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An evaluation of the process and initial impact of disseminating a nursing e-thesis.

MacDuff, Colin


Colin MacDuff


Aim. This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate product, process and outcome aspects of the dissemination of a nursing PhD thesis via an open-access electronic institutional repository. Background. Despite the growth of university institutional repositories which make theses easily accessible via the world wide web, nursing has been very slow to evaluate related processes and outcomes. Method. Drawing on Stakes evaluation research methods, a case study design was adopted. The case is described using a four-phase structure within which key aspects of process and impact are reflexively analysed. Findings. In the conceptualisation/re-conceptualisation phase, fundamental questions about the purpose, format and imagined readership for a published nursing PhD were considered. In the preparation phase, seven key practical processes were identified that are likely to be relevant to most e-theses. In the dissemination phase email invitations were primarily used to invite engagement. The evaluation phase involved quantitative indicators of initial impact, such as page viewing and download statistics and qualitative feedback on processes and product. Conclusion. Analysis of process and impact elements of e-thesis dissemination is likely to have more than intrinsic value. The advent of e-theses housed in web-based institutional repositories has the potential to transform thesis access and use. It also offers potential to transform the nature and scope of thesis production and dissemination. Nursing scholars can exploit and evaluate such opportunities.


MACDUFF, C. 2009. An evaluation of the process and initial impact of disseminating a nursing e-thesis. Journal of advanced nursing [online], 65(5), pages 1010-1018. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2008
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2009
Publication Date May 31, 2009
Deposit Date May 18, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2015
Journal Journal of advanced nursing
Print ISSN 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN 1365-2648
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Issue 5
Pages 1010-1018
Keywords Dissemination; Doctoral education thesis; Evaluation; Impact; Institutional repositories; Nursing Process
Public URL


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