What is an ETD?
ETD stands for Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. In America, a PhD thesis is
referred to as a dissertation and an MSc dissertation is better known as a
thesis; hence, the ETD moniker was partly developed to remove any confusion
arising from the use of the terms theses and dissertations. The term ETD is
used globally, but its popularity has not yet caught on in the UK, possibly
because the use of electronic theses is not as well established as leading
countries such as America and Germany.
What is the Theses Alive! Project all about?
We are seeking to promote the adoption of a management system for electronic
theses and dissertations in the UK. The project is being run from the Edinburgh
University Library with grant funding from the Joint Information Systems
Committee (JISC) as part of the Focus on Access to Institutional Resources
What are our aims?
Essentially the main thrust of the project is threefold:
- to create an online full-text repository of PhD theses
- to create an online submission system that mirrors the current thesis
- to promote use of the service and e-theses in general, initially within the
University of Edinburgh and later UK-wide, through the dissemination of advocacy
material and user support.
Who is involved?
Initially the project is based at Edinburgh University, but will eventually
involve other partner institutions in a UK-wide pilot study, including
Cambridge University, Cranfield University, Leeds University and Manchester
When will this service be available?
We aim to provide a 'live' service from early 2004 within the
University of Edinburgh. Following on from this, we will deliver the service
and provide support to our partner institutions from mid 2004.
What can an e-theses repository do?
By allowing your thesis to be included in the Edinburgh University repository
you are immediately freeing access to your research findings to a global
audience, allowing you to gain wide exposure and recognition of your work.
This process is not 'static' as we will provide information (known as metadata)
from theses held in the Edinburgh University repository to Internet searching
facilities (known as service providers). By using newly established
interoperability standards (e.g. Open Archive Initiative Protocol for Metadata
Harvesting or OAI-PMH) service providers can allow researchers from institutes
anywhere in the world to easily search and find relevant material.
An additional benefit is that once in a repository your work is protected from
physical damage and loss. This is not a trivial consideration as accidents have
and will occur, as Edinburgh University knows all too well to its cost.
Last updated: Wed, 01 September, 2004