Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?
The OP mentioned that getting copies of dissertations is difficult. Let me provide some more background on the problem.
First, the copyright is not the issue so much as the language concerning copying and distribution of the dissertation.University libraries almost always have copies of dissertations (theses are different), but the lack of clear language or law regarding copies makes them extremely reluctant to copy them.
Even if they will make arrangements for duplication there are often other hurdles. Most universities use ProQuest (UMI) who microfilms and sells copies for ~$50. Unfortunately, these are extremely low quality black and white reproductions that are often unsuitable for research. Often I end up having to order a copy from ProQuest, then go back to the university and ask them to make better copies of all the images and plates.
Universities that do not use ProQuest have a large range of policies. Some will simply not make copies (Stanford). Others will make copies only after getting permission in writing from the author (University of Michigan). Still others will make copies, but only at a high cost (~$1100 in one case from a certain public university in Colorado).
Finally, there are some cases where the university will neither copy or lend a dissertation, so your only option is to travel there to read it.
Feel free to reply if you have any questions about the process as I have learned far more about it than I ever wanted to.
Electronic Health Records Now In All US Military Hospitals
Five years ago I had the opportunity to experience the military hospital system when I broke several bones. The entirety of the treatment program (about a dozen doctor visits plus about thirty physical therapy visits) resulted in only a dozen pages of scribbles (~10 words to each page) from the doctor visits plus the intake paperwork (~4 pages). There were no records of the physical therapy sessions (PS: The VA has refused to cover the injury citing a lack of documentation!)
Compare this to the civilian care I received a few months later for the same injury which had complete descriptions and detailed records of every visit.
So unless there have been radical changes in staff and their practices, all you will end up with is junk in electronic form instead of on paper.
Tide of International Science Moving Against US, EU
A major part of my job is tracking down research that has been done on various topics and passing it along to a user. Every time I do a search for one of my users I use about 30 different databases (ScienceDirect, Worldcat, Google Scholar, etc.). What can I use for Chinese journals? Yes, there are a few databases (whose names I can't recall off the top of my head), but they are extremely limited. I don't have the sorting and filtering abilities I do with other databases. Oftentimes the title and abstract are translated to English but the abstract is no more than three sentences. For comparison, most of the journals in my field from say Germany are also fully translated (often side-by-side) into English.
In short, if I can't find it I can't pass it along to my users for their evaluation. For those that do make it to my users, most will be dismissed as useless.
Air Force One Flyby Causes Brief Panic In NYC
Am I the only one disturbed by comments like this? It has been almost eight years now and many people are acting like it happened yesterday. Clinging to what happened that day to form your identity and world outlook eight years later would seem to point to severe psychological issues to me.
Woman Admits Sending $400K To Nigerian Scammer
"For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted."
Slashdot is not exactly going to be a sympathetic crowd here. What we have is an intelligent person who ignored every single bit of advice from a multitude of sources in favor of outright greed. So now she wants to warn people, but is it really going to do any good? She clearly would have ignored the advice she is now giving.