Breakout Session Abstracts
Practical Solutions for Workflows, Training and Systems
ETDs, IRs and open access: the case of small and medium size academic institutions
Objective: This presentation focuses on some of the specific issues facing small and medium size institutions which are planning to introduce, having to maintain, or aiming to develop institutional repositories containing ETDs. It considers the potential difficulties facing these institutions and the ways in which they can take advantage of the opportunities open to them to ensure that their scholarly output is as accessible as that of larger research-oriented universities.
Methods: The presenters consider the results of recent studies including the findings of parallel surveys undertaken in the US and in the UK in 2007 and the JISC funded ‘EMBED’ project in the UK which concludes in 2009.
Results: The presentation provides an overview of a wide range of relevant issues but focuses, in particular on questions such as: whether small/medium size institutions have the expertise and staffing complement to start and maintain IRs and supporting ETD initiatives; how resource constraints affect and dictate the design and operation of IRs, ETD initiatives, and specific tasks such as the assignment metadata; whether open source software supports their needs, and whether researchers at such organizations can find ETDs from other institutions effectively.
Conclusions: Small and medium sized institutions have unique challenges to contend with in relation to the creation of IRs and the processing of the content to be contained within them. Much ‘good practice’ associated with ETDs exists however, small and medium size institutions have to find ways to select from, and adapt, this to fit the resources they have available. This presentation demonstrates that even with financial, personnel and time constraints, it is possible for smaller institutions to place their academic programs in the best possible light and to ensure that their ETDs, and associated research output, are well publicized.
At West Virginia University, we have been presenting face to face workshops, seminars, and help clinics since 1998 when we started our campus electronic thesis and dissertation program. To attempt to meet the needs of those students who have left campus or whose schedules preclude their attendance at live events, we posted our workshop handouts, PowerPoint files, and helpful hint articles online as Adobe PDF files. In recent years, we have started to create more animated materials for our training efforts using Adobe Captivate software. We have now expanded our online training materials for our ETD training program to include demonstrations and simulation exercises on how to create and modify Adobe PDF files along with other ETD program topics. We have recently started investigating the use of Adobe Presenter software as a possible way of enhancing our PowerPoint lectures for online delivery. In addition to summarizing WVU’s training material experiences at WVU, this presentation will discuss practical Adobe Captivate tips for creating and editing online demonstrations that are attractive and accessible, while still minimizing final file sizes where possible.
After eleven years, West Virginia University migrated from its homegrown eIDR ETD system to a new ExLibris DigiTool system named WVU Scholar. This presentation will briefly discuss WVU’s procedures for ETD cataloging in the MARC format for the OCLC Connexion and ExLibris Voyager systems. It will illustrate how we merged the existing eIDR data with the corresponding Voyager bibliographic MARC data to create an improved record in the new WVU Scholar system. With this migration, the way in which WVU catalogs ETDs underwent a major change in established procedures, and required learning new ways to create and edit bibliographic records in WVU Scholar.
ETDs were for many years a unique type of scholarly document, representing the first scholarly work of an aspiring academic/researcher. Indeed they were unique, constituting a peculiar category of published/non-published materials, accessible until 10 or 15 years ago largely only through meticulous combing of Dissertation Abstracts. Online databases and the ETD movement changed that, interestingly enough at the same time as ETDs began to become a true multi-media phenomenon. Academic institutions are still moving toward requiring universal electronic submission and dealing with issues of open vs. restricted access. At the same time, though, ETDs represent a vanguard of a much larger area of “grey scholarship”, with institutions now “publishing” both undergraduate honors theses and master’s theses, all now being united under the big tent of an Institutional Repository (IR).
A large and growing number of institutions have chosen to do so using the Ex Libris DigiTool platform, with impressive results: theses stored in DigiTool now total more than 27,000 (a very partial count), and with larger numbers of faculty papers and several thousand undergraduate honors papers being represented as well. It is now clear that ETDs are now an integral part of a larger body of mainstreamed institutional research. At the same time, they are also searchable and therefore deliverable on the basis of full-text, with access controls as deemed appropriate institutionally, and also optionally open to Google (etc.) for harvesting and discovery. In the bigger picture ETDs are moving from a small silo to a big universe.
Come join us as we take a tour a number of important DigiTool ETD sites, including Boston College, Colorado State University, Florida State University, McGill University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Melbourne, University of Porto, University of South Florida, and West Virginia University.
Journeys from Obscurity to Visiblity
ETDs in Lock-Down: Trends, Analyses and Faculty Perspectives on ETD Embargoes
Objective/Purpose: The purpose of this research is to track trends among academic departments requesting ETD embargoes, gain insight into faculty perspectives on publicly available ETDs, ascertain reasons for approving embargo requests, and identify strategies for educating faculty about embargoes.
Methodology: Since September 2006, graduate students at the University of Maryland have had the option of restricting access to their ETD in the university’s digital repository for either a one- or six-year period. Embargo requests must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor and submitted to the Graduate School prior to uploading the ETD at the end of each semester. Statistics and trends on embargo requests were analyzed for each academic department and faculty advisors were surveyed to determine reasons for approving embargo requests.
Preliminary Results: Since the beginning of the program, an average of 32% of the ETDs that have been submitted each semester have been embargoed. While Engineering has the largest number of embargoes (148), Chemical and Life Sciences has the greatest percentage (53%), followed closely by Agriculture and Natural Resources (52%) and Business (47%). The faculty survey results are pending and will be presented at the conference.
Conclusions/Recommendations: While the percentage of embargoes has remained relatively constant each semester, our goal is to decrease the number of embargoes by educating faculty and students on the benefits of making their research widely available. We are working with the Graduate School and library faculty to develop a scholarly communications program that not only educates faculty and graduate students about the consequences of embargoes, but also makes them more aware of open access issues in general. In addition, we will share best practices for implementing embargoes for institutions planning to add ETDs to their digital repository.
The road to Open Access passes by authors’ rights and by the compliance to the legal rights they may have in different nations. In order to enhance Open Access to ETDs, it is necessary to address the issue of how authors behave concerning their theses and dissertations.
PUC-Rio’s ETD program began in 2000 and in August 2002 ETDs became mandatory. Though PUC-Rio is a small university when compared to the Brazilian public institutions, the number of ETDs is over 4,300; between 500 and 600 new ETDs are published every year.
The team that works in the ETD program has observed that restricted ETDs have always been presented. But there never has been a study on the profile of restrictions.
The team decided to analyze restricted ETDs published in 2005 - 2009. Information was gathered from the digital library system. All ETDs with any type of restriction were identified (year, level, graduate program, supervisor, time and reason of restriction). The numbers of ETDs published each year also examined.
The types of analysis being performed are:
When proper, time-series are drawn.
Once the results are computed, the Dean of Graduate studies will be informed. According to the results, the authors will suggest action(s) to increase Open Access. The authors will try to find similar analysis in other institutions and/or countries to compare the university’s culture with other cultures.
Objective: the purpose of the project or development activity being described – study of change and no change with the university ETDs
Methods: the way in which the project or development activity was undertaken – internet information which is official.
Results: the key results of the project or development activity successes and lessons learned will be explored in the presentation as well as the conclusion.
Abstract: Managing program requirements for the present while preparing for the future is the goal of every university graduate student, faculty member, and administrator, in particular the importance of developing a strong relationship with ones university. No matter the role, one constantly seeks to have a scalable, sustainable, and professional program to unlock university resources for students. The university studied here seeks to create a disciplined culture of excellence that generates intellectual excitement, transforms lives, and develops leaders. Graduate students are empowered to develop as a scholar and future researcher while still working on their degree by involvement with ETDs. Some works will be “plain vanilla,” in color, graphics, images, animation, video, audio or in any combinations of the new technologies. This presentation is based on a five-year end bench marked comparative study of no change, change, and adjustments to a paper written by Ursula Goldsmith in August 2002 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (LSU is the flagship university for Louisiana, supporting land, sea, and space grant research). The dissertation “Perceptions of Active Graduate Faculty at a Research Extensive University Regarding Electronic Submission of Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)” is available online at http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-0709102-111850/unrestricted/Goldsmith_dis.pdf.
This dissertation presented statistics across many disciplines. This presentation is a follow-up to the study based on data collected Sept 2007; the final date and closing time for signing up for classes and was posted on the Internet. The data was collected September 10, 2007, five years after the original study whose data had been collected September 8, 2002. Changes occurred in the liberal arts and the school of veterinary sciences. This is an important study never done before and is unique in what it has shown in the change or no change to steering the flagship.
Since the Cybermetrics Labs in Madrid (Spain) started its “Ranking Web of World Repositories” Humboldt-University-Berlin’s institutional Repository, the edoc-Server, was consistently among the top 20 in the list. This results from a systematic development through the various efforts of our special “Electronic Publishing Group”. This group embodies an active collaboration between the University Library and the University’s Computer and Media Service.
These activities started in 1997 with the aim of collecting theses and dissertations electronically. In Germany doctoral theses must be published and we were one of the first German universities to offer to do this electronically. Today we have more than 3,500 doctoral theses in electronic form, which represents about 35% of all theses written during a year. During my presentation I will give an overview of our activities both at Humboldt-University and in Germany, where the German National Library has more than 40,000 doctoral theses. The author of this article is a member of “Dissertation Online”, acts as an advisory board for electronic theses and dissertations in Germany.
We began with doctoral theses but today we have many different types of material in our repository, totaling about 10,000 documents. These include electronic journals from fields at the university such as mathematics, history, Baltic sea studies and so on. We have a lot of research reports, post-print publications and conference proceedings.
A point of special interest is the open access publications of the Humboldt-scholars. More than one hundred authors have published their articles in our repository. In order to achieve these results we organized numerous events at the university, held discussions with the scholars, and used special student seminars to support scholars interested in publishing electronically.
The activities of Humboldt-University’s electronic publishing group are part of a common German initiative, which is coordinated in most cases by DINI (the German Initiative for Networked Information). During the presentation I intend to report about the “Network for Open Access Repositories” project and a related project, “Statistics about Open Access Repositories”, in which the author is also involved.
The objective of this paper is to highlight the potential of Institutional Repositories in enhancing access to local content in developing countries. It is a case study of the IR at the University of Zimbabwe Library.
The paper first gives a definition of Institutional Repository (IR). It then explains how the IR at the University of Zimbabwe was created. The paper then details strategies that were used to market the IR project to the UZ community in order to have access to research from the ten faculties. A website for the IR (http://ir.uz.ac.zw) was set up and communities were created.
The paper then details marketing strategies that were used to ensure that the IR was fully utilized by the UZ community. The paper ends by exploring future global strategies like Open Access initiatives in ensuring dissemination and access of information from the UZ IR.
Through the leadership of the then University of Zimbabwe Librarian, Dr. Mbambo-Thata, University of Zimbabwe Library embarked on a number of digital initiatives in 2002. Through her discussions and readings in the field of Librarianship, there was an indication that Africa was always downloading from the Internet and very little on the uploading side.
The University of Zimbabwe Library, therefore, embarked on building local databases to enhance access to local information and grey literature. Furthermore, the unavailability of foreign currency to subscribe to foreign journals, rendered local content published elsewhere inaccessible. A related factor was the increased intake of students, which by 2004 had increased to 12 000 students, rendering print copies inaccessible. Mechanism for enhancing multiple access had to be developed.
The library saw the need to make the outputs of local research more accessible to students, researchers and scholars through the creation of Institutional Repository and digital collections of its research output. With willing partners Eifel.net, INASP and OSI, the University of Zimbabwe libraries embarked on setting up an Institutional Repository.
The result was that, establishment of Institutional Repository enhanced the visibility and impact of the University of Zimbabwe’s research output, enhanced students access to information produced at the university and enhanced the sharing and networking of UZ scholars with other scholars in the global learning and research community.
Our future plans are to continue enhancing the University of Zimbabwe IR. This will be achieved by attending conferences, workshops on IR and keeping in touch with what is happening in the field. Issues of Open Access will also be looked into.
Efficiencies & Lessons Learned
Jump Starting an ETD Program: Review of Tools and Lessons Learned
Objectives: Launching an ETD project can appear to be a daunting task. Convincing stakeholders to move from paper to ETD is but one of the many challenges that must be overcome. Often the library is faced with new questions that must be answered, in addition to forging a new working relationship with the graduate school. Questions such as how to deposit the ETD in the local repository, how to obtain author permission and whether to accept multimedia submissions are but a few of the issues to resolve.
Methods: This session will provide a case study of one university and their journey to ETDs. We invite you to join us for a discussion of the various issues a university should consider when setting up an ETD program.
Results: The presentation will cover a review of the online systems available for supporting submission of ETDS, as well as Alabama’s development of an ETD program.
Conclusions: Lessons learned will be conveyed with the hope that Alabama’s experience will allow others to move forward smoothly in beginning the ETD process.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to describe the University at Albany’s transition from paper to digital dissertation submission using the ProQuest UMI ETD system. Specifically, this paper will address the various actors that were affected by the change and will explore their concerns and issues which were not anticipated by the persons responsible for the implementation.
The University is a public research extensive institution located in New York State’s capital city. Offering over 100 graduate programs, the University receives dissertation submissions from various programmatic areas including public health, education, nanoscale science and engineering as well as the arts and sciences. Due to the University’s diverse academic, student and faculty populations, there are a large number of stakeholders affected by any type of changes made within doctoral education.
Methods: This paper is a narrative case study of the University’s experience while transitioning from paper/hard copy dissertation submissions to the use of ETD. Written and oral communication involving stakeholders will be discussed in addition to interviews and personal accounts of the staff responsible for the implementation.
Results: During the transition, unanticipated concerns over the use of ETD were communicated by students, advisors, academic departments, administration and library staff. The scope of the issues ranged from decreased University income, accessibility of the research publications, formatting issues and policy and procedural changes.
Conclusions: Although the use of ETD is beneficial to both the students and the University, it does have an impact on other University constituents. There were unforeseen implications for members of the University that have to be addressed before the full transition to ETD can be completed. As a result, the University will allow both paper and ETD submission of dissertations until all issues can be resolved.
The University of Waterloo’s academic integrity module for graduate students provides information about the principles of academic integrity and offers techniques to meet the challenges faced by graduate students in adhering to these principles. Created under the direction of UW’s Office of Academic Integrity, the module is an interactive, multi-media, open access web site. With an anticipated activation date of July 2009, the module will be a primary source of information for new and continuing graduate students across all disciplines on campus.
This presentation will discuss the elements of this module that are of particular relevance to the graduate student as he or she prepares an ETD. The increasing quantity of information easily accessible to researchers poses unprecedented challenges for the graduate student who is committed to the principles of academic integrity. Organizational techniques and strategies can be utilized to help control the risk of unintentional violations. To meet high standards of scholarship in this electronic environment, graduate students need to be able to recognize what constitutes a violation of academic integrity and must be equipped with tools and skills to avert unintentional violations.
This presentation will describe scenarios that illustrate the challenges faced by the ETD author as he or she strives for ethical scholarship. Techniques to support commitment to academic integrity will be outlined.
Objective: Develop low-cost, efficient processes for processing ETDs, generating quality metadata, and maximizing access.
Results and conclusion: By working cooperatively with the Graduate School and capitalizing on student-generated metadata, the Library has gained significant time and cost savings compared to handling paper theses and dissertations. This approach has led to decreased processing time and yielded greater exposure for students’ research.
Repository Innovation And Preservation
ETD Management in DSpace: A Report from the Texas ETD Repository Project
The Texas Digital Library (TDL) is a consortium of public and private educational institutions from across the state of Texas. Founded in 2005, TDL exists to promote the scholarly activities of its members. One such activity is the collection and dissemination of ETDs. A federated collection of ETDs from multiple institutions was created in 2006, and has since grown into an all-encompassing ETD Repository project that is partially supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS). This project seeks to address the full life-cycle of ETDs, providing tools and services from the point of ingestion, through the review process, and finally to dissemination in the centrally federated repository.
A primary component of this project was the development of Vireo, a web application for ETD submittal and management. Built directly into the DSpace repository, Vireo provides a customized submission process for students, and a rich, “”Web-2.0”” style management interface for graduate and library staff. Because it is built directly in the DSpace repository, scalability is possible from a single department or college up to a multiple-institution consortium.
In 2008, we reported the results of a demonstrator system that took place at Texas A&M University. Vireo has replaced the legacy application and is now the single point of entry for all theses and dissertations at that university. Rollout to other schools will follow a gradual, phased approach. This paper examines the challenges faced as Texas A&M transitioned to a new ETD management system, and the architectural issues involved with scaling such a system to a statewide consortium. Finally, it will discuss the application’s release to the ETD community under an open-source license.
In June 2007, dozens of dissertations were lost en route from Boston College (BC) to ProQuest (PQ). From then on, we have shipped no more paper. Today, an online submission system provides electronic copies to both ProQuest and to BC’s Open Access repository. This presentation recounts what was required to make eTD@BC a reality.
BC graduate students used to submit two paper copies of their theses: one for the Archives, the other for shipping to PQ. This workflow had to change. Theses would be digitized in-house; PDFs would be uploaded. Information that students had filled in on their PQ forms would be entered manually. This workflow was labor intensive; clearly, an online submission system was needed as soon as possible.
In late 2007, a working group of library staff was formed to plan a staged transition that would ensure both preservation and access, to specify the transition stages and their timing, to allay concerns of faculty or deans, and to safeguard the integrity of the system. Importantly, we needed to educate our stakeholders regarding the benefits of an online submission system, especially when coupled with Open Access.
Starting off with an environmental scan of other universities’ ETD programs as guidance for our planning, we also began taking measures to improve the workflow, such as asking for theses on CD-R. Administrators in BC’s six schools were invited to collaborate with us. With the plan taking shape, we solicited feedback from faculty and school administrators. Concerns ranging from the very general to the very specific had to be addressed.
We are now conducting a new and improved set of eTD@BC workshops to help graduate students succeed in their online submission. While not without challenges, online ETD submission is becoming the norm at BC. Distributed digital preservation is our next step.
and Distributed Preservation Networks
ETD repositories often start with very idiosyncratic and ad-hoc beginning data storage structures, driven by exigencies associated with creating an effective electronic workflow for accepting and securely storing digital copies of theses and dissertations as either a replacement or supplement to parallel workflows for print copies. ETD repositories also tend to grow in an effectively unbounded manner over time. Much like the story of the wobbling Calf-Path in the poem by Sam Walter Foss, these early idiosyncrasies and unbounded growth can subsequently cause enormous problems in systematic efforts to digitally preserve content of growing collections. The most effective preservation strategies incorporate pre-coordinated replication of content in distributed and secure locations; such replication strategies become increasingly difficult when the content is stored using irregular practices in directory structures, metadata, and file naming conventions.
This paper will address “Calf-Path” problems by providing practical guidelines, suggestions, and recommendations for ETD repositories. These recommendations are informed by five years of experience in operating the MetaArchive Cooperative, a distributed digital preservation cooperative of cultural memory organizations which has grappled with standardizing transfer mechanisms and developed cost/effective strategies for distributed preservation of ETDs based on the LOCKSS open source software. In the course of the past six years the members of the MetaArchive Cooperative have identified a series of best practices for digital preservation readiness. These best practices can benefit start-up programs which have not yet established regular procedures and standards for directory structures, metadata, and file naming conventions. This paper will document relatively simple principles and guidelines for such programs that can greatly improve the subsequent likelihood of implementing successful distributed digital preservation programs.
The process of development of a product involves innumerous activities and transactions, spread across a wide array of fields, departments, people etc. Right from the requirements of the customer, conceptualization of the design to manufacturing, there is an exchange of information punctuating all the activities and transactions. One of the main problems the industry faces is the documentation of this information so that it can be used as and when required.
In the long run, most of the information is either not retrievable, or is worthless due to proprietary issues, unavailability of programs used to create it, and other common situations. Even in the scenario that all the information is available and re-usable, there is always the missing link, which might be due to the absence of a particular designer, or in most cases, the statement of purpose, and the context of the design.
This study addresses the issue of Long Term Retention of data, the documentation procedures used during the design process, and the development of context for an engineering problem. The context of an engineering design is the crux of the design process, as, it is the context that defines the problem, the different sets of solutions to that particular problem, and all the decisions taken in the life cycle of the product. Also the context unifies each decision and each detail documented in the design. Thus, Loss of context renders all the information about the product useless. The design of a Cryogenic Pressure Vessel is used as a case study to understand the process of design, the flow of information, and the role of context in the design of a product.
A cryogenic pressure vessel that is designed to be used as a case study is designed to store and supply liquid nitrogen for a superconductor application. This is complex engineering problem, as the process of design and manufacture is a plethora of activities and transactions between people from different walks of life. Using this design process as a reference to create Engineering Scenarios, we identify the flow of information through the various activities and transactions involved in the development of the product. These Engineering Scenarios also give us an idea on how the information is documented at each stage.
In the broader aspect, this project will help us identify a methodology for archiving information about engineering techniques and experiments, and be fundamental in providing guidelines to better preservation of complex engineering data. This will facilitate an environment conducive to easier and faster research on any given topic relevant to the end user.
This study is also part of wider digital preservation and archiving efforts lead by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The common mission is to ensure the long-term retention and usefulness of digital data as well as the complex relationships and contextual metadata among digital assets. West Virginia University (WVU) is among a growing number of partner institutions working with the National Archives to provide comprehensive and integrated archival standards, methodologies, systems and solutions to guarantee the preservation of the digital information that becomes part of the historic national record. Further, the WVU Libraries have offered the use of the institutional repository, “wvuScholar”, as a collaborative test bed environment for future usability studies in metadata subject and contextual analysis as well as for preservation and archiving using the application of the proposed methodologies of this study.
Inter/Intra Departmental Cooperation
Practical Solutions for Workflows, Training & Systems
Moving from a Decentralized to Centralized Model for Processing ETDs
Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, used a decentralized graduate college model for 25 years. Moving towards a centralized ETD processing model required coordinating with the library, graduate council, several graduate studies offices, and the new Graduate College. Ohio University spent two years centralizing its operations.
This included: one web site location for all forms and information regarding how to file a thesis or dissertation; one set of TAD format/layout guidelines; one location for documents to be submitted; one Word template document that can be used by all students to write a thesis or dissertation; Word training for formatting manuscripts in any writing style (APA, MLA, etc.); Thesis and Dissertation (TAD) Process Workshop for all thesis and dissertation students; a more streamlined method of Library cataloging; and future opportunity to standardize all thesis and dissertation forms for all colleges.
In this presentation Angela will discuss the challenges, processes uses to resolve conflict, and successes experienced in moving towards a centralization models for formatting manuscripts, streamlining ETD operations and procedures, and working closely with the Library to get document cataloged efficiently.
In 2006 the Honors Program at West Virginia University became The Honors College, as part of that change the formally optional Honors Thesis became a requirement for all students who wished to graduate as a University Honors Scholars. To facilitate the collection and storage of these undergraduate thesis West Virginia University Libraries collaborated with the Honors College to provide an Electronic Honors Thesis Repository (eHT).
This presentation will discuss the issues and challenges associated with this implementation, particularly issues associated with undergraduates as users of the system and the effect of a moderator (The Honors Dean) who is not a professional librarian. In addition we will discuss the unintended, but positive, consequence of the move to a digital thesis, the creation by students in the Honors College of an externally funded undergraduate academic journal.
This paper will describe the process of developing an ETD program from pilot project to mandatory ETD submission, and will discuss issues and solutions from the perspective of both the Library and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
In December 2005 the UBC Library and Faculty of Graduate Studies initiated a pilot project for ETD submission to the Library’s new electronic repository. We will discuss what we did to prepare for the pilot project, issues that arose from it, and subsequent actions.
When ETD submission opened in November 2007 we immediately got 50% of theses submitted electronically, and that percentage has increased. Theses submitted on paper are scanned to PDF and handled the same way as ETDs.
The most challenging issue was the question of archiving ETDs. We decided to discontinue the older technology of microfilm/microfiche/paper backups, and to put resources into developing a reliable system for electronic archiving. We will discuss the process that led to this decision.
Some unexpected issues arose; creative arts faculty and students did not want their theses online, and we had an increase in requests to withhold theses on the grounds that journals would not publish previously-online material. We will discuss how we resolved these issues, albeit temporarily, and what is being done to address them further.
Technical support is now available to students through a Library computer lab, and we will be proposing that electronic submission become mandatory. We will discuss the outcome of this proposal, and any procedures we develop to streamline the submission process.”
The Future of Open Access
Repository usage statistics – Can you count on them?
Objective: The objective of this paper is to describe work undertaken as part of the Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS) project to develop COUNTER compliant statistics for material contained in IRs. The initial aim of the project was just to consider journal articles but it became clear that this format limitation was an unnecessary constraint. ETDs were an obvious candidate as the need for reliable statistics pertaining to ETDs has never been greater.
Methods: The project was undertaken via a combination of desk research, survey and practical development testing. The study had some synergy with a parallel funded project entitled Embed (Embedding IR into the institutional research process) for which academic staff were already requesting data on usage statistics.
Results: A methodology for providing COUNTER compliant usage statistics to measure full-text usage in repositories has been developed. PIRUS/Embed synergy resulted in the development of a dashboard style interface to statistics. Usage statistics, stripped of robot usage have resulted in significantly lower figures but are now credible, compatible and consistent.
Conclusions: A bid for funding for the PIRUS2 has been submitted. This will expand on the work undertaken in PIRUS and will include a case study on the recently launched EThOS service. It is hoped that comparisons with other services can be developed along with a consideration of functionality to aggregate statistics for different copies of the same items within different systems. Currently the COUNTER standard relates to full-text downloads. Given that item usage may be a significant metric in terms of, for example, conversion rates (item views to full text views), one future consideration should be to consider the measurement of metadata views. Item views may also be important for researchers, institutions and funders.
Objective: The UK’s national Electronic Thesis Online Service (EThOS), launched in January 2009 and has already significantly increased access to UK theses.
The aims of the EThOS project were:
Methods: A collaborative project between a representative group of UK Higher Education Institutions and The British Library, with financial support from publicly funded bodies including the JISC, Research Libraries UK and the partners.
Conclusions: The presentation will describe the project and demonstrate the service and supporting infrastructure. We will highlight the lessons learned along the way including:
Impact of Open Access and the Research Cycle
Graduate Student’s Need Assessment and Impact on ETD Programs: Results from a Large-Scale Study
Objectives: This presentation will summarize key findings of a survey among doctoral students – PhD candidates and PhDs – about the challenges associated with this level of higher education. The survey has sought to grasp the personal, academic and administrative issues than confront doctoral students as they move through doctoral programs, and how they deal with them. By understanding issues that graduate students face, librarians and administrators can create programs, including ETD programs that take into account this group’s unique needs.
Methods: Over 600 doctoral students took part in the survey. The survey followed the process of embarking on a doctoral program through its completion.
Results: Where appropriate, the report indicates distinctions between categories of doctoral student, in particular international students versus their domestic peers, and by field of study.
Conclusions: Findings showed Candidates’ substantial concerns when embarking on doctoral programs reflect the anxiety of moving into unknown territory – both on a personal dimension and academically. Faculty and professors play the most important part in influencing student decisions on which doctoral programs to apply for. Graduate school websites and rating sources are also significant in the choice. Time management and lack of structure, support and guidance present higher challenges than other factors in carrying out doctoral studies.
Most, if not all, academic libraries collect the doctoral dissertations and master’s theses that are written by their institutions’ students, and these comprise some of their most unique and scholarly collections. With the emergence of digital libraries in the last fifteen years, it is no surprise that many librarians have viewed their collections of theses as “low-hanging fruit” to be picked for digitization and inclusion in online institutional repositories. Standardization in the thesis submission and production processes has resulted in uniformity in description and format across the body of work. Exposing structured, high-quality metadata from electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) repositories provides an opportunity to create new points of access to these collections.
In this paper, the development and application of a Search/Retrieve-via-URL (SRU) interface by the Purdue University Libraries is described that provides the capability for users and applications to remotely search and “mash-up” dissertation metadata. Provisioning the metadata as XML records allows it to be manipulated using XML Transformations (XSLT) and their presentation to be customized by the client. The results can be dynamic data-feeds that are machine-processed or XHTML web pages that are displayed to a end-user. We provide three example mash-ups that demonstrate how the SRU interface has increased the visibility and value of the collection by exposing our ETDs to be used outside of a library context for (1) recruiting newstudents, (2) helping faculty maintain their vitae, and (3) facilitating new research collaborations.
Abstract: Citation analysis provides insights into communication and professional networks amongst scholars. There is a rich body of professional knowledge on this topic dating back several decades. In the last five years, social and communications network analysis, and knowledge mapping have used similar techniques to discover a) who is communicating with whom, b) what is the nature of the message, c) what knowledge domains and nodes exist within a network, and d) attributes of the actors or nodes.
Theses and dissertations by nature provide a broad view of their respective knowledge domains. Applying more extensive network analysis and semantic analysis methods to theses and dissertations may provide insights into hubs and gaps in knowledge domains that are critical to economic development. The purpose of this research and presentation is twofold: 1) to determine whether theses and dissertations can provide high level insights into where domain knowledge is broadly concentrated and where knowledge is scarce, and 2) to determine whether economic development organizations can leverage dissertations and theses to discover new knowledge hubs in countries of interest, and expand the knowledge base of economic development work.
Methodology: Sample sets of theses and dissertations from several domains and several countries provide a base from which to draw a map of the knowledge domain. Semantic analysis methods and technologies are used to extract institutions and nodes in the sample sets. Rule based concept extraction methods are used to identify people and institutions cited in theses and dissertations. Rule based categorization methods are used to classify the knowledge domains of the theses and dissertations and the work referenced in the citations. These extractions form the base of the knowledge maps.
The DART-Europe E-theses Portal: helping the discovery of Europe’s open access
Objective: The DART-Europe E-theses Portal has been developed by UCL (University College London), on behalf of the DART-Europe partnership and LIBER, to provide a central discovery service for European e-theses. The aim was to create an OAI-PMH based service which was low maintenance, but also user-friendly, and enriched where possible to help to meet the needs both of data contributors (which may be universities, academic consortia, or national libraries) and researchers.
Methods: Data is harvested daily using the open source PKP Harvester2 software. A number of standardization and enrichment routines are applied to create a normalized copy of a subset of that data, using which search, browse and results functions are delivered. The original harvested record remains intact, and from this record the user may follow links to the full text of the thesis and download it to the desktop. These discovery services are delivered through a bespoke user interface.
Results: The Portal currently holds details of 100,000 doctoral-level, full text e-theses awarded by 180 different European institutions from 12 countries, and it continues to grow. Core search/browse features have been supplemented by search history, marked lists, download of records by email, and new content feeds. The service went into production early in 2009, and has begun to appear in academic library resource listings. Google Analytics has been implemented to provide quantitative measures of usage. New user-oriented features are being added incrementally.
Conclusions: The DART-Europe Portal shows that, despite its limitations, simple OAI Dublin Core can be employed to deliver a useful service which is more than the sum of its parts. The DART-Europe partners aimed to provide a consolidated European e-thesis discovery service for the benefit of researchers internationally, and the Portal goes a long way towards meeting that brief.
Researchers often invest a lot of time, energy, money and intellectual effort in producing knowledge in the form of scholarly articles. They forecast trends, create efficient and better working models, design systems and help to improve work and processes. To publish their intellectual works on peer-reviewed journals, they transfer their copyright to the publisher (Swan, 2006a). The goal of the authors focuses on creating a meaningful impact with their research work and in return expecting intangible gains such as peer recognition, academic rewards and promotion. In the current reader-pays publishing model it is ironic that the knowledge creator i.e. the author, “rarely benefits as the subscription fee usually remains the revenue of the publisher”(Glover, Webb & Gleghorn, 2006:197) and “academic authors are interested primarily in wide dissemination of their publications and seek no direct financial reward”( Park and Qun, 2007:57).
While the digital divide continues to widen, the disparity in access to scientific publications between the scholars from developed and developing countries also continues to expand. Open access is claimed to be one of the solutions to bring scientists on a relatively equal footing in terms of access to knowledge hence researchers in developing countries can disseminate and access scholarly knowledge. Nonetheless, the question which open access models work better for these countries and how open access can be harnessed to improve research uptake needs to be explored.
There exists no research on open access in Ethiopia. The main impetus for this research came from an observation that Ethiopian scholars in universities have lagged behind in terms of publishing their research works. This research was initiated to answer those questions by collecting evidence in Ethiopia mainly from researchers and librarians in Ethiopia.
The study looks at how open access fosters knowledge sharing and collaboration among scientists in Ethiopian universities. Articles and book chapters, news and blogs, websites and online directories are reviewed and analyzed to discuss and present the current status of the open access movement and contextualization will be made to the situation in Ethiopia. This is an ongoing master thesis that is expected to be completed in the course of April 2009.
India has over 400 university level institutions. Most of these Institutions offer Doctoral programmes in different disciplines. Over 130 theses are accepted every week for award of Doctoral degree by all these universities put together. A copy of each thesis in print format goes in to the collection of University library for preservation and future use. Systematic efforts have been made by various agencies at national level to achieve the bibliographic control of this valuable collection. The Association of Indian University publishes the list of theses accepted by the universities in India as part of it’s weekly publication ‘University News’. Consolidated lists of the same under broad disciplines are also published by this association. The Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET) has created a bibliographic database having over 2,00,000 records. The DELNET, NASSDOC and Vidyanidhi Project have also initiated work in this area and maintaining sizeable records providing bibliographic information.
During last few years, quite a good number of universities have started creating Electronic Theses and Dissertations database covering full text of theses submitted to their universities using open sources software such as DSpace and E-Prints. Some of them have formulated policies to accept the theses in e-form besides the print. The Vidyanidhi: Digital Library & E-scholarship project has already put in over 600 theses in full text. INFLIBNET proposes to facilitate the universities to undertake the work of creating ETDs. To give an impetus and direction to the efforts in this area, the University Grants Commission came out with some regulations to be followed by universities for creating ETDs and sharing the information. All this indicates that, like many other developed and developing countries, there has been a strong desire in India to make this rich, valuable and unique information contained in the theses and dissertations available for furthering the scholarship.
What the author is attempting to do in this proposed paper is to critically look at each ETD project undertaken by the universities, R&D institutions as well as national level organizations in India using certain well established parameters and present the progress made along with their future plans. This paper will also present the issues and challenges faced by these institutions in creating the ETDs, particularly, the challenge of creating ETD in Indian languages. Paper would also present certain indicators which can be used to measure the success of these ETD efforts in the country.
Institutional repositories (IR) are digital collections that capture, collect, manage, disseminate, and preserve scholarly work created by the constituent members in individual institutions. The establishment of IR in the developing countries ensures that their national research becomes mainstream and contributes on an equal footing to the global knowledge pool.
The paper presents the Indian scenario in developing the Institutional Repositories. The authors depict the main bottlenecks for setting up of IRs in various Indian institutions and come up with appropriate suggestions. Total number 33 Institutional Repositories in India have been analyzed based on selected study criteria like software used for repositories, size of the items, contents included, languages, description and Country.
Keywords: Scholarly Communication, Institutional Repository, Digital Content Management System, Open Source, Digital Library.
ETD and Open Access Developments in South Africa and the SADC region
After ten years of uncoordinated and varied approaches to electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) projects, a national framework, managed by the National Research Foundation, has now been established in South Africa for institutional repositories that will provide electronic access to full-text ETDs for the research community in South Africa and beyond. There is now general acceptance by most of the higher education institutions that there should be open access to ETDs, which will make them visible and easily accessible to potential users in and outside Africa. This will enhance access and sharing of these vital research resources on the continent and contribute to the socio-economic development of Africa. The same does not, however, hold for other forms of scholarly communication such as peer-reviewed journal articles and grey literature such as research reports, seminar and conference papers.
The paper will review ETD and open access developments to date in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. A literature search and examination of the websites of selected higher education institutions in South Africa and the SADC region will establish the extent of ETD and open access activities in the higher education institutions. This will also establish the existence or otherwise of legislative frameworks for open access in the countries of the region. The paper will conclude with recommendations on ways to foster regional collaboration in the development of institutional repositories to enable open access to research work carried out in the region.
A study of the benefits of participating into the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
The study presents the benefits that the University of Zambia Library and indeed the University of Zambia would get by participating into the NDLTD Program.To start with,it is hoped that this would be a fully NDLTD Supported Project and would thereby follow all the recommended procedures as would be prescribed by the NDLTD Board of Directors.
After implementation of the Project(NDLTD-UNZA 2010 Project),all the existing print copies of both Masters and PhD Dissertations found in the Special Collections of the University of Zambia will digitalized and posted on the World Wide Web.At the same time and in collaboration with all stakeholders(Library staff,Directorate of Postgraduate Studies,University Senate,University Administration,Computer Centre,Computer Studies,Faculties etc)in short the Highest Examination Board of the University would pass a Ruling requiring all Masters and PhD Students to submit both Electronic and Print copies of their dissertations.Also it would be a requirement for the mentioned students to attend IT classes where they would be taught how write and submit their dissertation on to the World Wide Web.
Certain members of the University would be trained and I will be one of those.Among those trained we shall have personnel to teach students and train any person interested in ETDs. It is our hope that all will progress according to the detailed plan to be written after my research by December 2009.During the Project there would be a lot of consultation between the staff on the ground and NDLTD Board of Directors and other universities in the region who already are members in the NDLTD Programs.
A year later the Project will be evaluated and a report shall be written for submission to the NDLTD Board for their action and recommendations.
In conclusion this is what we hope to accomplish at the end of the NDLTD-UNZA 2010 Project. It is certainly our hope that all will go as per plan.
Latin–America and the Caribbean include 27 countries, and have a history of over 35 years in bibliographic networking. Agricultural Information Network (AGRINTER) and Health Science Information Network (LILACS) are good
examples of such networks. The primary objective of these networking initiatives was to contribute to the information needs of the region by creating regional bibliographic databases on specific disciplines. As Information Technologies became available, these databases were lifted to a new paradigm making Open Access (OA) possible to address emerging research communication issues in the region.
BIREME, a branch of the Pan-American Health Organization is the Coordinating Center for LILACS. BIREME proposed the Virtual Health Library (VHL) concept in 1998 to the LILACS membership to create an OA platform to all research papers published in the region using modern information technologies. Since then, BIREME developed tools to facilitate a number of aspects of the research communication process. Among these, SciELO provided the “Gold Road” for journals within the membership countries.
SciELO is a platform for electronic publication of scientific journals that provides statistical indicators of usage and impact factor, archival and preservation. SciELO selects the journals it publishes on the basis of international, scientific journals evaluation criteria. This ensures quality. SciELO’s second module facilitates visibility and access to these journals via thematic and national web portals. The third module is to collaborate with all players in the international scientific communication process. SciELO now publishes 611 Journals with 200,000 articles that produced over 3.8 million citations and numbers continue to grow. SciELO is also used in a number of Spanish speaking European countries and is a representative element of the VHL on OA.
VHL concept has been accepted as Global Health Library by the World Health Organization for global use. The concept is replicable in any discipline.
Objective: This paper describes activities that were carried out in order to implement the Cybertesis style page for the producing of undergraduate and graduate digital theses by students from Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM). Methodologies developed in both institutions vary according to their respective regulations. UPC is a private university, UNMSM is a public one.
Methodology: In UPC it is mandatory for students to follow the Cybertesis style page; workshops were implemented there at all academic levels. In UNMSM, pilot workshops were conducted with researchers, faculty and senior undergraduate students up, in order to considerate the utilization of this style page.
Results: In both cases results are considered a success. In UPC the style page is now a tool used for producing digital theses and its use is considered as a requirement by the Regulations for obtaining degrees and titles. In UNMSM, pilot workshops have given their organizers the opportunity to show the need for implementing a style page, so now there exists a formal proposal presented in order to make this application a mandatory step when producing digital theses at all academic levels.