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Now Published! Guidance Briefs: Preserving and Curating ETD Research Data and Complex Digital Objects

posted Oct 3, 2016, 11:38 AM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 11:48 AM ]
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The ETDplus project ( has published a set of six Guidance Briefs about the curation and preservation of ETD research data and complex digital objects. 

These open documents are ready to be adopted and adapted for local use by universities/colleges to help students understand how to prepare, manage, and store the research files associated with their ETDs.

About the ETD Guidance Briefs

The Guidance Briefs are short (3-4 page) “how-to” oriented briefs designed to help ETD programs build and nurture supportive relationships with student researchers. These briefs are written for a student audience. They are designed to assist student researchers in understanding how their approaches to data and content management impact credibility, replicable research, and general long-term accessibility: knowledge and skills that will impact the health of their careers for years to come.

In addition to providing actionable, easy-to-follow advice about how to organize, store, and protect their research files, these Guidance Briefs help students recognize how their own content management practices will impact the credibility, replicability, and long-term accessibility of their findings. This knowledge and skills will impact the health of their careers for years to come.

Anyone can download, edit, and use the Guidance Briefs using the links on this page. A forthcoming workshop series featuring these Briefs and geared toward student audiences will also be available to ETD programs in early 2017.

Use the Guidance Briefs

Interested ETD stakeholders can download copies of the Guidance Briefs (as Word or RTF documents) at the following website, The Guidance Briefs cover the following topics:
  1. Copyright
  2. Data Structures
  3. File Formats
  4. Metadata
  5. Storage
  6. Version Control
We are releasing these Briefs as openly editable documents. We want institutions to use and reuse these in whatever ways work best for their local audiences. Each Brief includes generally applicable information about its topic, and also includes a “Local Practices” section that an institution should use to call attention to what’s happening on its own campus. 

If you have any further questions about the Guidance Briefs or about the ETDplus project, don't hesitate to reach out to us:

About the ETDplus Project
The ETDplus project is helping institutions ensure the longevity and availability of ETD research data and complex digital objects (e.g., software, multimedia files) that comprise an integral component of student theses and dissertations. The project is generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and led by the Educopia Institute, in collaboration with the NDLTD, HBCU Alliance, bepress, ProQuest, and the libraries of Carnegie Mellon, Indiana State, Morehouse, Oregon State, Penn State, Purdue, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech.