The Electronic Dissertation: A less radical approach

Andre Costopoulos

4830 Papineau, Montreal, Canada, H2H 1V. or

Cite this as: A. Costopoulos 1999 'The Electronic Dissertation: A less radical approach', Internet Archaeology 6.


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Cornelius Holtorf's article in Internet Archaeology, Issue 6 (1999) is a strident call for a radical application of hypermedia techniques to archaeological publishing. Like Holtorf, I recently produced and submitted a Ph.D. dissertation on electronic medium entitled Simulation and Modelling for Anthropological Archaeology (Costopoulos, 1999). My experience of the process, however, was quite different from Holtorf's. While his work concentrates on the hypertextuality of electronic media, mine tends to show the advantages of mass storage and easy access which are inherent to the media. My dissertation is a quite traditionally linear text which is intended to be read sequentially.

My effort points, however, to the possibility of including non-textual documents and massive amounts of raw data in an academic publication. I was able to include in my dissertation a working version of my simulation as well as 150 000 pages of simulated data on which the analysis was based. These would clearly have had to be left out of a strictly paper document. In response to Holtorf, I am offering up a short account of the production and submission of my CD dissertation, concentrating on the differences and similarities between the processes we experienced as well as the approaches we used. I plan to present electronic publishing as a natural development of the communication of scientific results rather than as a hypertext revolution.

Holtorf's response

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Costopoulos, Andre, 1999, Simulation and Modelling for Anthropological Archaeology, Ph.D. dissertation held at the University of Oulu (Finland), archaeology unit.

Holtorf, C (1999) Is History going to be on my side? On the experience of writing and submitting a hypermedia Ph.D. thesis Internet Archaeology 6



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