Classifying Australian PhD theses : linking research and library practices
Macauley, Peter D., Evans, Terry D. and Pearson, Margot 2010, Classifying Australian PhD theses : linking research and library practices, in RAILS 6 : Promoting research in the profession : Proceedings of the 2010 Research Applications in Library and Information Studies Conference, [RAILS], [Canberra, A.C.T.], pp. 1-9.
This paper draws on the findings from, and the methods and approach used, in the provision of a database of Australian PhD thesis records for the period 1987 to 2006, coded by Research Fields, Courses and Disciplines (RFCD) fields of study. The project was funded by the Research Excellence Branch of the Australian Research Council. Importantly, the project was not merely the creation of yet another database but constitutes a valuable research resource in its own right. It provides an alternative source of data about research training with a focus on research output and research capacity building rather than input as does data on enrolment. The database is significant as it can be used to track knowledge production in Australia over a twenty year period and contains approximately 54,000 bibliographic records. The database of Australian PhDs has been constructed from downloaded bibliographic records from Libraries Australia. Recommendations for practice relate to university libraries, doctoral candidates, and the coded database. We suggest that libraries are more consistent with cataloguing procedures, including the thesis ‘publication’ date, and that they are more timely in uploading their thesis records to Libraries Australia or, alternatively, Australian Research Online. We also suggest that PhD candidates code their own theses using the new ANZSRC scheme (which replaced the RFCD classification in 2008), and also use clear and communicative thesis titles and thesis abstracts. With regard to the coded database, we suggest it becomes a requirement for universities to provide the ANZSRC coding of submitted theses
Revised version published in Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 41, 1, pp 1–13
Field of Research
080706 Librarianship 130103 Higher Education
Socio Economic Objective
939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category
E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
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