ALA 2008: Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions – Acquiring Content Adding ETDs to your Digital Repository

This session by Terry Owen ‘DRUM Coordinator’ from the University of Maryland libraries.

Going to show workflows they developed for adding electronic theses to their repository (called DRUM).

Another DSpace implementation – launched in 2004 (with 1100 docs – all theses), 7900+ documents as of June 2008.

They have 20 DSpace ‘Communities’ (I need to look at difference between ‘community’ and ‘collection’ on DSpace)

Sorry – drifted off there…

Generally the Grad Schools who initiate the ETD – the stakeholders for ETD are:

  • Students
  • Faculty Advisors
  • Graduate School
  • Library
  • IT Dept

The s/w options for ETD submission (i.e. the bit the student interacts with):

  • Proquest/BEPRESS
  • ETD-db (Virginia Tech and NDLTD – Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations – recommended for advice)

Running through some benefits of ETD:

  • Can be found, read, used by global audience
  • Increases chances of citation
  • Lower costs (printing and copying)
  • Less hassle for students
  • Educates students on electronic publishing
  • Showcases an institution’s research

Some workflow stuff – need the slides really though. Noting that when students enter data they make lots of mistakes – to titles, even to their own names.

However, only the library catalogue record is checked – then the cataloguers pass the information to DRUM, who make corrections ‘as time allows’ – this is absolute madness!

They provide links from the library catalogue to the DRUM record – either via URL recorded in MARC record, or via OpenURL link resolver (which leads to the question in my mind – why bother having any metadata in DRUM at all – just have it in the library catalogue!)

Some ETD concerns:

  • Will journal publishers still accept my article if it is available electronically
  • What if I want to submit a patent based on my research?
  • What if I want to write a book related to my thesis
  • etc.

So, decided to provide Embargo options:

  • Restrict access for 1 year
  • Restrict for 6 years
  • Restrict indefinitely
    • Requires written approval by the Dean of the Graduate School

However, the print copy is not embargoed – and will be supplied on Inter-library Loan! So just making work for ourselves here!

Why embargo?

  • 1 year – for patent protection on materials, to publish in a journal with restrictive publication policies
  • 6 years – to write a book

DSpace embargo options very limited. Could have created an ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ collection – but since this doubles the number of collections.

Can control access to items (I think this is exactly what we need for our MSc theses – need to investigate, since I was told it couldn’t be done) – however, it doesn’t work very well from a user experience perspective – asks you to login, then tells you that you can’t access it.

Instead they decided to create a ‘Restricted Access’ option, which explains to the end user. They have automated the process – the grad school pass the embargo information across with the metadata (I think this is right) and automatically applied.

There is a form that the students use – all students fill it out, offers options of ‘immediate access’, ‘1 year embargo’, ‘6 year embargo’, or ‘indefinite embargo’ – has to be signed by faculty advisor, and comes with handout about the embargo, and why you would embargo etc.

So far 474 requests for embargos (since 2006) – represents 31% of submission (note that the first 1 year embargos have now passed, so less that 474 embargoed theses in the system).

Most commonly embargoed (by percentage) are Chemistry and Life Sciences, and Business. More 6 year embargoes from Arts and Humanities – because of book writing.

They see the rate of embargo as high – are planning to do more education about this.

The Grad School committee did not want electronic copies ‘floating around’ – so library is doing all kinds of jumping through hoops to print out and mail theses that are requested on ILL. Looking at possibility of having a non-printable PDF. Also hoping to allow on-campus access to embargoed ETDs.

I think I would have lost patience at this point – lucky I don’t do advocacy 😉

They have some special cases – Copyrighted works -have a ‘redacted’ version in DRUM, and a note is added – a full version is kept in the library (either in print or on CD/DVD etc.) – again what nonsense.

Sorry – it isn’t the DRUM managers fault, I just can’t quite believe the contortions here (although note that the number of theses falling into this last category is small).

In summary:

  • ETDs require regular attention
  • Build a good relationship with the Grad School
  • Important to educate faculty advisors and students about open access issues
  • Be prepared to implement embargoes
  • Link ETDs to library catalog
  • Have plans in place for special cases (copyrighted works)
  • Efficient and capable IT department
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2 thoughts on “ALA 2008: Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions – Acquiring Content Adding ETDs to your Digital Repository

  1. Theoretically, a DSpace “community” is a collection of people (e.g. a school, department, or research unit), whereas a “collection” is a collection of stuff (papers, images, whatever).
    In practice, though, the distinction only serves to confuse.

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