Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

E-thesis repositories in the world: A critical analysis
by Sengupta, Shantashree Sameerkumar, Ph.D., Savitribai Phule Pune University (India), 2014, 421; 3715419
Abstract (Summary)

The advent of Information Communication & Technology (ICT) has resulted into a revolution in the ways of production, dissemination, preservation and accessibility of information. Traditional librarianship has opened its doors and embraced ICT to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of services provided by libraries. Libraries have expanded their scope to Library & Information Centres. With the changing trends of libraries, the users have also moved to advanced stages of accessing the information.

Theses and dissertations are one of the major sources of authentic in-depth information on a particular topic on which a researcher conducts extensive research work. In spite of being a main source of scholarly communication, the print theses and dissertations is mostly not accessible to outside world. In this way, the important information remains unused and unknown to users. The Electronic format of the theses and dissertations makes it possible for the information content to be used by information seekers.

“Open Access” is a boon for the users who strive for information. Policy Guidelines framed by National and International Organizations like UNESCO, BOAI, Berlin Declaration, ECHO Charter, Bethesda Statement, Salvador Declaration, National Open Access Policy and National Knowledge Commission.s Report on Open Access (India) have promoted the benefits of open access for researchers, organizations, public and funding organizations.

Institutional repositories provide access to various institutional documents through open access. The type of contents vary from books, journals, conference proceedings, theses, dissertations, newspaper clippings, datasets, manuscripts, software, lectures, learning objects, maps, pre-prints, post-prints, research reports, audio-visual material etc.

The present research work deals with the Electronic Thesis Repositories which are a major form of grey literature of any organization. There are various benefits of ETDs like they help in increasing the citation count of the author and the institution, minimum time required for dissemination of scholarly information, various file formats can be incorporated in the electronic form which is not possible in the print theses and dissertations and they provide a solution of long term preservation of theses and dissertations. In spite of the benefits of ETDs, authors hesitate in depositing their research work in electronic format mainly due to fear of plagiarism.

There are various concepts in the whole process of setting up of an ETD Program. The present research work aims to study the various concepts of ETDs by analyzing the E-thesis Repositories in the world and collecting data from the Repository administrators through Web Questionnaire. The fourteen research objectives are divided into nine sections of Background Information of E-thesis Repository; Repository Materials; Hardware & Software;Ways of Providing Access to ETDs; Budget & Human Resource; Metadata & Interoperability Standards; Preservation Policies; Copyright Issues;Language Compatibility, Linkages with various National and International ETD Projects & Currency of Information.

The Review of Literature was conducted exhaustively using various keywords belonging to the area of research from print and non-print sources of information. The major trend observed in the international literature emphasized on importance of ETDs in academic libraries, world wide open access initiatives, overview of country specific ETD Projects, copyright and preservation issues related to ETDs, selection of software and Policy Guidelines framed by international organizations.

List of E-thesis Repositories was prepared using Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) and Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). Only those E-thesis repositories were considered whose interface was in English and which contained English language theses and dissertations. Out of total population of 258 repositories in English Language, 154 were finalized using Krejcie & Morgan Table for Determining Sample Size. The selected repositories belonged to 43 countries and had more than 1000 ETDs in their repositories. The Repository Administrators of these repositories were mailed the Web Questionnaire Link through e-mail for data collection. The Web Survey Questionnaire was developed using SurveyMonkey Web Questionnaire Tool.

NDLTDs support and promotion of the present research work helped the researcher to get a good response rate of 62.33% from across the world. The USA and UK ranked highest in the list of respondents. The researcher received overwhelming response from various developing countries also. This proved that Open Access Movement is gaining momentum not only in developed countries like the USA and UK but also in several developing countries.

The researcher in the concluding part has suggested some topics related to ETDs in which research can be conducted.

The present trend of growth and development of E-thesis repositories assure that there is a promising future of the concept and open access will spread its wings in more and more countries across the world. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Patil, S. K.
School: Savitribai Phule Pune University (India)
School Location: India
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Library science, Web Studies, Information science
Keywords: ETD, ETD copyright policies, ETD preservation policies, Electronic theses and dissertations, IR, Institutional repositories, International ETDs, NDLTD's Guide to set up ETD program, National ETDs, Open access
Publication Number: 3715419
ISBN: 978-1-321-93583-7
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