23 January 2009 News Releases

Free Q&A Community Helps Grad Students Discover Solutions to Common Challenges

ProQuest, the world’s preeminent dissertation publisher, has launched the first free online question and answer community designed to help graduate students navigate the complexities of graduate life.

ProQuest, the world’s preeminent dissertation publisher, has launched the first free online question and answer community designed to help graduate students navigate the complexities of graduate life.   The GradShare&Trade site creates a national forum where graduate students can share their challenges to both get advice from peers and find solutions offered by their library or graduate school.   

“Graduate life presents unique challenges and students have a real need to connect with others in similar circumstances.  They need a resource that will allow them to share worries, advice and best practices” said Samir Singh, innovation officer for ProQuest.  “As a trusted information partner in graduate research, ProQuest is uniquely positioned to deliver a solution that makes that connection happen.  Our goal with GradShare is to enrich the information environment at participating schools by extending students’ peer networks and by raising awareness of the quality solutions offered by the library and graduate school.   By supporting these connections, GradShare can help students have a more successful academic experience.”

ProQuest collaborated with The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and used feedback from more than 500 doctoral students in the development of the GradShare™ service.  The online community allows graduate students to expand their academic support network, tapping the knowledge of other students, subject experts, and professors from across the country.  Additionally, it supports their academic research needs by building ready access to authoritative information from their own library.   

GradShare™ resources offer guidance on the full breadth of the graduate experience, such as dissertation topic selection, grants and financial aid, and work-life balance. On GradShare, students can find and share advice on research, writing, publishing, job search, and other topics that help them be more effective in their work.  The Get Answers section contains user-generated content that allows peer mentoring, including sharing questions, answers and bookmarks.  Visitors can browse for answers to their questions by academic field, stage of study, and topic area.   The Expert Advice section provides explanations and insights relating to graduate school topics from experienced professionals such as faculty members and administrators.

“The Council of Graduate Schools was delighted to work with ProQuest as they developed this resource,” said Debra Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools.  “More and more, universities are coming to see that students provide valuable mentoring to their peers.  At the same time, web tools for social networking are evolving to serve the professional needs of scholars and researchers. GradShare harnesses the power of both these trends in an online environment by connecting PhD students to peers in their discipline and to valuable resources at their university and, more broadly, on doctoral education. GradShare has the potential to be of great value to students in pursuit of a Ph.D.”

“We are eager to see doctoral candidates put GradShare to work,” said Marty Kahn, CEO of ProQuest.  “It’s an example not only of ProQuest user-driven technology and a valued partnership with CGS,  but also our support for those doing and encouraging graduate research.  Their success means constant new contribution to the scholarly record, of benefit to all.”

The GradShare™ site is now publicly available after extensive beta testing at leading academic institutions. 

ProQuest invites graduate students to sign-up at www.gradshare.com.  ProQuest also invites academic deans to participate in the service to allow their graduate students to discover resources available at their institutions.  Academic institutions that wish to enroll or obtain more information should visit http://www.gradshare.com/school_signup.html .

About ProQuest
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.

More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.

For more information, visit www.proquest.com or the ProQuest parent company website, www.cig.com.