Is History going to be on my side?

On the experience of writing and submitting a hypermedia Ph.D. thesis

Cornelius Holtorf

Formerly: Institutionen för arkeologi, Göteborgs universitet, Sweden.
Now: Riksantikvarieämbetet (Swedish National Heritage Board), Box 5405, 114 84 Stockholm, Sweden. cornelius.holtorf@raa.se

Cite this as: C. Holtorf 1999 'Is History going to be on my side? On the experience of writing and submitting a hypermedia Ph.D. thesis', Internet Archaeology 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.6.2

Summary

This paper outlines why and how I have used hypermedia technology and the World Wide Web in the construction of my Ph.D. thesis, how the end result compares with my initial aims and what I would do differently if I could start again. I also discuss how I persuaded my supervisor and the University of Wales to accept a doctoral thesis written in HTML and submitted on CD-Rom, and how my examiners coped before and during the viva.

There are also sections about my perspective of the problems and potentials of hypermedia writing in future archaeology. Among the most important challenges are, in my view, questions of permanent accessibility and necessary changes of reading habits. The benefits of publishing without commercial publishers, and making use of non-linear writing, expressing intertextuality, and keeping the text open-ended and thus 'alive' will become obvious when they are used more radically than is often the case now.

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