses)
"No comments!"
"None" - ( 12 responses)
"none, thanks."
"None." - ( 2 responses)
"Not all pdf creation software is equal. I had to try several before I found one that would properly express the figures in my thesis."
"Not bad at all. It was a bit harder to make a PDF from such a long file than I'd thought, but no more difficult than actually printing a document of that length."
"Perhaps need to update MS Word instructions for assigning page numbers (Roman vs. Arabic)"
"Please change the number formatting. It is unnecessarily frustrating."
"Please crease a list of journal abbreviations (list of Term in case of Endnote) and a referencing style (again in case of Endnote) - that would be very helpful in preparation of the document."
"Please have better links to the PDF/A with a more complete tutorial"
"Please make the copy right instructions clearer."
"Please provide field specific examples of formats e.g. Finance, Economics, etc"
"Please work to reconcile the vastly different documents that the Graduate school produces"
"Provide an exemplary EDT submission on the EDT website. Your directions are very ambiguous. I looked through so many examples and they were all different. I really have no idea what the proper format is for my ETD submission."
"Put "VT ETD Web site" as first choice in ETD survey question 1"
"Resources available to students must be improved!"
"Should offer personal hands on assistance from the Graduate School staff to assist in creating the ETD document in the format that was required. I called someone on the phone in the Grad School and was referred to Innovation Space for assistance with the technical side of creating the PDF document. Need a personal demonstration and hands on assistance with this process."
"So far the ETD process seems painless, I'll reserve a final opinion until after the Graduate School accepts my ETD and I'm able to easily make any required changes."
"So far, the process seems smooth. The ETD website was incredibly helpful and succinct!"
"Some more information on how to save to the proper archival file on the ETD website would have been useful."
"Some of the format documents are old and need revising. They seemed to contract one another in a couple places."
"Some of the rules are confusing, but that's the nature of bureaucracy! I found the templates provided on the website to be very helpful."
"Somebody needs to do a complete analytical write-up of what exactly needs to be done using an numerous examples along the way. Information on the ETD website is not centralized in one document it is spread out over several pages and links."
"Sometimes I am not sure what is the exactly formal ETD format requirement."
"Stream-lining all the requirements and necessary forms into one place would be somewhat helpful in this process."
"Submission deadlines for Masters of Architecture students could have been more clearly articulated. Everyone including my committee and department head were confused."
"Template is not helpful and has incorrect margins. Charging for ETD submission is not fair. Charging for graduating on top of that is ridiculous. Also, ETD rules are too cumbersome. Submission forms are difficult to get signatures on. Electronic approval of the thesis would be better."
"Thank goodness for Debbie Cash! She was great!!"
"Thank you for your support."
"Thank you Janice!"
"Thanks for all of your support and help."
"Thanks for clear directions."
"Thanks for the tutorial pdf on how to create a PDFA-1b document. It was extremely helpful!"
"Thanks to the Graduate School staff for the help!"
"The deadlines were very unclear."
"The ETD site should include more information tailored to the Humanities and Arts."
"The ETD submission web interface seems outdated. There ought to be a way to directly cut and paste an abstract and other info directly instead of having to also go through and edit with HTML tags to get the formatting to look correct."
"The ETD submission website was easy to use but I had a hard time finding it. I recommend adding a link to the site in the Graduate Student Graduation checklist in HokieSPA."
"The ETD website is confusing to navigate, some links seem to go in circles. Try to consolidate more and maybe add a centralized menu."
"the ETD website is horrible. The directions, layout ...really everything could be improved. If it wasn't for my friends I may never have figured it out."
"The ETD website is not very user friendly and hard to find information. I was directed to Innovation Space several times by the Grad School with questions, but Innovation Space did not know the answers and said that I should ask the Grad School."
"The ETD website needs to be more organized than the state it is now in"
"The ETD website should be more specific. I shouldn't have to ask questions about font and sizing."
"The ETD website would be much more useful if it was organized and laid out in a way that made sense for a student trying to prepare a thesis/dissertation. Right now, it is spread out and information is not easily accessible."
"The Grad School ETD site instructions for the pagination issue are not correct. I received correct instruction from Jason Lockhart; Innovations Space. He also helped me sort through PDF hyperlink issues, Post Script file errors and essentially any question I had. I found the support staff at the Graduate School ill prepared for detailed file conversion issues and format requirements that they dictate."
"The graduate school staff have been very nice and helpful."
"the last thing to type in the box is the most difficult thing for submitting ETD."
"The Latex template on the ETD website is a little dated. It worked, but having someone check it and update it would be helpful. There is old information in the ETD checklist located at the bottom of the page: No5: ProQuest Agreement Form--dissertation authors only is not used anymore and caused some confusion."
"The number of ETD publication choices (1-3) on the Grad school form does not match the number of choices presented on the ETD submission web form (1-4). This is very confusing. When will these 2 forms be revised, so that their option match one another?"
"The only major issue I had when creating my ETD was with the page numbering and table of contents. It seems different versions of Word were not compatible."
"The PDF/A was difficult to create and required expensive software. I was able to take care of it, but it took much longer than expected."
"The process was difficult to understand at first because information is spread out over many interconnected web pages. Consolidating instructions would be helpful."
"The process was mostly painless. However, if one types " VT ETD" into Google, it returns several pages in different locations with pertinent information. Certain important items (e.g. page numbering conventions) are only found on certain pages of certain sites. The result is that a student is required to wade through many pages on several sites to get all of the information it takes to prepare and submit an ETD. It would be incredibly beneficial if there was a definitive single site (be it or some other) that included WITHIN THE SITE AND ITS DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED PAGES all of the information required to prepare and submit an ETD."
"The process was very simple and user friendly"
"The provided word template is completely inadequate"
"The submission deadlines for the architecture department is different than the deadlines for other degrees. Although this was the case, we received the same mass email that had the wrong submission dates for our department. It took contacting multiple people to clear up the confusion so it might be helpful to send the architecture graduates their own email with the correct dates."
"the table of contents feature in MS word is terrible. while i know the actual program is not your problem, please consider providing a template or a whole tutorial on it. that particular part was very difficult and i spent more time on that than anything."
"The technical instructions for preparing the files were awkward, out of date, and frustrating to use."
"The template for the title page etc. seems to be incompatible with PDF/A-1b.... i could not get a successful conversion until i reformatted almost all the text on that page.... very frustrating Additionally the webpage seems to trigger automatic proxy detection, and unless the default proxy is through VT it will fail on uploading the file without any helpful error messages"
"The templates provided are helpful, thanks. I was not sure whether I should include the IRB approval form in the dissertation or if it needs to be submitted to the graduate school seperately"
"The timing of ETD workshops was rough. I had classes during the fall ones and the spring one was the day before my defense. We need more in the early part of the spring semester."
"The VT Etd webpages are useful, but there are too many with too many locations. One central webpage with all the help would be useful with a clear structure to where you are. I always lost track on which page I was on."
"The Web is user friendly."
"The web-based information is TOO SCATTERED over different pages and sites. Just combine everything into one real site and keep things to fewer pages. There is a downloadable PDF for formatting, but it doesn't mention naming, so one has to dig around for other information about naming. All of the different sections, pages, sites, wikis, whatever make it SEEM like there is a lot of information and therefore makes the ETD process seem difficult. There is not that much useful information, really, and so all of the various bits and pages make it appear complex and make it take a lot of time to read for no real gain. The process is entirely simple and clear, but there is no single source that says that. Overall, I am not a fan of the ETD movement, but that's a debate that I suppose has been lost already. In this case, it was a clear and simple technical process. I think you should explain it as a technical process instead of making it appear as some major hurdle. We've had enough hurdles getting to this point...submitting an ETD should seem like a breeze and should be congratulatory...not daunting with hours of reading web pages and worrying. ;) Thanks for all of your help. It is good to have a consistent, library quality, standardized format for all of the academic research that graduate students do, so I do 'get' that an appreciate that technology."
"The website information often conflicted with the information I received from grad school staff."
"The website needs to be far more intuitive" - ( 2 responses)
"The website would be more helpful if all the information was easier to access and spelled out exactly how to format certain aspects such as the Appendices."
"THe Word template seems like a cover page front matter template. Maybe ad a mock chapter in the cover template"
"There are not good examples of manuscript forms available to look at while preparing the ETD file if you have papers already published as a part of your dissertation"
"There is conflicting guidance on some checklists and the ETD submission page on how to attach/include copyright documents. It just adds extra work to fix it."
"There is far too much information regarding ETDs that is not organized. The guidelines should be all in one place (and the form for the ETD submission should be sent with the exam card to prevent confusion. NO ONE defending a thesis in my department understood from communications from the graduate school that the exam card and ETD form were separate forms that both had to be signed by committee members)."
"There should be clearer directions on where to find ETD guidelines because I felt like I had to click on half a dozen links to find what I was looking for. Even then, I worried that I might not have the correct information because someone in my cohort said that he found one site that provided information on document spacing that wasn't in the site that I was using. I also wish that I could move my committee members around once I uploaded them to the site because I wanted them to appear on the ETD in the same alphabetical order that they do in my actual thesis."
"There were small details that I almost missed or were not very clear about submitting my ETD, like the PDF format and availability option."
"There's a lot of good information about ETDs on the grad school website, but it's scattered across a number of pages. At times, I would have to backtrack through a number of links and FAQs to find a specific piece of information. Reconsidering how the information is organized and linked would make the page much more useful."
"This entire process felt like I was being hazed. As though because I am almost finished, Virginia Tech has to make this very last thing that I will do as a student be exceptionally frustrating. Specifically: WHY is there not one page with all of the resources that are needed? WHY are documents SCATTERED across a myriad of pages all over the place? WHY am I held responsible for ALL of that information when it is impossible to find it all- let alone find it all more than one time? WHY is there not ONE document with ALL of the information? It could be called a MANUAL and have ALL the information that we need in it. For such an advanced university, I found this process primitive, and so unhelpful that it felt purposely MEAN. At this point in our work, graduate students are tired and frustrated anyway, and it truly feels as though Virginia Tech is making it a point to haze us so that we never forget how horrible creating our ETD was. I really truly feel hazed- as though the university did the opposite of what tired graduate students need at this point in the process- on purpose. How else can such a failure at such an advanced university be explained? The amount of frustration and anxiety caused by this process is absolutely unacceptable. While I am proud of my degree and feel connected to my department, this horrible experience has taken most of my respect for the Graduate School. I will leave this place with a very bitter taste in my mouth and will think twice about where I donate my money as an alumni."
"This is a much preferred method compared to the submissions of multiple paper (hard) copies, from the recent past. THANK YOU!!!"
"This process has been fairly tedious but Gwen Ewing in the graduate school has been EXTREMELY helpful and responded quickly to all my emails regarding ETD submission guidelines. My friends that have completed their PhDs at VT lamented this process but it seems as though I lucked out compared to their horror stories about submitting ETDs. I know I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Gwen and the hard work she has done in helping me through this process. Thank you Gwen!!"
"This process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, I had a hard time actually finding this submission website itself. I had to ask a friend who recently submitted their ETD for help to get to this site."
"This question should be posed after the candidate has received revisions from the graduate school."
"This should be included in the instruction of graduation, or more obvious place to be noticed."
"This survey website can be improvement by giving option to some questions saying "Not Applicable"."
"This system makes life much easier!"
"This system works just fine."
"This was a very unnecessary process. I think it was ridiculous that I had to pay as well. This should be an optional process."
"This was an effective but very bureaucratic exercise. Fewer forms required to conduct the research and submit would be useful. I think I submitted 7 or so approval documents of various types for a fairly benign thesis. Seems overly bureaucratic."
"To me, it makes sense to move away from the work and redundancy using the Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form. Most of the information we enter on the form is entered electronically with our ETD. Making submission of the paper version as a requirement is therefore unnecessary. Perhaps including a secure webpage inviting our committee members to sign electronically for their final approval would be the only requirement that has not been met by submitting the Thesis and dissertation approval form."
"Under update committee tab...the submit button says advisor"
"Updated Latex and word template"
"user friendly"
"Very good supporting system. No difficulty at all."
"Very helpful guidelines"
"Very simple process so far."
"VT has a good system to submit ETDs."
"Website indicates that title page should be in "base 14" font. Maybe this means 14-pt font? At any rate, here in English no one knew what this meant. Additionally, almost every example ETD uses 12-pt font on the title page, making this an especially confusing element. Also, in the humanities, Introductions are not always front matter, but can contain elements of the argument or the lit review. This is in contrast to a preface, which is part of the front matter. The description of the document may want to reflect this, indicating that the Introduction may begin on page 1 if it comprises a significant element of the argument."
"Website is not clear on where to submit. Like all of Virginia Tech's websites they don't make sense and the people you call to ask are incompetent."
"Website needs improvement since the links on the ETD website do not work sometimes."
"website says title page font size must be 14. but in a sample you provide online the font size looks like 12..."
"Website should request author to upload draft ETD for a over-the top review about 30-45 before final defense"
"When going from .docx in word2010 to PDF, squares appeared around all citation numbers in the document. I can't fix it."
"When I entered the keywords, it appears that your system added spaces in front two of the keywords (extra space between the bullet and the keyword). I wasn't able to eliminate that extra space."
"When preparing an ETD in manuscript format it is difficult to keep the separate references sections (for each chapter) from automatically combining into one list in Word. Some tips on how to avoid this would be helpful. Thanks!"
"When publishing my work included in the ETD, should I get Virgnia Tech's permission if I have requested to restrict access to my ETD for 1 year?"
"whole process is somewhat easy"
"Why are all of the Internet pages that give you instructions NOT linked to each other. I had to have about 10 pages open to get all the info I needed, and I ended up printing a lot of it out. By the way, what is the difference between the Manuscript formatting rules and the Standard formatting rules? Some explanation here would be helpful."
"Why are there so many websites to provide information for one thing? I think a consolidation is in order."
"Why does the etd website list being able to use a smtp site when the grad school office knows nothing about a smtp site."
"Wonderful experience. Thanks for making this very user friendly."
"Would be helpful to have links to all guidelines for ETD formatting in the same place."
"You should be more specific on how to name your file if the person has a compound last name like me."
"You should include information about the figure formats (embedded vs. appendix) on the VT ETD website. I had to call to get that information."

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