Many universities and educational institutions have been moving away from paper versions of many course assignments. This not only saves the hassle of collecting, grading, and storing paper assignments, it also saves countless dollars in paper, ink, and toner every year. Digital versions of class assignments are becoming the preferred submission format, and digital dissertations are the most recent addition to the selection of digital class assignments.
Digital dissertations are just like their document counterparts except that they are submitted in digital form. This means that the digital dissertation submission occurs via email, computer disc, or other digital delivery method. The digital dissertation then has an electronically recorded delivery date and can be subsequently distributed to others.
Digital dissertations are considered more secure than their document counterparts for several reasons. The first reason, already mentioned, is that dissertations submitted via email are hard to lose. Email systems place an electronic time stamp on each email so that the exact date and time of the digital submission is recorded. This feature ensures that deadlines are met.
Digital dissertations are also convenient. A project that is submitted via email or computer disc can be easily disseminated to others on the report committee. The student who submits a digital dissertation also avoids worrying about the loss of his or her assignment. As long as an electronic copy of the report remains, it can be easily resent or duplicated.
A digital dissertation provides a college or university with the means required to submit the report for plagiarism review. Plagiarism software does not work with paper assignments. However, digital dissertations can easily be run through plagiarism software such as turnitin.com and copyscape.com.
Finally, digital dissertations are environmentally friendly. The amount of paper needed to create each version of a report for review and editing, not to mention the final submission, can be significant. Digital dissertation submission eliminates the need for paper, printer ink, and toner which, ultimately, reduces the drain on the environment that traditional project formats create.
Digital dissertations come with several other advantages, one of these being the ease with which students can edit the assignment. Gone are the days where printed pages and red pens ruled the editing process. Editing can now be done directly in the word processing program used to create the document. Editing changes can be tracked by date, editor, and can even include notes to the pupil. With all of the advantages of digital dissertations, it is easy to see why this format is likely to become the preferred way to submit a reference project.
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