Arthur Belanger, Charles J. Greenberg, Gillian Mayman: The Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library
In the spring of 2002 the Head Reference Librarian at the Medical Library, Charles Greenberg, initiated a dialogue with the Director of Medical Student Research, in order to share the prediction of print obsolescence. The Student Research Director, John Forest, Jr., M.D., reiterated his determination that a student thesis is part of an increasingly interconnected world of scientific knowledge and a rich source of inspiration for future researchers and students. The most formidable inhibition the Dr. Forest felt was the continued presence of the Ingelfinger thinking.
In the late 1960‘s, under the editorship of Franz Ingelfinger, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) adopted a policy of declining to review or publish research that had been previously published elsewhere, seeking to protect the health of the public from non-peer reviewed research news prematurely distributed to the popular press. Other biomedical journals followed the lead of the NEJM. Why would any medical student or advisor intending to submit their research to a prestigious journal risk a rejection because of a prior ETD edition?
Mr. Greenberg related the recent history of open archiving initiatives. He also described how ETD implementations could allow student authors to either suppress access to the electronic thesis for a specified time period or limit access to the institutional campus. With assurance that such reasonable publishing delays and controls could be implemented, the Director of Student Research agreed to co-direct the pilot project and approved an immediate request for graduating student voluntary participation in the Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library (YMTDL) in March 2002, less than two months before the thesis submission deadline for the next graduating class.
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