Friday, March 13, 2009

what do you want from me?

Someone at the university is very, very picky about thesis formats. This person has terribly strict ideas about what needs to be included with a thesis, and in what order, and how the pages should be numbered, and even what weight of paper it should be printed on. Unfortunately, The Picky One has not done a good job documenting these requirements, and no one else at the university seems to know whose requirements these are. The library says they are departmental requirements; the department says they are university requirements; graduate studies says they are the library's requirements ... and no one seems able to answer questions about the requirements. Fun!

For example, the library web page says I need a table of contents in my print copy. However, it says the ToC should come after all the front matter (title page, abstract, acknowledgements). Since my thesis doesn't have chapters, I wonder whether I still need a Toc, since all it would do is list the front matter that the reader would have had to page through anyway to get to the ToC, then list the page number where the thesis starts, which the reader would already be looking at if the ToC weren't there. I posed this question to the person in the library administration office, and she said she didn't know, because that was a departmental requirement, not a library requirement. Funny, since I got that information from the library's web page that lists the requirements for binding. The good news is, I have a week to get my questions about the print copy sorted out. The bad news is, the electronic submission process is more difficult and more poorly documented than the print submission process, by about an order of magnitude, and that has to be done today.


I ended up submitting it without a Table of Contents. No one seemed to care.

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