The Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library




The Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library


This paper presents the Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library Project (YMTDL) including discussions of policy issues, project implementation and results. It also discusses how the presence of this project in one graduate school has stimulated thinking about Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) in the broader academic community The M.D. thesis at Yale, a tradition dating from 1839, has remained an essential part of the contemporary medical education curriculum. Students must create their own hypothesis, identify a faculty research mentor, develop a research protocol, be it literature review, laboratory study or clinical investigation., execute this protocol using current scientific standards and produce a printed thesis. Traditionally, print copies of the final thesis have been transferred to the Medical Library, and research results often appear in scholarly publishing. Unfortunately, locked shelving and skeletal cataloging for medical theses present barriers to access. The Office of Student Research and the Medical Library have begun to address these access barriers with this project. A repository of research findings will be available to a global audience, while respecting the student right to have their work published in high-impact peer-reviewed literature. With the Spring 2002 call for graduating medical student participation, the YMTDL Project team began processing digital copies of the theses and addressing institutional policy issues, with a goal of publicly launching the YMTDL in the early Spring of 2003 ( The technology is based on the ETD-db project at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (