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Nurse scholars' knowledge and use of electronic theses and dissertations.

Goodfellow, L.M.; Macduff, C.; Leslie, G.; Copeland, S.; Nolfi, D.; Blackwood, D.


L.M. Goodfellow

C. Macduff

G. Leslie

S. Copeland

D. Nolfi

D. Blackwood


Background: Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) are a valuable resource for nurse scholars worldwide. ETDs and digital libraries offer the potential to radically change the nature and scope of the way in which doctoral research results are presented, disseminated and used. An exploratory study was undertaken to better understand ETD usage and to address areas where there is a need and an opportunity for educational enhancement. Aims: The primary objective was to gain an initial understanding of the knowledge and use of ETDs and digital libraries by faculty, graduate students and alumni of graduate programs at schools of nursing. Design: A descriptive online survey design was used. Methods: Purposeful sampling of specific schools of nursing was used to identify institutional participants in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US. A total of 209 participants completed the online questionnaire. Results: Only 44% of participants reported knowing how to access ETDs in their institutions' digital libraries and only 18% reported knowing how to do so through a national or international digital library. Only 27% had cited an ETD in a publication. The underuse of ETDs was found to be attributable to specific issues rather than general reluctance to use online resources. Conclusions: This is the first international study that has explored awareness and use of ETDs, and ETD digital libraries, with a focus on nursing and has set the stage for future research and development in this field. Results show that most nursing scholars do not use ETDs to their fullest potential.


GOODFELLOW, L. M., MACDUFF, C., LESLIE, G., COPELAND, S., NOLFI, D. and BLACKWOOD, D. 2012. Nurse scholars' knowledge and use of electronic theses and dissertations. International nursing review [online], 59(4), pages 511-518. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 21, 2012
Online Publication Date May 21, 2012
Publication Date Dec 31, 2012
Deposit Date May 21, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 21, 2015
Journal International nursing review
Print ISSN 0020-8132
Electronic ISSN 1466-7657
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 59
Issue 4
Pages 511-518
Keywords Digital libraries; Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs); Graduate nursing education
Public URL


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