The ETDA is a thesis and dissertation database for the Pennsylvania State University Graduate School. When I stumbled upon the database, my initial take was that it would be a useful corpus to explore the depth of research from the titles, keywords and programs attributes.
As I explored further, I found this resource offers a wealth of insight into the culture of graduate research at Penn State. For prospective graduate students, it offers context into the type of research spearheaded by each department, program and professor graduation rates, and access to the full dissertations for prospective advisors.
For administrative decision-makers, it offers context into the flow of graduate students through the graduate school, the expertise diversity of external committee members, and (with a bit of work), potential cross-departmental collaborations based on shared use of resources, tools, and techniques.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about the in-depth analysis I conducted into the larger dissertation corpus. For now, enjoy a dashboard that offers fast querying into the programs, keywords, and committees affiliated with graduate research.