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Viewing Results for

2001/2002 ETD Author Survey

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

2.4%\% through e-mail (28/1166 responses)
2.06%\% from ETD tech support (24/1166 responses)
6.09%\% Other/Comments (71/1166 responses)
4.8%\% by telephone (56/1166 responses)
18.61%\% from friends (217/1166 responses)
6.35%\% at an ETD workshop (74/1166 responses)
6.69%\% from my committee (78/1166 responses)
6.17%\% from New Media Center staff (72/1166 responses)
2.14%\% other Web site(s) (25/1166 responses)
44.68%\% VT ETD Web site (521/1166 responses)
94.51% of the people who took this survey
(620 / 656) answered this question.

Other Responses (71 for this question)
"absolutely no help on this campus"
"Ben Poe in Randolph Hall"
"Department Secretary"
"Department's Information Technology, Landon Canida"
"dept tech support"
"Dpeartmental tech support"
"from my Advisor"
"grad assistant"
"Graduate policies and procedures guide"
"graduate school staff"
"graduation package"
"graduation packet"
"Gwen Ewing pre-reviewed"
"I didn't find all the answers to my questions. The whole process is very confusing. There is not enough information explaining the whole ETD process on the website."
"i didn't have any questions"
"I helped others submit in the past"
"lots of guesswork"
"need more mac support"
"Nicole at the New Media Center was wonderful!"
"no one"
"no questions"( 2 ) responses
"NVC Library staff"
"Older Brother - He completed his Ph.D. in Counselor Education at Virginia Tech"
"on my own"
"other"( 36 ) responses
"school of hard knocks"
"Several web sites concerning Adobe Distiller and Exchange"
"tech staff at work"
"The directions and answers to questions on the website were unclear and very unhelpful."
"The etd website needs improvement... the pages do not display well on browsers, and do not print correctly."
"Tony Atkins, Shannon Phillips, Gail McMillan"
"Used adobe website to make the pdf"
"very straightforward, no questions"

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

4.04%\% Not useful (25/619 responses)
46.04%\% Very useful (285/619 responses)
5.01%\% Did not consult VT ETD Web site. (31/619 responses)
28.27%\% Somewhat useful (175/619 responses)
16.64%\% Useful (103/619 responses)
94.36% of the people who took this survey
(619 / 656) answered this question.

3. If you attended an ETD workshop, please indicate if you found the workshop useful.

68.69%\% Did not attend ETD workshop. (397/578 responses)
10.03%\% Somewhat useful (58/578 responses)
6.92%\% Useful (40/578 responses)
6.57%\% Very useful (38/578 responses)
7.79%\% Not useful (45/578 responses)
88.11% of the people who took this survey
(578 / 656) answered this question.

4. If you used the New Media Center, please indicate if the staff was helpful.

18.47%\% Very helpful (106/574 responses)
3.14%\% Somewhat helpful (18/574 responses)
4.18%\% Helpful (24/574 responses)
1.05%\% Not helpful (6/574 responses)
73.17%\% Did not use the New Media Center. (420/574 responses)
87.5% of the people who took this survey
(574 / 656) answered this question.

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

2.1%\% more than 10 (13/618 responses)
24.76%\% Did not consult any ETDs. (153/618 responses)
22.65%\% 3-5 (140/618 responses)
46.28%\% 1-2 (286/618 responses)
4.21%\% 6-10 (26/618 responses)
94.21% of the people who took this survey
(618 / 656) answered this question.

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

7.74%\% Much more difficult (48/620 responses)
13.06%\% Somewhat more difficult (81/620 responses)
23.23%\% Somewhat less difficult (144/620 responses)
34.68%\% Much less difficult (215/620 responses)
21.29%\% Neither more nor less difficult (132/620 responses)
94.51% of the people who took this survey
(620 / 656) answered this question.

7. My computer is a

2.87%\% Other (18/628 responses)
1.75%\% Unix (11/628 responses)
90.61%\% PC (569/628 responses)
4.78%\% Mac (30/628 responses)
94.51% of the people who took this survey
(620 / 656) answered this question.

Other Responses (18 for this question)
"Dell"( 2 ) responses
"have both"
"Linux"( 2 ) responses
"other"( 9 ) responses
"PC & Unix"
"Used both Mac & PC"

8. Where were you when you submitted your ETD?

30.82%\% Campus office (213/691 responses)
0.14%\% Campus residence hall (1/691 responses)
9.41%\% New Media Center (65/691 responses)
4.34%\% Tech Connect lab (30/691 responses)
2.46%\% Northern Virginia Center (17/691 responses)
11.43%\% off-campus workplace (79/691 responses)
16.35%\% Off-campus residence (113/691 responses)
3.76%\% Another university (26/691 responses)
21.27%\% Other (147/691 responses)
94.66% of the people who took this survey
(621 / 656) answered this question.

Other Responses (147 for this question)
"AAEC Graduate Computer Lab"
"Air Force Research Labs"
"Alexandria, Virginia (architecture)"
"AOE Design lab"
"AOE Graduate Lab"
"Architecture Annex"
"Atlanta, GA"
"attending Software Engineering Conference in Orlando, FL"
"campus lab"
"CAUS Lab"
"CEARs computer lab (Cheatham Hall)"
"CEARS Lab"( 2 ) responses
"CEARS Lab - Forestry"
"CEE Computer Lab"
"Chemistry computer lab"
"Chemistry Lab"
"CNR Cears Lab"
"Colorado"( 2 ) responses
"Cooperative Extension Office"
"cowgill hall"
"Department computer lab"( 2 ) responses
"Department laboratory"
"Eastern Shore AREC in Painter, VA"
"Edinburgh, Scotland"
"Fort Leavenworth, Kansas"
"Grad lab"
"grad student lounge"
"Graduate Computer Lab"
"Graduate Lab"
"Home"( 3 ) responses
"Home in Alabama"
"Home in Canada"
"job site"
"Madrid, Spain"
"new work place"
"NVC and at home for 2nd submission"
"NVC library (the computers for public use were terrible. They could not read a CD"
"Off-campus, out-of-state"
"On-campus research lab"
"other"( 70 ) responses
"Randolph Mecha Lab"
"research laboratory"
"Sandy Hall"
"Saunders computer lab"
"shanks comp lab"
"Statistics Consulting Lab"
"Tech CEARS lab"
"Tidewater AREC in Suffolk, VA"
"Torgersen Bridge"
"Torgersen Hall"
"Torgerson computer lab"
"Vet school"( 2 ) responses
"Virginia Tech Transportation Institute"
"VT Newman Library"
"work"( 2 ) responses
"Work Office"

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

16.26%\% Neither more nor less difficult. (101/621 responses)
4.19%\% Much more difficult (26/621 responses)
12.4%\% Somewhat more difficult (77/621 responses)
27.7%\% Somewhat less difficult (172/621 responses)
39.45%\% Much less difficult (245/621 responses)
94.66% of the people who took this survey
(621 / 656) answered this question.

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

4.18%\% Will not publish (35/838 responses)
52.15%\% Journal article (437/838 responses)
18.97%\% Conference proceedings (159/838 responses)
2.86%\% Other (24/838 responses)
15.99%\% Don't know yet (134/838 responses)
2.98%\% Book chapter (25/838 responses)
2.86%\% Book (24/838 responses)
94.66% of the people who took this survey
(621 / 656) answered this question.

Other Responses (24 for this question)
"buld a school"
"Extension bulletin"
"Five of seven chapters"
"hollywood film"
"other"( 12 ) responses
"Popular press articles, Extension publications and articles"
"Research Report"( 3 ) responses
"training manual"

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

9.48%\% Advice of others (46/485 responses)
3.92%\% Patent pending (19/485 responses)
3.92%\% Advice of publisher (19/485 responses)
48.66%\% Advice of faculty (236/485 responses)
25.36%\% Personal choice (123/485 responses)
8.66%\% Other (42/485 responses)
54.88% of the people who took this survey
(360 / 656) answered this question.

Other Responses (42 for this question)
"advice of advisor"
"Award that says paper can't have yet been published"
"being reviewed by funding organization"
"Collaboration with other departments and resulting publications"
"Company choice"
"contract requirement"
"didn't restrict"
"fear of copyright violation"
"future publications"
"I did not restrict access"
"Itellectual property issues"
"Material read on ETD website about publishers"
"Need for time to make decisions"
"no restrictions"
"other"( 21 ) responses
"proprietary information"
"Public availability of data"
"Some Properietary Information"
"to publish"
"Waiting for project sponsor's decision"

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

Text Responses (102 for this question)
"a dialogue box while uploading would be helpful"
"Abstract entry field should be more specific about using HTML formatting. It does say to use the special character codes but just pasting raw paragraphs results in the text interpreted as HTML. This packs paragraphs together. Easy fix is to use

tag to make paragraphs explicit. Also the keywords entry doesn't compact space around the keywords in the view mode. So they must be "foo,bar,baz" because "foo, bar, baz" retains the spaces around the keywords. Maybe just a temporary formatting issue but it would be nice to do the expected thing."

"Actually creating the PDF file was very easy, but figuring out how to do this was tougher, plus I don't have Acrobat on my machine so I had to get a friend to do it. Overall the process was quite easy, though."
"Comment: I could not configure the generic postscript driver to work on my WinME laptop. My departmental computer lab has a "print to PDF" option in the word processing program, and it was painless. You should make this accessible to everyone, rather than the PS2PDF tool. The error messages were undecipherable..."
"Copyright and access restriction paperwork was confusing."
"Creating PDF files from PcTex32 is *still* an adventure."
"Excellent idea to put these documents online!"
"Excellent resource for graduate students especially from a time perspective -- very little time involved, so more time can be spent working on the dissertation itself."
"Figure out a better system for converting the files to PDF - The system was non-responsive, and I could not get it to work. This needs more detail and help assitance in the online info section."
"Finished, yeah!!"
"glad to be finished"
"Good experience. At least at this point, no problem! Very friendly tech support."
"great idea"
"Great system"
"I could not upload a 1.5 meg file from the Virginia Tech Eastern Shore AREC in Painter, VA. I had to e-mail the file to another grad student and get them to submit it. Also, the webmaster of the ETD site never responded to a question."
"I don't think I should have to submit my unpublished work to anyone who can access the Virginia Tech library electronically. This presents many copyright issues and infringes upon my intellectual property."
"I followed the "making a pdf file" directions from the ETD website on just a couple pages of text and it did not work at all. I then checked the help section in acrobat and discovered I could create the file right from Word. I tried it on the entire dissertation and it worked without a problem. This portion of the ETD site should be revised. (Otherwise I found pretty much everything I needed on the ETD website.)"
"I followed the ETD workshop advice to format my paper "perfectly" in word before I converted it to a pdf file. Unlike other students I have talked to, I had no problem whatsoever converting the file from .doc to .pdf."
"I found this to be a very difficult procedure. At Northern VA, there is no one to ask any questions or assistance. No one in the library staff is trained or knows anything about it. The video was not helpful. It was mor about ETD than how to. Also if you look at it, much of the time is the man looking at a blank screen waiting for his slide presentation to be fixed. A very bad video. When you are trying to get this on the computer, you cannot call the Media Center. No phones with the computer. I feel that someone at the Northern Va Campus should be ETD resource and be able to assist students. I have heard many complaints and this seems to be a major problem for everyone. You may call me if needed. 540-752-8222"
"I had a really hard time converting my Word document to PS and from there to .pdf - actually I wasn't able to do it until I went to the Adobe Acrobat website and got a free trial .pdf convertion. I was pretty frustrated to say the least."
"I had an illegal character (a space) in my PDF file's name and the website, after spending an hour uploading the file, told me of this problem and I had to upload the file again with the corrected name. A way to simply rename the file, and not have to upload it via modem again, would be a lot less time consuming."
"I have found it difficult to get all the information I needed to complete my thesis to the necessary specs. Also the proceures for the table of contents did not work for more recent versions of a word processor. I feel that it needs an upgrade."
"I prefer "real books". However, I do understand the advantage of having a database of texts on-line."
"I think I had wonderful support from the dean to my committee to Dr. Fox's students to the media center to the archiving folks. All were very integral support systems in my attempts to accomplish the dissertation purpose. A phone contact of etd tech or something would be an additional resource (may be I missed it!) I hope you will find some quick replacement for Tony Atkins, I think he was an asset! If the mixed availability option can be reworded a bit. i think it is initially confusing untill one uses it. that is I thought all files will be released to VT community until i used it & realised that I can even control for VT access. Thanks again for making the process a wonderful rather than a dreaded experience!"
"I think it is a very efficient way to disseminate information. The procedure you have establish to submit a dissertation electronically is clear and user-friendly."
"I think it is very user friendly, except the part of making sure my files appear in the right order. I did use the two digits numbers for each file but the order was still messed up when I tried to view the main page."
"I think it would be much easier for the students for the university to handle this responsibility. I also don't think we should have to pay a $75.00 fee to have this processes. IF VT wants this done electronically then I think they should have the responsibility, not the students."
"I tried to submit the thesis Friday June 14th, I could not go the the survey page, that delayed submission of the thesis which was due 6/15."
"I was frustrated by the lack of a good vector to raster file conversion for Autocad images. As an Architecture Grad, a large percentage of my book was vector drawings, and I was disappointed with the large file sizes and mediocre image quality of the drawings I scanned."
"I will appreciate it if you give the review results on my ETD as soon as possible since I will have to leave Blacksburg in one week."
"I would have been delighted to pay an additional fee in order to have someone complete the technical submission procedures for me."
"I'd suggest a specific person's name on all your Web pages that people can contact. Secondly, way too much administrative work to finish up! Just making something electronic doesn't necessarily reduce the figurative paperwork and administrative hassles. And I work for the federal government!"
"I'm DONE WOOO HOOO~!!!!!!! =)"
"I'm glad the University requires this. Its like the thesis document required of all graduating Architecture students - a lot of other schools don't require it so in the end, its a real benefit and a competitive edge for Tech graduates."
"If I had known this was so easy to use, I wouldn't have been so nervous about the process. The staff I talked to (by telephone) were very helpful."
"In the direction, please do NOT only say :"Use Naptscape...". This confused me when I started. I even don't know how to use Natscape. I use Internet Explorer."
"Increase the number of examples on the website and increase the information provided for the structure of figures."
"Information regarding required vs optional content is not clear"
"It is an excellent system that is user friendly too"
"It is very comfortable for me."
"It was much easier to upload than I expected"
"It would be a good idea for the graduate school to hold a workshop for faculty about the ETD process. Often graduate comittees are the places grad students turn to for advice. Unfortunately they often do not know anything about this process."
"It would be better if a more detailed schedule is added, for example the due date of Application for Degree, defense, submitting the dissertation, etc."
"It would be really helpful if there was a person employed by the University specifically to help people convert their files to pdf files and submit their ETDs. This process should have taken about 10 minutes; instead, it took well over an hour."
"more helpfule for graduated students"
"MS Word for Windows indexing really stinks! I didn't see info on the vt.etd site about how to make PDF look best. I found out on my own that I could use high quality settings for compression without making the file sizes huge."
"my file became 101MB and took FOREVER to upload"
"My masters is a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, but your drop-down menu doesn't have that option, so I had to put "Masters of Arts.""
"Need a followed up message after submitting ETD"
"need to tell users which computer labs on campus (other than the media center) are equipped with software to transfer files to pdf form"
"New Media Center staff extremely helpful."
"New Media Center was closed when I needed to create my pdf file."
"Nice ease of submission. Thank you."
"none" - ( 2 responses)
"Not enough computers with Acorbat to edit the pdf file."
"NOTE: This is an amendment to a previously accepted dissertation."
"On the ETD approval page that my committee signed, I checked the option to release only to VT for two years, then to release it worldwide. On the electronic form I just completed the number of years specification was not an option so I had to check release to VT only (with no years specified). Will it still be released worldwide after 2 years like I wanted?"
"Should have a tutorial on how to use Microsoft Word"
"Sometimes formatting information was unclear, especially when what was suggested was not done in the examples. I may just have misinterpreted and am sure I will find out very soon."
"Submitted ETD a week after defense but I did not hear anything from the Graduate school. I am resubmitting it a month later."
"Submitting my files through my home computer took forever, ethernet is much better while using this service, this should be advise for further submissions"
"Thanks David for your awesome support!"
"Thanks to the New Media Center staff, especially Darren, who created my PDF file for me. I emailed my document to him from the Tidewater AREC in Suffolk, VA."
"The conversion component was not available. I had to go directly to the Adobe website to convert my thesis to a PDF document."
"The directions on the web were not clear at all. They were not even in proper english. Without the help of the computer guys at my new school, I would never have been able to submit my thesis."
"The ETD submission process was very clear and simple. I think that I would add something with respect to the pdf file submission page. When I submitted my 'thesis.pdf' file and pressed the upload button on the web page, there was no indication as to the progress of the upload transfer. A couple of minutes later the page updated and indicated that the process was complete. I think that it would be nice to add an indicator window on the file transfer progress. This was just an idea."
"The ETD web site is very strangely laid out. It suffers from some usability issues, and I see a lot of room for improvement. It is good that you highlight the process and use it for your main navigation, and I believe that the content is quite readable. The problem is that your navigation moves around from screen to screen and it is easy to get lost. Also, you should incorporate a login on the front page, and have a "My ETD" section accessible on every page, that shows where a user is in the process. There should also be optional e-mail notification when a step or the entire process is completed. Making this look more like a 'classic' web site, instead of this odd hybrid web-based training / presentation layout would do you a lot of good. If you are interested in consulting with someone on making this more useable and useful, please contact me at my work: Geoffrey P. Gaudreault Redmon Group, Inc. 500 Montgomery Street, Suite 500 Alexandria, VA 22314 (703)838-5461 ext.148"
"The ETD web site was less than clear about which aspects of formatting are optional and which are required. More concrete distinctions between the two categories would be helpful."
"The ETD workshop was useless, and although the website was helpful, it could be organized better. Simply including all of the steps in the process in a list somewhere would have been handy (i.e., apply for graduation, pick up your defense card, defend, return your defense card, make revisions as necessary, have committee sign ETD approval form, drop off approval form and fee to Sandy Hall, create PDF from file, upload pdf file...I got around to those things, but haphazardly."
"The Graduate School guidelines are very vague"
"The idea of putting this work on the Internet is wonderful."
"The information about the choices of availablity is not very clear"
"The interface of ETD needs to be improved."
"The lab technicians made it look like a piece of cake. I was less nervous with them around me. I wonder it that could have been the case if I had struggled with it alone. They were so helpful. Please give them a raise in salary (Nic and Nat)."
"The New Media Center Staff was especially helpful. I couldn't do it without staff members Nicole and Bridget. Please consider giving them a raise."
"The new media lab was great. NICOLE was wonderful. I was done within 1 hour. However, this morning was frustrating. Please inform student that it is better to separate files and add in after converting to a PDF file. Making one big MSWord document was too frustrating. The new media staff was great!"
"The practice submission does not work"
"The process was easier due to the improvements within Adobe software and MSWord, not VT. I also restricted the images I used and did not embed them in my text (I put them in an appendix) precisly because I heard so many nightmare stories about images getting screwed up by Adobe. This would not have been necessary if the process were paper-based. I resticted the access to VT only because I am simply unwilling to put an essentially vulnerable document on the web for almost certain plagerism."
"The process was more difficult because the step by step directions were poorly written for converting to a pdf file. I did better on my own after going through the recommended process. The requirements for submission differ significantly from the requirements for submission for faculty approval. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed. It leads to a poor experience overall by the student."
"The Web Site has the wrong instructions. Such as when it tells you to type .prn but when you do that it does not work. It took me 4 hours to figure that out. Also the people in New media decided that they should be off for most of the last week of school so there was NO one there to help."
"The web site is way, way too big."
"The website directions are vague and confusing."
"The website is much too large and full of information that is not useful. Get rid of lots of it so that students do not have to decipher what they need."
"There must be an easier way."
"There was some difficulty and confusion submitting the abstract since it appeared jumbled on my screen after pasting it in. I would suggest including a note that this should be expected but that the end result will look fine. Thanks!"
"This has been a wonderful service, and it was easy, as long as the server stayed up! thanks for all the help!"
"This process to submit an ETD was so painful as to be unbelievable. Little things (such as not having a space in the name!) should be clearly stated IN THE INSTRUCTIONS!"
"very convenient" - ( 2 responses)
"Very good and easy platform to access scholarly works"
"Very Useful system."
"When I accidently add a file twice, I have difficult time of deleting and re-entering it."
"Why did it take 5 people 3 hours to add page numbers into my thesis?"
"You should encourage people to include their last name in the filename, and not just call it "mythesis.pdf"."
"You should make it easier to convert documents to pdf."
"Your on-line postscript to pdf conversion program did not work. That made what could have been a simple process into a pain in the neck. I had to find an alternative means of converting."

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