Guidance Documents for Lifecycle Management of ETDs

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Colleges and universities are steadily transitioning from traditional paper and microfilm to digital formats for the submission and dissemination of graduate theses and dissertations. While this move from print-based to electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) greatly enhances the accessibility and sharing of graduate student research, it also presents significant challenges for the academic libraries that must preserve this digital content.

To promote best practices and to increase the capacity of academic libraries to reliably preserve ETDs, the University of North Texas Libraries, together with the Educopia Institute, the MetaArchive Cooperative, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, and the libraries of Virginia Tech, Rice University, Boston College, Indiana State University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Arizona are pleased to make available the Guidance Documents for Lifecycle Management of ETDs. These documents will be valuable to a range of ETD program stakeholders, including students, university administrators, graduate schools, libraries, campus technical services, and service providers. The documents cover a range of relevant and timely topics:

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Guidance Documents for the Lifecycle Management of ETDs
  2. Guidelines for Implementing ETD Programs – Roles & Responsibilities
  3. Guide to Access Levels & Embargoes of ETDs
  4. Briefing on Copyright & Fair Use Issues in ETDs
  5. Guidelines for Collecting Usage Metrics & Demonstrations of Value for ETD Programs
  6. Managing the Lifecycle of ETDs: Curatorial Decisions & Practices
  7. Metadata for ETD Lifecycle Management
  8. Guide to ETD Program Planning & Cost Estimation
  9. Guide to Options for ETD Programs

The Guidance Documents for Lifecycle Management of ETDs were made available for a five-month period of public review in 2013. Details and outcomes of that public review process are summarized here.

The final documents are now available on the Educopia Publishing website ( and the NDLTD website (

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