June 29, 2007

ETD Uppsala conference update 7

Filed under: E-Theses and ETD conference — Neil Godfrey @ 5:57 am

Other miscellaneous notes, no longer attributable :

importance when studying surveys etc to observe what people DO, not just what they say they do. thus for example people may not really want an interface like a google box, but really want a structured break-down search box into categories, e.g. one column for authors, an adjacent column for titles, an adjacent one for types, another for year ….. People may well prefer structure with tabs to tick etc. — unlike Web of Science’s navigation.

importance of being able to take uses to the data itself so they can display it in their own preferential way. (web.2.0 ..c.f. itunes, greasemonkey….)

the resource type “thesis” in metadata schema will need to have subdivisions not just the type of thesis (e.g. research, professional, coursework…) but also whether it is pdf, scanned pdf, thesis by publication, multimedia (one student in US now is doing hers on a wiki).

From Last Day of Conference:

A session on plagiarism addressed mainly academic “cheating” rather than third party property issues and such. Another session focussed on catching up with getting all the other old print theses online — the logistics and strategies for coping with scanning these and adding them to a repository collection. One I regrettably missed but have since followed up via email (at least made personal contact at Uppsala) was a case study in Belgium of a library coping with changes that need to be made to the theses metadata over time, and how new policies and metadata issues in relation to etd’s are handled in repositories. Look forward to reading that paper in depth and reporting on the experiences it discusses.

In humanities at least, is there a need for a database separate from a thesis database — the separate one being fore the massive supporting evidence underlying the theses?

And just to make it simpler, we should be preparing for cases of dissertations that are co-authored — with parts of the dissertations being re-prints from published journals….

These posts reflect, of course, my own experiences of the conference and not the totality of what was covered. So many nuggets come up at such conferences that do not lend themselves easily to this sort of note-taking, though I have tried a few times to include them — I know many more will come to me over time as specific contexts jog memory and that will be time for making more notes no doubt. Many of such nuggets come from informal discussions, question and answer sessions, and other asides…. One of the biggest benefits was simply in meeting others from around the world, all continents, who are involved in working towards the same things — and thus knowing where we at RUBRIC and Australia do fit in with the larger picture. This is invaluable for better knowing how to interpret many of the articles one reads, and the various policies and practices both locally here and elsewhere, and to keep in mind a practical vision of what is required for the goals of meeting the tech changes and requirements this imposes on metadata (my specialty of course) and other aspects of repository management.

I have much to follow up on now — and have already blanketed the globe with follow up emails to certain other delegates, some of whom I met there and others I may have met — and to examine afresh the metadata requirements of Australian ETDs — not to forget getting a larger view of other related repository issues as well. I have made references to specifics throughout the posts, and expect to share some of the followup work here in future posts.

And many at least now have heard of RUBRIC, too, both from personal contacts and more formal discussions following the sessions, not to forget of course the presentation of Peter Sefton! Now that was a real hit with many subsequent mentions in the sessions.  Many commented with envy that there was an organization like RUBRIC that would send a metadata delegate to such a conference almost as a matter of policy — to be on the cutting edge in order to deliver the best services possible. So I should thank RUBRIC management (past and present) for making it possible for me to attend.

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