Stansbie, Lisa (2012) Establishing the Cybertextual in Practice based PhDs. In: SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses. SAGE, London, pp. 390-404. ISBN 9780857027399

This 7500 word chapter forms part of The SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses and includes Stansbie’s ‘Zeplinbend’ website PhD submission as a case study. ‘
Selected from an international Open Call for abstracts, the peer-reviewed book is the first anthology of international writing on the processes and products of ‘digital’ research.

The Chapter focuses in particular on UK based PhD study in art and design (linked to practice-based research). Tracing the historical developments of formats of submission of such doctoral study, I explore alternative approaches, with a focus on the format of the website submission, which is still in its infancy.

Using my own multi-modal practice-based submission (which exists solely online) alongside other precedents in the arts and humanities, the potential for experimental structures and access is investigated to reveal how digital submissions can offer a suitable format for multi-modal creative research, rather than traditional material based submission. The discussion includes the unique interactive processes of hyperlinking examined in relation to interactivity, proposing a differentiated approach for a reader, who then becomes an active ‘user’. Consideration is also given to how networked online PhD’s can generate greater dissemination of the research on an unprecedented scale but their immaterial form may pose complex questions of authorship, copyright and ultimately longevity in an ever-changing technological landscape. The developing considerations for institutions about the preservation of such thesis are investigated in parallel to similar research undertaken in the preservation of online digital art and literature.

Lisa Stansbie, Establishing the Cybertextual in Practice based PhDs, 2012
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