Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thesis Nuts and Bolts: Part 2: Printing and Binding EXAMINATION COPY

Often the only time near-submitters make contact with the outside world is to ask previous submitters where they went to print and bind the thesis. So I thought I'd spell out the options.

This is very specific to Adelaide and to University of Adelaide. But hopefully some of the issues will hold true of other places.

The rules are simply that you need to provide three hard copies of the thesis for examination plus an electronic copy on a CD. They recommend soft bound but not necessarily which type of binding.

You'll probably want a copy for yourself as well, and your supervisor(s) might want one as well. If they have to argue for you in moderating the examiner's reports, it helps for them to have a reference text.
For the final copy, you need to provide one hard bound copy and one electronic copy on a CD. (I'll discuss printing and binding the final copy in the next blog post).

There are a couple of choices.
1) Print the copies yourself and take the papers to get bound
2) Print with one service and bind with another service
3) Take the electronic file somewhere and get them to both print and bind

I printed the thesis myself. This was for two reasons. Firstly, I was having the problems I mentioned in the last post with random page breaks and printing it myself would allow me to keep an eye on it. Secondly, and most importantly, I had lots of colour in my thesis and that would've cost a fair amount to print. 

There are several considerations in printing it yourself though. If printing at home, you have to have oodles of ink and paper. There is a high chance you will run out of both. If printing on campus, do you have enough credit to print it at uni? I still did so that was fine. If using an office printer, remember you are going to be printing at least three copies of a very large document, so you are going to be majorly hogging the printer. Do consider who's going to be around and wanting to use the printer. For me, this was OK because I was printing in the evening when most had left, though my friend and I were taking turns printing.

Top tip: I wasted a ream of paper before I realised that saving the file as a pdf would display the file as it would be printed out, including any glitches. This may seem redundant; surely the print preview option does this. As I mentioned I had page breaks appearing, and there's a myriad of tiny things that only display when you print. So rather than print out several copies to check, save it as pdf, then go through it with a fine tooth comb.

Once I had printed my four copies (three to submit and one for me), I got them bound at the university's Image and Copy Centre. It only cost $8 per copy and I think the turn-around time was about an hour. A colleague had before me got copies comb bound and thermal bound to compare; her thesis was much bigger than mine, and she concluded the thermal bound was much much better. I agree with her recommendation although one caution is make sure they put a cardboard backing on it; I ended up with clear plastic on both covers and it looses some structural integrity. They did have convenient plastic CD sleeves which were handy to stick in the back (I had my corpus on a disc as an appendix). 

One of my examination copies, thermal bound

Things to be aware of: There are peak times for the Image and Copy Centre. If you're wanting anything done around the start of the semester, realise there will be thousands of course guides and reading packs being printed out. Contact them ahead of time so you know how much time to allow.

As I finished printing late one a Wednesday evening, I took the bundles of paper to Officeworks to get bound, thinking they might do a more professional job. However, it was the week before Christmas and they wouldn't be ready until the following Monday. I couldn't handle that long a wait, so took them to the ICC the next morning. So it is worth calling around various places and finding out not only how much it would cost but how long it will take.

If you are going to comb bind it, you can possibly do it yourself if you have access to a binder at an office. I did this with my honours thesis and it ended up a little wonky.

Some things to consider
Some places, like Officeworks, print black and white on one machine and colour on another. If you have a large amount of colour in your thesis, this might be an issue. One colleague had her thesis printed in black and white, then printed the colour pages herself and substituted them before getting it bound.

If you have submitted and have any tips or warning stories, please share them in the comments below!

So those are the tedious details of printing for examination. On Friday I'll publish my last post on the Thesis Nuts and Bolts by recounting the minutia of the examination copy. 

1 comment:

  1. Its been excellent information about Thesis Writing...