Stanford University

New Stanford Electronic Dissertation Program enables CC licensing

Jane Park, January 21st, 2010

Last November, Stanford started accepting digital dissertations for the first time, allowing students to opt out of hundreds of dollars in printing and processing costs. The new program also enabled CC licensing, allowing students to make their work available under a license of their choosing. Of the 60 doctoral students who submitted their dissertations electronically, 52 went with CC licensing, choosing the CC BY-NC license. 47 doctoral theses will be displayed in their entirety in the Stanford Digital Repository. From the Stanford Report,

“The doctoral students who chose the digital route last quarter came from five of Stanford’s seven schools: Earth Sciences (1), Education (2), Medicine (7), Humanities and Sciences (15) and Engineering (35).

Gunnarsdottir’s 160-page dissertation, “Modeling the Martian Surface Using Bistatic Radar at High Incidence Angles,” honed an existing method for evaluating the roughness of the planet’s terrain – one of many factors NASA uses to select landing sites for spacecraft.

She used “The Dish,” the 150-foot diameter radio telescope located in the Stanford foothills, to beam a signal to Mars. Then she analyzed the surface echo detected by the orbiting 2001 Mars Odyssey, the NASA spacecraft carrying science experiments designed to improve understanding of the planet’s climate and geologic history.

“Our results were incorporated into the landing site selection of the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander,” said Gunnarsdottir, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Iceland in 1999, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford in 2002.”

Since the program is already in place, Stanford expects greater numbers of electronic dissertations this quarter. We hope other universities will take Stanford’s lead in enabling the CC license option for their students’ work. For past dissertations that have been CC licensed by individuals, see my post “CC Licensing Your Dissertations.” “CC licensing increases your creation’s visibility, even if by only a small margin at first. It lets current and future students access and read (and even derive, based on the specific CC license you choose) your work so that they can build and improve upon it—all the while giving credit where credit is due, namely, to you.”

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Creative Commons and Collective Intelligence / Program for the Future

Mike Linksvayer, December 5th, 2008

Monday and Tuesday next week the Program for the Future Conference celebrates the 40th anniversary of Doug Engelbart’s famous Demo, which presaged much of modern computing, in 1968 (related in some ways, see Creative Commons 1967). From the conference website:

Engelbart dreamed of technology and tools that increased our Collective Intelligence and a stunning example of how it works. Now it’s up to us to take up the challenge. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Engelbart’s astounding demo, the Program for the Future is bringing together some of the best minds in science, media, business and education — and we hope you will be among them — to explore the question: what’s next?

Monday the conference takes place at San Jose’s The Tech Museum of Innovation, Tuesday it moves to Stanford University. See the conference program for details and registration.

I’ll be speaking Tuesday on a panel about “Bootstrap Tools”. So what could Creative Commons have to do with bootstrapping collective intelligence? That’s not terminology we use every day, but a hint: I’ll probably title my slides The Commons as a Collective Intelligence Meta-Innovation. For further hints along those lines, sans futurist buzzwords, there’s good reading and viewing to be had in presentation slides by Science Commons’ John Wilbanks, e.g., Radical Sharing: Transforming Science? I’ll probably use some of his slides.

Final bit to whet your appetite, see the Engelbart Mural. A detail is below, featuring a clever CC BY-NC-SA license and attribution notice:

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