IsisCB Dissertation Project

We are trying to get a comprehensive collection of dissertation citations for our discipline. If you have a completed dissertation (or a dissertation in progress) and would like to have us enter that into the CB, please click on this link:

Please add my dissertation!

If you want to help us collect dissertations, read on. We will tell you why we need this and what you can do to help us.

The Problem

Currently we procure dissertations by using the “Science History” subject heading in the Proquest Dissertations and Theses database. Unfortunately, this is a hit-or-miss method that gives us a very uneven collection. There are two main problems: Many institutions do not contribute to Proquest. And many scholars who write theses in our discipline often do not include the “Science History” subject tag in their entries.

We do not have the resources to individually find the dissertations listed in the catalogs of each institution (even though we wish we did!). This is where you and Zotero come in.

What We Want from You

We are looking for two kinds of contributors. (1) Graduates who simply want to add their own dissertation—if so, click on the “add my dissertation” link above—and (2) representatives of programs who can help us collect all of the dissertations from their program.

To help us collect dissertations, we will coordinate with you. Please email us at isisbibliography[at]gmail[dot]com so that we can invite you to the Zotero library and get you started.

First, you will need to install the Zotero plugin for your web browser. This will let you snatch dissertation metadata from your institution’s library catalogue with the click of a button.

Anyone can contribute dissertation citations to us using our Zotero group library for dissertations, but we’ll need to give you permission. It’s easy and fast, but it might require a little editing.

Second, add citations within Zotero. You’ll need to create a folder for your institution and then add a citatation for each dissertation. Follow these simple rules to ensure a complete entry:

  • Make sure that the author, title, institution, and year are correct.
  • Be sure that you add the advisor or committee chair as one of the creators and label that person as a “contributor.”
  • Make sure the abstract is in the abstract field.
  • Finally, add any relevant subject terms.

If you need help with Zotero, we have created a tutorial for all of our editors/curators. Zotero also has amazing tutorials (but there are a lot of them, covering every aspect of its functionality so it can be overwhelming).

Why the IsisCB Needs Dissertations

It’s historiographically important. We want to capture the entire trajectory of scholarly careers to understand how intellectual interests change over time!

Dissertations are important scholarship that point to emerging disciplinary orientations, trends, and methodological frameworks! To wait for these studies to become books means sometimes waiting years. We aspire to have the Isis bibliography represent the cutting edge of the discipline.

We seek to create a genealogy of the discipline using network analysis and data visualization. Collecting data describing advisor/advisee relationships will allow us to map the interpersonal nature of expertise and discipline formation and therefore better understand the social construction of our discipline and allied fields. This project is similar to the Academic Family Tree project (and could eventually integrate with it). Unfortunately there is little data on our field in the Academic Family Tree project.

If you want to help us collect this data please email us at isisbibliography[at]gmail[dot]com so that we can invite you to the Zotero library and get you started.

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