This is not really an update on the etd conference but a spinoff of thoughts from there, specifically about our Australian-Australasian situation.
We don’t need to adopt one of the theses metadata schema currently used in the US or Europe but we should develop something compatible with those while meeting our own needs.
The US ETD-MS could be seen as a minimal thesis schema, the simple dublin core with a handful of additional etd elements added. But the UKETD-DC is a much richer thesis schema. It is an application of simple DC, some DC refinements (qualified elements), and about 10 “local refinements” such as publisher.institution for the awarding institution, publisher.department for the author affiliation, and publisher.commercial for a publisher.
There is also the French schema (TEF — theses electroniques francaises) which incorporates DC, DCterms, METS, METSRIGHTS, as well as TEF thesis specific elements. Germany is revamping their html based MetaDiss into XMetaDiss to be xml based, and compatible with ETD-MS.
We should be contacting reps from GUIDE (Guiding Universities in Doctoral E-Theses) — a working group of the NDLTD focussed on European doctoral e-theses and NDLTD et al to be doing the equivalent in Australia and the ADT program.
Maybe the ADT program needs to be extended with a subbranch to look at harvesting other thesis types from repositories too?
I’m looking forward to studying the various e-thesis schema more closely with a view to Australian needs, and proposing something more concrete asap.
And not just the metadata schema — but a closer look at the multiple long term requirements for preservation and extensibility for theses in the broader Australian context.