Options for ETDs v1 here

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Introduction and Purposes of this Document

Many institutions are delayed in ETD program planning simply because they do not have a clear understanding of the range of options to consider in implementing an ETD program. Restricted or open access? Implement an ETD repository or lease a commercial service? Who has responsibility for what functions? Like the other documents in this series, this guide is a descriptive (rather than prescriptive) information resource that seeks to explain the relevant decisions institutions must make and to clarify the pros and cons of different options. This document will reference and integrate all the other documents in the series.

This document is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to implementation of an ETD program. Rather, it is intended to serve as an executive briefing for decision makers on the broad options for implementing ETD programs in the United States. It is also intended to serve as a guide to further information on ETD programs, especially the other documents in this series, each of which delves into key aspects of ETD programs.

Defining What ETDs Are, and the Scope of ETD Program Options

Honors Programs, Nursuing, Law, Business,

Life Cycle Framework

Choices in Implementing ETD Programs

When planning or considering the implementation of an ETD program, decision makers should know that there is now a significant body of research on this topic that may be consulted. This briefing will summarize key categories of choices that planners should initially consider, as well as referencing more detailed resources. Perhaps the most comprehensive clearinghouse of information on ETD programs is the international organization known as the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). The NDLTD website provides a range of informative resources and planning documents at http://www.ndltd.org/resources to consult. This briefing was developed in consultation with the NDLTD leadership, and will reference many NDLTD resources.

To understand the key choices in implementing ETD programs, recent descriptive surveys of such programs are a good place to start. A 2010 survey by Joan Lippincott of the members of the Coalition for Networked Information (cited in the bibliography, and hereafter referred to simply as the CNI survey) concerning ETD programs resulted in 88 responses from 142 institutions contacted. (Lippincott, 2010) This survey documented the widespread implementation of ETD programs and reported that the majority (73%) of responding institutions had already instituted an ETD program of some sort, with 5 additional institutions indicating that they were planning such an implementation. In 89% of the institutions, ETDs were reported to be a subset of larger institutional or consortial repository holdings. An implication of these figures is that institutions that are now considering ETD program implementations are likely to be in categories that the CNI survey did not focus on, including smaller institutions, or institutions that to date have had significant reservations about ETD programs. Wherever possible, this briefing will attempt to address the anticipated concerns of such institutions.

The CNI survey examined a range of factors and perceptions concerning ETD programs, including system implementation strategies, access and embargo considerations, format options, and other ETD services and policies to best serve graduate students. While these are certainly not the only decisions that must be made in planning an ETD program, these categories of options are a useful frame of context and will be used for the purposes of this briefing. The CNI survey is also not the only source that will inform this briefing; other reports will be cited as appropriate.

Options in Decision Making, Roles and Responsibilities

System Implementation Options

The CNI survey identified three main system strategies for implementation of ETD programs: locally developed systems, consortially developed systems, and agreements with commercial firms. The CNI survey and several other sources identify distinguishing characteristics of these strategies as follows.

Locally Implemented Systems

Many institutions implement a local system for ETDs. The

Consortially Developed Systems

Hybrid Systems combining Options

Distinction of Access and Preservation Systems

Agreements with Commercial Firms

Philosophical Options

Access and Embargo Options

Options for Open Access to ETDs

Pre-ETD Capture

Options for Embargoes to ETD Access

Format Options

Text Format Options

Options for Non-Textual ETDs or ETD components

Other ETD Services and Policy Choices

ETD Submission Policy Options

43% of institutions reported that the ETD program was mandatory for both doctoral and masters students

Service Options for Improving Graduate Completion through ETD Programs

Case Studies

Other Documents in This Series

This project will produce the following documents, which will address areas of special interest identified by ETD program planners, managers, and stakeholders. These documents will be made freely available through a creative commons license (either the Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike or other license acceptable to IMLS).

All of these documents will be carefully researched by working groups led by members of the project steering committee (as indicated below), and notable experts will be interviewed where appropriate.

Briefing on Access Levels and Embargoes of ETDs

Briefing on ETD Copyright Issues and Fair Use

Guidelines for Implementing ETD Programs - Roles & Responsibilities

Guidelines for Collecting Usage Metrics & Demonstrations of Value for ETD Programs

Overview of Formats, Complex Content Objects, and Format Migration Scenarios for ETDs

Overview of PREMIS Metadata & Lifecycle Event Record-Keeping for ETDs

Guide to ETD Program Cost Estimation and Planning

Guide to Options for ETD Programs


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