NDLTD Union Catalog Surpasses One Million Electronic Theses and Dissertations
April 29, 2010 Blacksburg, VA, USA
The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) announced today that there are now over one million readily available electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) online worldwide. The NDLTD, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), VTLS and Scirus maintain and provide access related to the NDLTD Union Catalog of ETDs available in institutional repositories around the globe.
The NDLTD is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the creation, dissemination, use, adoption, and preservation of digital theses and dissertations. The NDLTD assists students and universities in using electronic publishing and digital libraries to more effectively share knowledge in order to unlock potential benefits worldwide. The NDLTD also promotes student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of innovative software to create cutting edge hypertext/multimedia ETDs.
The NDLTD is comprised of many individual member institutions and consortia, each of which has or plans to put in place a process for archiving and distributing ETDs; others are welcome to join if they have similar interest. The Union Catalog Project is an attempt to make these individual collections appear as one seamless digital library of ETDs to students and researchers seeking out theses and dissertations.
In 1997 the first ETD program requirement was instituted at Virginia Tech. Over the course of thirteen years ETD programs have now been implemented in thousands of colleges and universities around the world. The one millionth ETD milestone indicates that ETD implementation is beginning to reach a critical mass. Indeed, in January, the count exceeded 800K records, while as of April 19, the record count reached 1.6 million, though there may be some duplicate records.
In the higher-GDP countries, institutions are rapidly adopting ETDs on a per-institutional or state-wide basis. Many lower-GDP countries are adopting ETDs at a national level as one means of jump-starting and disseminating research and development activities. The NDLTD anticipates that the number of ETDs worldwide will increase rapidly as more schools in every region around the globe implement ETD programs.
The NDLTD’s programs help universities improve graduate education through more effective sharing of research; enhance the potential value of intellectual property; increase the speed at which research methods and results are shared; and participate in digital libraries, by collecting, cataloging, archiving, and making accessible electronic theses and dissertations worldwide.
The NDLTD also directly assists graduate students by teaching the value of electronic publishing and digital libraries. Through the actions of its international Board of Directors, committees, and working groups, as well as an annual international conference, NDLTD provides guidance, standards, and technology supporting submission and other digital library services tailored to electronic theses and dissertations.
Many institutions around the world are represented in the NDLTD Union Catalog. Universities can participate by implementing the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to contribute metadata records to the union catalog. The NDLTD provides free resources to implement OAI-PMH in an institutional repository.
We are moving closer to achieving the vision first discussed in 1987 of a global networked digital library of theses and dissertations. The ETD and open access movements promoted by the NDLTD have enhanced scholarly communications, making valuable information and knowledge available at the touch of a button.
Edward A. Fox, Executive Director, NDLTD
Thom Hickey, Research Scientist, OCLC
Vinod Chachra, President & CEO, VTLS
Christine Erb, Product Manager, Scirus