[Irtalk] Adding Value to Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Institutional Repositories

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 10:41:45 SAST 2014

Part of the grey literature, electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)
represent a growing segment of open, available content in institutional
repositories (IR) where they contribute to the impact and ranking of their
institution. More than half of all IRs listed in the Directory of Open
Access Repositories contain ETDs. Most of these open access projects have
similarities and common features, such as access to full text and
compliance with the OAI metadata harvesting protocol. But more important
are the differences, with regard to metadata, policy, access restrictions,
representativeness, file format, status, quality and related services. In
this paper, we investigate what can be done to improve the quality of
content and service provision in an open environment, in order to increase
impact, traffic and usage. Based on a review of 54 recent communications
and articles on PhD theses in institutional repositories, this paper shows
five ways in which institutions can add value to the deposit and
dissemination of electronic theses and dissertations and describes two
developments that are challenging institutional repositories.

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