Most chemistry students choose to invoke an optional embargo period that blocks their ETDs from public access for at least two years after completion.
After final approval and expiration of any embargo, the ETDs are cataloged and deposited in the institutional repository, known as Texas Scholar Works, and are openly available thereafter.
Furthermore, as a single-author tome, the dissertation does not accurately reflect the interactive, team-oriented nature of modern scientific practice (Gould 2016).
Nevertheless, the student is expected to demonstrate mastery of the subject and its associated literature, so the dissertation's bibliography tends to be exhaustive and provides a thorough record of the student's background research, and therefore is a useful snapshot of one individual's use of the information content provided by the library.
Libraries at Ph D-granting institutions have spent significant resources on acquiring, storing, and maintaining local collections of monographic materials (commonly referred to as "books"), traditionally in print format but also more recently in digital formats.
In the STEM fields, where peer-reviewed journal literature is regarded as the primary measure of academic success, libraries have rightly focused on maximizing access to journal content while treating other forms of literature as secondary.
Doctoral theses in STEM fields are not always ideal vessels of scholarship.
They have been the target of angst, complaints, and calls for change for many years, yet they remain largely unchanged (The past, present and future of the PHD thesis 2016).
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is a large, R1 university with over 11,000 graduate students (out of 51,000 total students) and prominent graduate programs across all STEM fields.
Its highly ranked chemistry and biochemistry programs award an average of 36 Ph D degrees per year.