ETDplus Toolkit [Tool Review]

Abstract:  Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) have traditionally taken the form of PDFs and ETD programs and their submission and curation procedures have been built around this format. However, graduate students are increasingly creating non-PDF files during their research, and in some cases these files are just as or more important than the PDFs that must be submitted to satisfy degree requirements. As a result, both graduate students and ETD administrators need training and resources to support the handling of a wide variety of complex digital objects. The Educopia Institute’s ETDplus Toolkit provides a highly usable set of modules to address this need, openly licensed to allow for reuse and adaption to a variety of potential use cases.

 

“Building and Using Digital Libraries for ETDs” by Edward A. Fox

“Despite the high value of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), the global collection has seen limited use. To extend such use, a new approach to building digital libraries (DLs) is needed. Fortunately, recent decades have seen that a vast amount of “gray literature” has become available through a diverse set of institutional repositories as well as regional and national libraries and archives. Most of the works in those collections include ETDs and are often freely available in keeping with the open-access movement, but such access is limited by the services of supporting information systems. As explained through a set of scenarios, ETDs can better meet the needs of diverse stakeholders if customer discovery methods are used to identify personas and user roles as well as their goals and tasks. Hence, DLs, with a rich collection of services, as well as newer, more advanced ones, can be organized so that those services, and expanded workflows building on them, can be adapted to meet personalized goals as well as traditional ones, such as discovery and exploration.

 

 

 

Accessibility of ETDs: Raising the Bar

“Accessibility of online content is of a focus of effort for many higher ed institutions. Electronic theses and dissertations are no exception to this, and graduate school and library staff have been working to improve the accessibility of content submitted by their graduate students. As part of the 2021 TxETDA webinar series, staff from Montana State University, Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin will describe the current status of accessibility in institutional repositories (based on a 2020 survey), talk about gaps in accessibility for ETDs, and share templates and workflow ideas for improving ETD accessibility.”

Ph.D. graduates of British university complain about dissertations published by Amazon

“Scholars at a British university have condemned “unlawful” attempts to sell their Ph.D. theses without permission on Amazon’s Kindle service.

The outcry follows the discovery by academics who did their doctoral studies at Durham University that their Ph.D. dissertations had been scraped from the university’s online thesis repository, where they are freely available, and were being sold as individual titles for as much as 9.99 pounds ($13.68).

 

Around 2,000 Ph.D. theses — many of which appeared under the authorship of “Durham Philosophy” — had been made available as Kindle ebooks, according to Sarah Hughes, vice chancellor’s research fellow in human geography at Northumbria University….”

Global electronic thesis and dissertation repositories – collection diversity and management issues

Abstract:  This article discovers the collection diversity of electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) repositories based on key parameters such as regional distribution, subject classification, language diversity, etc. and identifies the critical management issues of the ETD repositories related to collection management, software management, content management and metadata policies. The ETD repositories were identified in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). The required data were manually collected from the OpenDOAR and websites of repositories to achieve the prescribed objectives of the study. The data were later tabulated, analysed and interpreted using simple arithmetic techniques.

The study was limited to the ETD repositories available in the OpenDOAR, and findings cannot be generalized across repositories and directories. It provides insights about ETD repositories worldwide, highlights their critical management issues and suggests mechanisms for their sustainable growth and development. This article is purely based on research and its findings are valid for scholars, faculty members, institutions – as well as administrators and managers of the ETD repositories.

Survey of Academic Library Use of Open Access Materials

“This survey studies how colleges and universities use open access resources as a supplement to or replacement for academic journals and other materials. Although the primary focus of the report is on scholarly publishing, especially academic journals, some questions relate to other information vehicles such as textbooks, audio-visual resources and print books.

As a response to the COVID crisis many colleges and universities are turning to open access resources and this report gives highly detailed data on the extent of use of a broad range of specific open access resources including but not limited to Google Scholar, Google Books, LOCKSS, the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed Central,  arXiv, bioRxiv, MedRxiv, ResearchGate the Directory of Open Access Books, OAPEN, the Online Guide to Open Access Journals, PDQY, Open Access Theses and Dissertations, the Registry of Research Data Repositories, MedEdPortal, the Open Access Directory, OpenDOAR, the Free Music Archive, EBSCO Open Dissertations, Science.Gov, OpenStax, MERLOT, Lumen Learning, the Open Course Library, Boundless and Saylor Academy.

The report also looks at use of interlibrary loan, direct appeals to authors and at pirating sites such as Sci-Hub as ways to fulfill patron demand after subscription cancellations.  The study also gives detailed data on the use of, and perception of the skill level in using, digital object identifiers to track and find open access and other available free or low- cost materials. Study participants also comment on what they are doing to publicize open access resources to their patrons, and what training they are providing in their discovery and use.  

Just a few of the 132-page report’s many findings are that:

37% of those sampled turn to interlibrary loan as their first choice in replacing content to which they have lost access.

The Resource – Open Access Theses and Dissertations – was used very frequently by 5.71% of survey participants and frequently by 20%.

63% of US-based colleges and universities in the sample produced a guidebook, listserv or LibGuide on how to locate and use open access resources.”

Sharing Africa’s knowledge through open African research repositories | OER Africa

“Open licensing is used for many different kinds of resources – open educational resources (OER), open access research publishing, open data, and more broadly open science. This post discusses developments in access to African research information through repositories that use open licensing. All of the resources are freely available and usually carry a Creative Commons or equivalent license.

OER Africa’s open knowledge primer provides a background on basic concepts and their pertinence to African researchers. OER Africa has also created a Learning Pathway on publishing using open access, which defines terms and will help you acquire the skills necessary to publish or advise on publishing research using Open Access (OA).

Like their global counterparts, many African research institutions and universities are increasingly using open licensing to make their research available and visible globally. The number of open access repositories is growing so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of them. The UK International African Institute (IAI) maintains a list that is frequently updated. IAI, in collaboration with AfricarXiv, has created an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. You can also search on Google or the search engine of your choice by entering the name of an institution or country and repository (though this would require you to know better what you are looking for).

University open access repositories collect student theses and dissertations, case studies, conference papers, and sometimes journal articles. There are also continent-wide repositories. Three are discussed below. One focuses on university research output; one is a pre-print service; and one is discipline specific….”

Sharing Africa’s knowledge through open African research repositories | OER Africa

“Open licensing is used for many different kinds of resources – open educational resources (OER), open access research publishing, open data, and more broadly open science. This post discusses developments in access to African research information through repositories that use open licensing. All of the resources are freely available and usually carry a Creative Commons or equivalent license.

OER Africa’s open knowledge primer provides a background on basic concepts and their pertinence to African researchers. OER Africa has also created a Learning Pathway on publishing using open access, which defines terms and will help you acquire the skills necessary to publish or advise on publishing research using Open Access (OA).

Like their global counterparts, many African research institutions and universities are increasingly using open licensing to make their research available and visible globally. The number of open access repositories is growing so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of them. The UK International African Institute (IAI) maintains a list that is frequently updated. IAI, in collaboration with AfricarXiv, has created an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. You can also search on Google or the search engine of your choice by entering the name of an institution or country and repository (though this would require you to know better what you are looking for).

University open access repositories collect student theses and dissertations, case studies, conference papers, and sometimes journal articles. There are also continent-wide repositories. Three are discussed below. One focuses on university research output; one is a pre-print service; and one is discipline specific….”