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Electronic theses: the turning point

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Purpose ‐ To describe the key findings of the UK JISC-funded Electronic Theses project that was led by The Robert Gordon University, as well as the results of associated projects that formed part of the JISC-funded "FAIR" programme, and the way in which the recommendations will be taken forward. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research involved: an assessment of existing best practice relating to the production, management and use of e-theses; the use of questionnaires to obtain feedback from potential users; the identification and testing of potentially useful software; consideration of the elements required in a metadata core set, and discussions with representative bodies to ensure that the model recommended for use in the UK had support from the key stakeholders. Findings ‐ Information is provided about the value of the NDLTD web site, the suitability of DSpace and EPrints software for institutional e-theses repositories, and the recommended infrastructure for the operation of an e-theses service at national level. Details are included about the agreed metadata core set for UK e-theses, and advice is provided about administrative, legal and cultural issues. Practical implications ‐ The JISC-funded EThOS project is taking forward many of the recommendations from the Electronic Theses project. Originality/value ‐ The research results described in this paper will be of use to institutions, which are aiming to establish their own e-theses collections. The details provided about the UK approach towards the management of e-theses may be of use in countries, which have not yet made their theses available in electronic format.

Keywords: Best practice; Electronic publishing; Higher education; Theses; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2005


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