Monday, September 28, 2009

Implementing ETD Submission at Boston College

Bill Donovan, BC Libraries' Digital Imaging Librarian, recently gave the presentation, "Implementing ETD Submission at Boston College", at ETD 2009, the 12th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations at The University of Pittsburgh. The abstract of Bill's presentation:
In June 2007, dozens of dissertations were lost en route from Boston College (BC) to ProQuest (PQ). From then on, we have shipped no more paper. Today, an online submission system provides electronic copies to both ProQuest and to BC’s Open Access repository. This presentation recounts what was required to make eTD@BC a reality.

BC graduate students used to submit two paper copies of their theses: one for the Archives, the other for shipping to PQ. This workflow had to change. Theses would be digitized in-house; PDFs would be uploaded. Information that students had filled in on their PQ forms would be entered manually. This workflow was labor intensive; clearly, an online submission system was needed as soon as possible.

In late 2007, a working group of library staff was formed to plan a staged transition that would ensure both preservation and access, to specify the transition stages and their timing, to allay concerns of faculty or deans, and to safeguard the integrity of the system. Importantly, we needed to educate our stakeholders regarding the benefits of an online submission system, especially when coupled with Open Access.

Starting off with an environmental scan of other universities’ ETD programs as guidance for our planning, we also began taking measures to improve the workflow, such as asking for theses on CD-R. Administrators in BC’s six schools were invited to collaborate with us. With the plan taking shape, we solicited feedback from faculty and school administrators. Concerns ranging from the very general to the very specific had to be addressed.

We are now conducting a new and improved set of eTD@BC workshops to help graduate students succeed in their online submission. While not without challenges, online ETD submission is becoming the norm at BC. Distributed digital preservation is our next step.
Click for the full-text of the presentation and for the accompanying Powerpoints slides.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the work of all people who share information with others.

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