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The Thompson Library Blog

Digitized Graduate Works Download Report 2020

by Liz Svoboda on 2021-02-15T10:32:00-05:00 in Scholarly Publishing & Activity | Comments

It's time for our yearly usage report of UM-Flint graduate students' digitized final capstone projects, theses, and dissertations. Over the past few years, we have been able to track works uploaded to Deep Blue (the University of Michigan’s repository of scholarly work), and in 2020 we also gained access to some statistics from Proquest's Dissertations & Theses Global, which is one of the largest databases of graduate works in the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the year’s statistics from Deep Blue. The following data includes all uploaded works as of December 2020 and all downloads that occurred in 2020.

  • Works added in 2020: 24
  • Total number works in collection: 814
  • Total number of open access works: 377 (46% of collection)
  • Total number of works accessible only on UM campuses: 437 (54% of collection)
  • Works downloaded at least once: 404 (50%)
  • Open access works downloaded at least once: 367 (97% of OA works)
  • Works accessible only on UM campuses downloaded at least once: 37 (8% of on campus works)
  • Total downloads: 76,505
  • Open access downloads: 76,398 (99.9%)
  • On campus downloads: 107 (0.1%)

2020 saw a significant drop in the amount of usage compared to 2018 and 2019. We imagine that the pandemic had some effect, based on the falling usage in the later months of 2019 that continued into 2020.

Total Downloads 2016 - 2020 (bar graph): 3,226 in 2016, 23,267 in 2017, 87,835 in 2018, 110,881 in 2019, 76,505 in 2020


Monthly Downloads 2016 - 2020 (line graph, no values listed)


The next graph shows the comparative percentages of downloads according to each program. Liberal Studies and Public Administration are the oldest programs and have more works associated with their programs (214 and 247, respectively), meaning they had more of a chance to earn downloads. Incredibly, Computer Science's eleven works gained over 11,000 downloads last year with the majority attributed to a single thesis. 

2020 Downloads by Program (pie chart): Anesthesia 16%, Arts Administration 0.5%, Biology 2.5%, Chemistry 0%, Computer Science 15%, Education 3.5 %, English 0.3%, Health Education 1.5%, Liberal Studies 37%, Nursing 4.5%, Physical Therapy 0.2%, Public Administration 14%, Public Health 2.5%, Social Studies 1.5%


Top 10 Works Downloaded from Deep Blue in 2020

Title Author Year Program Downloads
Classification: Absolutism vs Relativism Darren Weist 2016 Computer Science 10,360
The Cult of True Womanhood: Women of the Mid-nineteenth Century and Their Assigned Roles as Reflected in Contemporary Writing Laurie Bonventre 2005 Liberal Studies 8,924
A Study of Employee Engagement, Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention of Michigan CRNAs Donna Carnahan 2013 Nurse Anesthesia 6,752
Is There a Relationship Between Class Size and Student Achievement? Mary Lou Ruggles 2003 Public Administration 4,038
Comparing Public and Private Prison Systems Joseph Shannon Gregson 2000 Public Administration 3,578
Faces of Feminism: The Gibson Girl and the Held Flapper in Early Twentieth Century Mass Culture Raina-Joy Palso 2001 Liberal Studies 2,499
The Development of a Post Anesthesia Care Unit Patient Quantitative Assessment/Predictive Tool to Manage Post-Operative Health Alterations Robin E. Cook 2017 Nurse Anesthesia 1,767
Impact of the French Fur Trade on the Lives of Native Women in the Great Lakes Region During the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries Deborah Snow 1999 Liberal Studies 1,530
A Captive Care Guide, Teaching Curriculum and Animal Care References for Amphibians and Reptiles in a Secondary Education Classroom Erin Harris 2011 Biology 1,241
Health Perceptions and Health Behaviors in the Elderly Age 65 and Older Deborah Fenner 2002 Nursing 1,180


Now for the retrieval data we have from Proquest's Dissertations & Theses Global, PDTG is a database that many colleges and universities subscribe to and most of the content is not openly accessible. The following data includes all uploaded works as of December 2020 and all retrievals that occurred in 2020. The usage data we have from Proquest differs from the data we get from Deep Blue, but we've given as close a comparison as possible.

  • Works added in 2020: 17
  • Total number works: 754
  • Total number of full text works: 384 (51%)
  • Total number of citation only works: 370 (49%)
  • Total retrievals: 4,132
  • Total full text PDF retrievals: 2,334
  • Total PDF preview retrievals: 253
  • Total citation/abstract retrievals: 1,399

All Retrievals 2016 - 2020 (bar graph): 1,254 in 2016, 2,344 in 2017, 4,391 in 2018, 4,514 in 2019, and 4,132 in 2020


Top 50 Subjects Retrieved from PDTG in 2020

Circle-packing chart with top 50 subjects retrieved in 2020: top subjects include nursing, health education, medicine, educational leadership, health care management, and American studies


Top 10 Countries Retrieving Work from PDTG in 2020

Country/Area Retrievals
United States 2,175
Australia 329
Canada 242
United Kingdom 240
China 157
Turkey 137
Malaysia 98
Thailand 88
Egypt 86
Taiwan 54


Top 10 Works Retrieved from PDTG in 2020

Title Author Year Program Retrievals
Bedside Shift Report: A Way to Improve Patient Safety Japari Gadzama 2017 Public Health 158
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Implementation and Student Problem Behaviors: A Correlational Analysis Amy Henry 2018 Education 96
The Development of a Post Anesthesia Care Unit Patient Quantitative Assessment/Predictive Tool to Manage Post-Operative Health Alterations Robin Cook 2017 Nurse Anesthesia 96
A Study of Employee Engagement, Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention of Michigan CRNAs Donna Carnahan 2013 Nurse Anesthesia 95
A Comparison of Teaching Methods Based on Kolb Learning Styles in a Nurse Anesthesia Program Linda McDonald 2016 Nurse Anesthesia 93
Technology in Museums: New Tools for Traditional Goals Kerry Bellinger 2018 Arts Administration 80
Affirmative Action in the New Millennium: Can Diversity be Achieved Without It: An Analysis on Abolishing Affirmative Action in College and University  Adrian R. Jones 2000 Public Administration 68
Toward Informed News Media Consumption: Avoiding Fake News via Labelling of Online Content Jay Strong 2020 Computer Science 67
The Hidden Truthiness: The Unexpected Effects of Late-Night Television Comedy and Satire On American Politics and Culture Jody Kay Skonieczny 2017 Liberal Studies 58
Gaining Efficiency and Reducing Cost: The Re-design of a Preoperative Screening Clinic Timothy Flint 2016 Nurse Anesthesia 56

If you have any questions about depositing your graduate work please see our FAQ or contact Liz Svoboda at

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