June 14, 2007

ETD Uppsala conference update1

Filed under: E-Theses and ETD conference — Neil Godfrey @ 3:01 am

Notes from conference in order as writ:

Not everything in my notes included — many technical points that can be accessed on follow up online publications of the presentations are not included. Much of the following is expression of opinion and thoughts and questions, mine as well as others….

IR = “institutional repository/ies”

Susan Copeland spoke of GUIDE’s objectives, and interest in other national projects for liaising. GUIDE is also sharing webpages of infor good practice, e-theses portals, legal issues, metadata schema, toolkits involving the setting up of institutional repositories. Netherlands has done this, Italy about to.

At end of the day I had a chance to meet Susan and discuss RUBRIC doing similar things and being one of the national groups she/GUIDE is wanting to liaise with. Exchanged notes and forwarded Toolkit url.

Susan Dobratz of Germany spoke of Germany’s work on IR’s re e-theses. German law demands that authors have the option to publish online dissertations or print, so can never achieve 100% online.

Dissertations are presented by authors in MS-Word format, then transferred to an XML format for presentation purposes. Unclear how extensive this xml format is done — will have to find out more.

Germany uses XMetaDiss — metadata exchange format.

Authors are encouraged to publish online by the incentive of earning royalties. Condition: must be available in pdf and html formats.

Gerard of Netherlands spoke: Promises of Science project is the harvester comparable to our ADT Program. But Netherlands has it easy on a national level. No students do doctoral theses. All doctoral theses are research theses done by research employees with, say, a 4 year contract. Then there are Masters and Bachelors. A simple absolute 3 fold division.

I was reminded of ADT using sets to harvest theses — we are making it as simple as the Netherlands that way in effect, but the reality is more complex and this alone is going to isolate us internationally. Have been discussing this with Gerard and others here — have thoughts for what needs to be developed at repository data provider level. Will elaborate in future.

Also spoke of need to change the culture — many academics fear having their theses avail online to world — they still have work they want to derive from them before sharing. Netherlands gives them 6 months embargo for this purpose.

Mandatory policies don’t work either.

Question session:

Source of $ for royalties? Same as those for photocopying…. Stats counts….

Netherlands only harvests e-theses that are fully open access to avoid 3rd party copyright issues.

Germany — tell students to put in a link in their thesis to point to online pub article that is removed from the e version.

Netherlands — separate repository for Masters theses.

Germany — to educate authors to hold on to their copyright — provide authors with example templates to assist them doing this. templates are of copyright statements samples, worked out with law professors.


Discussions of “date” and “type” variable data in the harvest of e-theses. Recommendation was to use only the 1 date in a feed of e-theses.

Recommendation on type was to use Bachelor thesis, Master thesis, Doctoral thesis.

Recommend use of dc.contributor for supervisor.

Doctoral and theses types in Europe are as varied as they are in type in Australia.

Recommend further harmonization, research ….

I am part of group to work on application profiles to try to solve these issues.

Need to decide on policy questions, what do repositories want to include? what do users really want? how marketed, sustainability etc.

Coffee break

Only water and apples. No coffee in the coffee break.

Discussions and thoughts on above: importance of data provider level of detail for crosswalks. Are our sets for adt-research theses like Netherlands easy solution?

Text and data mining is forbidden by law in uk. Need permission attached to the deposit before this can happen.

Question of someone data mining/full text searching and then value adding — who owns the data then?

GUIDE- European group with links to NDLTD — why not get married?

Assessment of progress in last 12 months

Poor, last minute and only after several requests to populate IR’s with e-theses. So is there a need for more European coordination of networking? sufficient interest? commitment? Are “thesis” and “europe” specific enough to to justify specific action? Shouldn’t we focus on projects like DRIVER? Is there a business case?

Gerard has doubts.

Susan Copeland — but we have only just started….

In questions open to audience I introduced RUBRIC to the group and my specific interest — in particular application profiles.

Eprints and Dspace communities have developed a specific application profile for research materials……

Register for groups to follow these questions through.

Are e-theses specific enough to be separate or should they be just part of the rest of IR? Evenly split views here.

Can e-theses help carry IR’s forward rather than hold them back? Students have something to win here– their futures and careers… and unis have lots of win… 20% of uni publications are theses so e-theses are helping each uni become visible in world —

But does this mean having to treat e-theses as a separate thing in IR’s — why not just incorporate them in IR structure? Focus on IR’s … with DRIVER projects …. keep them part of the rest of the subject repository?

Library perspective: libraries are focussed on specific communities … and etd’s focus on the graduate student community. How do we handle research theses and the particular needs of this community?

My query: Is this community still going to be served at the local level of the institutions and no need for the national (ATD) approach?

Thesis by publication: has to be teh final published version available because that’s the one that is accepted. Cannot use the preprint.

A student in the US is now doing her thesis on a wiki.

Theses collections are focussed on young people who are transforming theses and learning so its important to keep them as a distinct collection?

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