Nominate Innovators and Leaders for the 2018 ETD Awards by July 31st, 2018

posted Jun 12, 2018, 4:53 PM by NDLTD Admin

ETD 2018 Logo
NDLTD is pleased to announce the 2018 ETD Awards program.
We invite all NDLTD members to nominate individuals they feel deserve the recognition!

Deadline for Nominations: July 31st, 2018

The NDLTD's ETD Awards recognize and support innovative theses and dissertations and leadership within the ETD community. These awards are presented each year at the annual ETD Symposium.

The awards include several categories of appreciation:
  • The Innovative ETD Award supports student efforts to transform the genre of the dissertation through the use of innovative research data management techniques and software to create multimedia ETDs. 
  • The ETD Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of open access ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education and research through the use of technology.
The awards will be presented at ETD 2018, the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertationsto be held in Taipei, Taiwan, September 26-28, 2018. 

Award Category Information, Procedures and Requirements:

Innovative ETD Award

The intent of this award is to support current graduate students in the creation of innovative ETDs. We anticipate students will use the award to assist in the purchase of specialized software, computer equipment or other technical support  needed in the production or publication of their ETD. Nominations for this award should indicate how the award will support the application and integration of renderings, photos, data sets, software code or other multimedia objects in the student’s ETD.
  • A prospective thesis or dissertation may be nominated by a representative (e.g. administrator, faculty member or librarian) of an institution that is a member of the NDLTD.  
  • Each NDLTD member may submit up to 2 nominees. In addition, a student from a member organisation may submit a self-nomination.
  • The nomination should include their approved thesis proposal, along with a brief statement about how the work will use technology to enhance the presentation of the research in the forthcoming ETD. 
  • The resulting ETD must be distributed online as open access upon publication.
  • Students must provide an ORCID ID upon acceptance of the award. 
  • There may be up to three winners in this category. 
  • Each winner will receive $1,000* 
  • Winners are required to record a video acceptance message (approximately 2 - 3 minutes) that may be presented at the annual symposium’s awards ceremony and distributed online, or provide an acceptance message in writing (500 words or less). 
Nominations may be made through the following online form: http://goo.gl/forms/LfISsu5ccl

ETD Leadership Award

This is open to individuals whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of ETDs and whose efforts have improved graduate education through the use of ETDs. Nominations should include details about the individual's ETD related activities and how the nominee's leadership has made significant advances in the area of ETDs at the local, regional, national or international levels.
  • The nominator or nominator’s institution must be affiliated as an NDLTD member. 
  • There may be up to two winners for this category. 
  • Each winner will receive international honorary recognition.
  • Each winner will receive up to $500 reimbursement to attend the annual symposium
  • Winners will also receive complimentary registration to the annual symposium in the year of award.
  • If a winner is not a member of the NDLTD or associated with an institution which is not a member of the NDLTD they will be eligible for a 1 year complimentary (personal or institutional) membership.
  • Winners are encouraged to do one of the following:
    • attend the annual symposium's award ceremony and present a 3-5 minute acceptance speech, or
    • record and submit a 3-5 minute video acceptance message to be presented at the annual symposium’s awards ceremony, or
    • provide a written 500 word or less acceptance message to be read at the annual symposium's awards ceremony.
Nominations may be made through the following online form: http://goo.gl/forms/cRz6T1mf5O

*I.R.S regulations require the NDLTD to report all award amounts distributed; citizens of the United States must provide a valid Social Security number to receive award distributions. Winners must agree to the conditions set forth in the eligibility requirements listed here and NDLTD policy. Winners must also agree to make acceptance/acknowledgments materials available to the NDLTD for the purpose of international promotions.  

For more information about the ETD Awards program contact James MacDonald, ETD Awards Committee Chair.

Bid to Host ETD 2019, the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations

posted Apr 27, 2018, 7:42 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:41 AM ]

NDLTD 20th Anniversary Logo
The NDLTD Conference Standing Committee is accepting bids to host the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, ETD 2019. Hosting this prestigious international conference is a unique prospect since it also brings value to the hosting institution.  As a host, the institution gains recognition as  a thought leader in the areas of scholarly communication and digital pedagogy.  In addition, the institution  will share highlights of its scholarly accomplishments with conference delegates who come from well-known campuses from around the world.  The conference also provides hosts with the opportunity to promote the most up-to-date scholarly practices to its own community of students and scholars and to identify partners across campus who are practicing digital pedagogy and who are proponents of scholarly communication. 
 
The last symposium ETD 2017 was held in Washington DC, USA During August 7-9,  2017.  The next symposium ETD 2018 will be held in Taipei, Taiwan during September 26-28, 2018. Some previous symposia were held in Lille, France (ETD 2016) New Delhi, India (ETD 2015), Leicester, UK (ETD 2014), Hong Kong (ETD 2013); Lima, Peru (ETD 2012); Cape Town, South Africa (ETD 2011); Austin, Texas, USA (ETD 2010); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (ETD 2009); Aberdeen, Scotland (ETD 2008); Uppsala, Sweden (ETD 2007) Quebec City, Canada (ETD 2006), Sydney Australia (ETD 2005); Lexington, Kentucky, USA (ETD 2004), and Berlin, Germany (ETD 2003).The first meeting was held in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, in June 1998. 
 
Please submit your bid by e-mail to Ramesh C Gaur (rcgaur66@gmail.com), NDLTD Conference Standing Committee -Chair, on or before May 31, 2018.  Please note that should your institution be chosen to host ETD 2019 you will have the full support and help of the NDLTD Conference Standing Committee in preparing for the symposium.  The conference planning handbook will also be available to the Local Organizing Committee. Potential bidders are encouraged to contact Ramesh C Gaur, Chair or any other member of the Conference Standing Committee early in the process of preparing their bid to express interest and receive guidance.
 
Bidders are encouraged to attend ETD 2018 https://etd2018.ncl.edu.tw/en/ at Taiwan during September 26-28, 2018. Your participation can help in gathering more information about the organization of the symposium.

ETD 2018 Proposal Deadline Extended until April 30th

posted Apr 9, 2018, 4:57 PM by NDLTD Admin

ETD 2018 Logo
ETD 2018 Taiwan Symposium - Call for Proposals Deadline Extended through April 30th

ETD 2018 Taiwan provides a great opportunity for exchanging ETD experiences with professionals from different countries, also connecting to the good practices around the world. The propose of the conference is to offer relevant, practice-oriented content to support ETD development and productivity improvement, as well as to provide useful and innovative resources, standards, and technology for the development and of ETD programs. Proposals are welcome from library, graduate school and information technology professionals, graduate students and faculty as well as library and information systems / services representatives. We invite you to submit your proposals for papers, panel sessions, posters, and workshops.

The conference theme of ETD 2018 Taiwan is “Beyond the Boundaries of Rims and Oceans: Globalizing Knowledge with ETDs”. We are also pleased to announce that we have invited keynote speakers from Singapore, India, Slovenia, and Australia, to share their professional knowledge in ETD digital collection. For more information about the speaker, please visit: https://etd2018.ncl.edu.tw/en/important-info/keynote-speakers

For complete information and to submit your proposal visit the Call for Proposals Webpage.

Submission Deadline: Proposals should be submitted on or before April 30th, 2018

USETDA 2018 Conference - Call for Proposals

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:07 PM by NDLTD Admin

USETDA 2018 Conference Logo
Proposals for papers, presentations, panel sessions and posters are invited for USETDA 2018, the 8th annual conference of the US Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association. USETDA 2018 will be held September 12th – 14th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Denver, Colorado, hosted by the Auraria Library and Brigham Young University.

USETDA 2018 will provide excellent educational opportunities for professionals from graduate schools, libraries, academic computing and others who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), institutional repositories, graduate students and scholarly communications. Our goal is to offer relevant, practice-oriented content to support ETD productivity improvement, ETD professionals, advance ETD operations and encourage the formation of regional ETD associations and networking communities as well as to provide useful and innovative resources, standards, and technology for the development and support of ETD programs. Proposals are welcome from library, graduate school and information technology professionals, graduate students and faculty as well as library and information systems / services representatives.

The conference theme “Climbing Ever Higher – Summit on Scholarly Communications in Graduate Education” will focus on the impact and implications of connecting scholars and research from across the country and around the world. We will examine the present use and availability of ETDs and related initiatives while also exploring new and emerging ETD practices, needs, and influences impacting administrative, graduate school and library professionals.

Deadline: Proposals should be submitted on or before March 2, 2018 to be considered.

For complete information and to submit your proposal visit the Call for Proposals Webpage. For complete information visit www.usetda.org/

ETD 2018 Taiwan Announced, Call for Proposals

posted Nov 25, 2017, 8:57 AM by NDLTD Admin

NDLTD is pleased to announce the next international ETD symposium:

ETD 2018 Taiwan
Beyond the Boundaries of Rims and Oceans: Globalizing Knowledge with ETDs

ETD 2018, the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertationsto be held in Taipei, Taiwan, September 26-28, 2018. This symposium will be a great opportunity for exchanging ETD experiences with professionals from different countries, also connecting to the good practices around the world. The Conference will be hosted by the National Central Library and co-organized by Library Association of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Interlibrary Cooperation Association.

We invite you to submit proposals that address the following or related sub-themes:
  • Collection and Sharing of Electronic Theses and Dissertations
  • International and Local Services of Electronic Theses and Dissertations
  • Collection and Analysis Applications of Big Data
  • The Research Energy of a Country Revealed in Theses and Dissertations
  • Value-Added Knowledge of ETD and Development of Digital Contents Industry
  • Knowledge Property and Academic Ethics
  • Other topics related to ETDs but not limited within the sub-themes above
Call for Proposals:
  • Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: May 10, 2018
  • Extended Abstract / Poster/ PowerPoint (PPT) Presentation submission deadline: August 31, 2018
Registration:
  • Registration open: January 1, 2018 - August 31, 2018
  • Early-bird registration closes: May 31, 2018
Travel Grants:
  • Application submission: January 1, 2018 - April 30, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance:  May 31, 2018

For more information and online submission to ETD 2018 Taiwan, please visit: etd2018.ncl.edu.tw

20 years of ETDs and NDLTD, Briefly

posted Aug 7, 2017, 2:55 PM by NDLTD Admin

NDLTD 20th Anniversary Logo
ETD 2017 - the 20th annual international ETD conference - starts today and we present a short document about the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, NDLTD, that includes the following:

  • Welcome and introduction from Edward A. Fox, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board; 
  • ETD 2003, the 2nd International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertation, Next Steps: Electronic Theses and Dissertation Worldwide by Peter Schirmbacher, the host of the NDLTD’s first conference outside the USA; 
  • ETD INDIA 2015, the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations “Evolving Genre of ETDs for Knowledge Discovery” by Ramesh Gaur, the host of the first international ETD symposium in South Asia; 
  • NDLTD Union Catalogue Project by Hussein Suleman and hist Reflections on the South African National ETD Project; 
  • NDLTD Finances by Scott Eldridge; and
  • NDLTD Travel Grant Program by John H. Hagen. 



The NDLTD is based on a set of important ideas:

  1. Graduate students will continue as they receive Masters and Doctoral degrees to prepare theses and dissertations, which are important documents in their research careers.
  2. During their graduate education, they should learn important lifelong skills such as to communicate effectively through documents, and they can benefit by employing the latest technologies and methods for electronic communications.
  3. Colleges and universities seek recognition for and control over their intellectual property and clearly benefit from sharing the fruits of graduate research as openly and widely as possible. This can easily be done through digital libraries, e.g., institutional repositories, which also save space and time and expense relative to other approaches to managing theses and dissertations.
  4. Methods for sharing and collecting metadata about ETDs allow cost-effective regional, national, and international gathering of the global fruits of graduate research into a Union Catalog and Global Search Service, which can be led by the NDLTD.
  5. Students, faculty, librarians, graduate schools/registrars, and regional/national consortia are among the many interested stakeholders who all benefit from this global collaboration. More broadly, the ETD initiative can aid learners, teachers, scholars, researchers, and the many others interested in this rich genre.
  6. Into the future, ETDs can continue to lead the way in unfolding new methods of electronic publishing, sharing datasets, reproducible scholarship, use of multimedia/hypermedia technologies, curation, preservation, and digital library services. This is a low cost and highly effective ongoing method for advancing scholarly communication.
As a volunteer organization, NDLTD needs YOU! Please help by serving on a working group or committee, or by helping advance local or regional activities. The ETD initiative is based on simple ideas but calls for collaboration and concern for students and quality. It moves forward if we are open to innovation and change, which are essential ingredients of graduate research as well as scholarly communication.

There are clear benefits of ETD events to those new to the ideas; problems can be discussed, questions answered, best practices identified, and tools/techniques shared. Likewise, there are benefits to those who have worked in this arena for years, in part from the satisfaction that comes from sharing and mentoring. Even more, those with experience can address new challenges, e.g., 1) as the numbers of ETDs (now over 5 million) lead to problems of scale, and 2) as the global harvesting method calls for improved attention at all levels to quality of metadata and services as well as standardization.

Please help all colleges, universities, libraries, graduate students, faculty, administrators, and researchers to move toward the time when EVERY thesis or dissertation in the world is shared in the most effective way, as openly as possible, and utilized optimally to improve humanity.

Jagdish Arora and Manoj Kumar win ETD Leadership Award

posted Aug 7, 2017, 2:17 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Aug 7, 2017, 2:32 PM ]

NDLTD is pleased to announce that Dr. jagdish Arora and Mr. Manoj Kumar won the ETD Leadership Award for their dedicated work on the Shodhganga thesis repository in India. Their joint analysis, planning, design and implementation of the repository began when there was hardly a digital or digitized thesis available in the area. The repository has since grown to immense proportions and is likely the largest such project in India, if not Asia.

As the director of the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET - http://inflibnet.ac.in) in India Dr. Arora has contributed immensely to the promotion of open access and graduate scholarship there. Mr. Kumar as the director of the Shodhganga (http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in) repository has worked to promote the digital genre throughout the region.


Dr. Jagdish Arora

Award Acceptance by Dr. Jagdish Arora:

The genesis of ETDs in India, as it has evolved now, can be traced back to 2005 when Prof. Arun Nigavekar, the then Chairman of the UGC constituted a Committee to evolve a broad regulatory framework and guidelines for submission of electronic theses and dissertations into a central repository. As one of the active members of the Committee, I was given the responsibility for drafting the broader framework and guidelines. These guidelines could not be implemented at that time, however, these guidelines were published and circulated widely in print as well as through electronic media with a hope that it will catch attention of academic community and academic administrators in time to come and would see the day of light.

Towing the line of action proposed in the framework that was developed in 2005, the INFLIBNET Centre, an Inter-university Centre of the UGC, proposed implementation of “Indian ETD” in its XI Plan Period Proposal submitted to the UGC in 2008. The proposal was repeatedly brought to the attention of Chairman, UGC and other functionaries of the UGC in the meetings of the Governing Body and Governing Council of the INFLIBNET Centre. Finally, the UGC Notification, 2009 that was published as a gazette notification provided for submission of electronic version of theses into the repository set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre within 30 days of their submission in physical format.

It was decided to coin a unique and generic name to Indian ETD (iETD) which should be easy to pronounce and have greater pneumonic value. As such, “Shodhganga: A reservoir of Indian Theses” was chosen to replace Indian ETD (iETD). The word "Shodh" originates from Sanskrit and stands for research and discovery. The "Ganga" is the holiest, longest and largest of all rivers in India, named after the goddess Ganga, the daughter of the mountain god Himalaya. The Ganga is the symbol of India's age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, ever loved and revered by its people. "Shodhganga", a repository of theses and dissertations submitted to Indian universities, is expected to keep growing to a formidable size as more and more researchers submit their theses to this ever growing reservoir.

Shodhganga Repository was set-up and launched in January 2010 by Prof. S K Thorat, the then Chairman, UGC, on 4 th December, 2010, within a period of 12 months, number of theses in the repository grew to more than 1,000. As on today, the repository has more than 1,55,000 theses from 283 universities and 309 universities have signed the MoU on Shodhganga with the INFLIBNET Centre. The phenomenal growth of Shodhganga Repository can largely be attributed to incentives that the UGC provides for signing MoU with INFLIBNET Centre on Shodhganga. These incentives are:
  1. Access to anti-plagiarism software package to universities. More than 160 universities are getting access to anti-plagiarism package called Urkund;
  2. Funds for digitization of theses based on number of back volumes of theses available in a university; and
  3. Setting-up of ETD Laboratory in eligible universities (that have more than 10 theses submitted in a year);
It is a pleasure and privilege for me to participate in ETD 2017 and address an august gathering consisting of stalwarts in ETDs from all over the world. NDLTD Leadership Award for the year 2017 being given to me and my colleague Mr. Manoj Kumar, is moral boaster for both of us as individuals as well as to the INFLIBNET Centre as an institution. We are indeed thankful to the NDLTD Award Committee for bestowing this prestigious award to both of us.




Manoj Kumar K
Award Acceptance by Mr. 
Manoj Kumar K:

With great honour and privilege, I, Manoj Kumar K, Scientist-D(CS), INFLIBNET Centre, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, an IUC of University Grants Commission, Ministry of HRD, Govt of India, am pleased to accept the coveted NDLTD Leadership Award for the year 2017 along with Director, INFLIBNET Centre, Dr. Jagdish Arora.

We would like to dedicate this award to the Indian research community and 300+ Indian Universities who have come forward to immensely contribute to Shodhganga which is a national repository of digital copies of Indian Theses (ETD). Shodhganga is a repository of Indian theses and dissertations set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre based on the UGC notification (Minimum Standards & Procedure for Award of M.Phil. / Ph.D Degree, Regulation, 2009). The repository provides a platform for research scholars to deposit their Ph.D. theses through online mode and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. Shodhganga has grown up as an important one stop repository for Indian researchers with open access to about 1,55,555 theses as on date. The theses can be browsed, viewed, searched, shared and downloaded free of cost without any registration. Under the project, 160 universities were getting access to an online plagiarism detection software Universities are provided access to plagiarism detection software as and when they sign MoU with INLFIBNET Centre. About 1,71,813 documents are submitted by these universities till 27.02.2017 and about 11778 research supervisors and Shodhganga Coordinators are using the URKUND ID for checking plagiarism. These IDs are created on the recommendation of the universities. The Centre also maintains a repository of research in progress called Shodhgangotri that hosts 3900+ synopses / approved research proposals submitted by 44 universities.

While receiving the award, I am also getting an opportunity to present a paper on Shodhganga titled "Creation of Dynamic Ontologies for Graphical Representation in User Interface using NeOn in Shodhganga" and also a poster on analysis of Science and Technology theses in Shodhganga in the 20 th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations during August 7–9, 2017 in Washington, D.C which is hosted by George Mason University with additional support from the Washington Research Library Consortium and co-organized by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) and the United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA).

The Award will help us in promoting the ETD repository to international level for sharing of Indian Research which will create more opportunities to researcher for effective collaboration with International experts. The excellent work done by NDLTD for promoting ETDs in the world is highly appreciated and expecting Shodhganga will be part of NDLTD repository soon. I personally thank NDLTD for providing travel grant to attend the Symposiums in
University of Lille, France and Washington DC. I wish all the best for the 20th International Symposium on ETDs and place on record the appreciation for all the orgainsers NDLTD, USETDA, WRLC and George Mason University.

Thank you very much on behalf Indian ETD repository.


Howard Earl Fields wins Innovative ETD Award

posted Aug 7, 2017, 2:16 PM by NDLTD Admin

Dr. Howard Earl Fields III
Howard Earl Fields III, Ph.D. Education (2017) / University of Missouri-St. Louis

Howard Fields’ written dissertation was accompanied by a documentary, which was titled, “The Art of the Student Transfer Program.” This feature-length documentary examined the disparities in education for Black students living in poverty. Dr. Fields takes a look at a St. Louis, Missouri law, allowing students from failing districts to transfer to higher-performing neighboring districts. He examines this law through an often-overlooked perspective: that of the families involved.

Through his research, it is evident that these disparities in educational equality have a long and wide-spread history. However, as a former employee of one of the failing districts, the topic hit on a personal level as well.

While writing, and transcribing interviews with families would have been a sufficient route to take, Fields’ incorporated his passion for cinematography, and the stories that are better captured through film, to create a documentary that outlines the Student Transfer Program, its impact on the St. Louis area, and three families directly involved. The unique perspectives of each of these families shed light on this controversial topic that the media does not always fully represent.

Dr. Fields has transitioned to a neighboring St. Louis school district, where he serves as principal of both an elementary school and 6th-grade center. However, he is still very passionate regarding all matters that are associated with urban education. He continues to strive to help ensure that all students receive an equitable education through mentoring of students and administrators.

The thesis of Dr. Fields is available through the thesis repository of the University of Missouri - St. Louis at https://apps.umsl.edu/webapps/weboffice/ETD/search.cfm.

The documentary "The Art of The Student Transfer Program" made by Dr. Fields as part of his thesis research:

The Art of The Student Transfer Program


Award acceptance video by Dr. Fields:

Award Acceptance by Dr. Fields



A Look Back: ETD-Conference at Humboldt-University Berlin in 2003

posted Aug 4, 2017, 11:28 AM by NDLTD Admin

NDLTD 20th Anniversary Logo



In 2017 the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, NDLTD (http://ndltd.org) celebrates its 20th Year and Prof. Dr. Peter Schirmbacher writes about the NDLTD’s first conference outside the USA. 

The first electronic publishing project was organized at Humboldt-University in Berlin in 1997. It gave doctoral students the option to publish their dissertations electronically. In the past in Germany everyone was required to publish their doctoral theses in paper by a publishing house or in microfiche format. The idea of this project was also to make an electronic version acceptable.  
At the beginning of this project various technical and organizational problems occurred. A goal was to store these works in a special server that would be appropriate for a long term preservation. A new repository had to be built and additional services had to be developed, such as an upload-tool, a search mechanism and an appropriate directory structure. 

 For this project to be successful it was important to find colleagues in other universities with the same problems, and it was not necessary to look for long. A look at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) showed us that a team of people under the leadership of Ed Fox were active in this field.  One result of visit there was the beginning of a very intensive cooperation between the two universities, and Humboldt-University was integrated in the ETD-community. 
Beginning with the first ETD-conference in Blacksburg in Virginia in 1998, representatives of Humboldt-University regularly took part in the conferences. It was a time I which we had a lot to discuss about technical and organizational problems in managing ETD’s. Some of these questions were:
  • What is the right file format for storing theses and dissertations?
  • How to build up an ETD repository?
  • What aspects need consideration?
  • Is a contract between the authors and the owners of the repository necessary?

Every year the number of conference participants has grown. In most but not all cases these were representatives from US universities. The number of participants from different countries also grew, and the community wanted to disseminate the idea of ETD’s worldwide.

In consequence the sixth ETD-conference in 2003 was organized by Humboldt-University Berlin in Germany. Under the banner “ETD 2003 – Next Steps: Electronic Theses and Dissertation worldwide” the conference was a big success with 215 participants. More important than the number of participants was the number of countries: 46 from all over the world. With a financial support by the UNESCO and other international and national organizations, it was possible to cover the travel cost of many people who came from countries with no experience in managing ETD’s.   

This conference helped to establish a new basis for publishing of theses and dissertations worldwide. A lot of documents, such as the guide for Managing ETD’s, could be distributed in many countries. A result of tutorials offered during the Berlin conference was the creation of a multiplicity of initiatives in Africa, Asia and especially in Eastern Europe. The ETD in Berlin was also a signal for welcoming additional international conferences in the next years, such as in Sydney, Cape Town, Lima, Hong Kong and New Delhi. The Berlin conference was really the “Next Step” in disseminating of the idea of 
Network Digital Library for Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).

NDLTD Celebrates its 20th Year

posted Aug 4, 2017, 11:20 AM by NDLTD Admin

NDLTD 20th Anniversary Logo


Edward A. Fox
Executive Director and Chairman of the Board, NDLTD
August 2, 2017

Almost 30 years ago, in November 1987, a first meeting was held to explore using SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) for dissertations as part of the Electronic Manuscript Project.  This event and others in the first decade of activities related to the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, NDLTD (http://ndltd.org) are described in http://fox.cs.vt.edu/pub/ETD/ETD.html. Many early key events had been in the USA, including the U.S. Department of Education award by 9/1/1996 to “Improve Graduate Education with a National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).”  Later in 1996, Virginia Tech decided to require electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), and set a start date for this mandate, 1/1/1997. This marked the first instance (with hundreds to follow) of requiring ETDs at colleges and universities around the world. See a summary of how and why Virginia Tech became the first university to mandate ETD for graduate students in “ETD Celebrates 20th Anniversary” http://hdl.handle.net/10919/71365. 

Since it was clear that a global initiative was emerging, NDLTD was connected with its new and ongoing name, Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, managed by a steering committee, which led planning for the first ETD symposium in 1998 in Memphis, at the University of Tennessee, with 20 attendees. Subsequent years led to events in 1999 (Blacksburg, VA, at Virginia Tech, with 70), 2000 (St. Petersburg, FL, at U. of S. Florida, with 225), 2001 (Pasadena, CA, at Caltech, with 200), and 2002 (Provo, UT, at Brigham Young U., with 135). In 2003, NDLTD was incorporated in Virginia, USA, as an educational organization with 501(c)(3) non-profit status, with an international Board of Directors and a set of committees and working groups. That advance coincided with NDLTD’s first conference outside USA, in Berlin, Germany, hosted by Humboldt U., with 215 attendees (see more about ETD Conference at Humboldt-University Berlin in 2003 here).

NDLTD has continued to hold annual meetings, in collaboration with various national and regional groups, so that discussion related to the global movement toward electronic theses and dissertations could grow and develop around the world. Thus, events followed in 2004 (Lexington, KY, at U. of Kentucky), 2005 (Sydney, AU, at U. of New South Wales), 2006 (Quebec CIty, CA, at University Laval), 2007 (Uppsala, Sweden), 2008 (Aberdeen, Scotland), 2009 (Pittsburgh, PA), 2010 (Austin, TX), 2011 (Cape Town, S. Africa), 2012 (Lima, Peru), 2013 (Hong Kong), 2014 (Leicester, England), 2015 (New Delhi, India), and 2016 (Lille, France).

NDLTD is based on a small set of important ideas:
  1. Graduate students will continue into the future as they receive Masters and Doctoral degrees, to prepare theses and dissertations, which are important documents in their research careers.
  2. During their graduate years, they should learn important lifelong skills to communicate effectively through documents, and can benefit by employing the latest technologies and methods for electronic communications.
  3. Colleges and universities seek recognition for and control over their intellectual property, so clearly benefit from sharing the fruits of graduate research as openly and widely as possible, which can easily be done through digital libraries, e.g., institutional repositories, which also save space and time and expense relative to other approaches to managing theses and dissertations.
  4. Methods for sharing and collecting metadata about ETDs allow cost-effective regional, national, and international gathering of the global fruits of graduate research into a Union Catalog and Global Search Service, which can be led by NDLTD, a largely volunteer organization.
  5. Students, faculty, librarians, graduate schools / registrars, and regional / national consortia are among the many interested stakeholders who all benefit from this global collaboration. More broadly, the ETD Initiative can aid learners, teachers, scholars, researchers, and the many others interested in this rich genre.
  6. Into the future, ETDs can continue to lead the way to the unfolding of new methods of electronic publishing, sharing of datasets, reproducible scholarship, use of multimedia/hypermedia technologies, curation, preservation, and digital library services. This is a low cost and highly effective ongoing method for advancing scholarly communication.

As a volunteer organization, NDLTD needs YOU! Please help by serving on a working group or committee, or by helping advance the local or regional activities. The ETD Initiative is based on simple ideas, but calls for collaboration and concern for students and quality, and moves forward if we are open to innovation and change, which are essential ingredients of graduate research as well as scholarly communication.

There are clear benefits of ETD events to those new to the ideas, so problems can be discussed, questions answered, best practices identified, and tools/techniques shared. Likewise there are benefits to those who have worked in this arena for years, in part from the satisfaction that comes from sharing and mentoring. Even more, those with experience can address new challenges, e.g., 1) as the numbers of ETDs (now over 5 million) lead to problems of scale, and 2) as the global harvesting method calls for improved attention at all levels to quality of metadata and services as well as standardization.

Please help all colleges, universities, libraries, graduate students, faculty, administrators, and researchers to move toward the time when EVERY thesis or dissertation in the world is shared in the most effective way, as openly as possible, and utilized optimally to improve humanity.

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