Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Monday, July 17, 2006

More on OA to ETDs

Sharon Reeves, John Hagen, and Christine Jewell, Unlocking Scholarly Access: ETDs, Institutional Repositories and Creators: Highlights of ETD 2006, the 9th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, a preprint forthcoming in Library Hi Tech News, August 2006. Excerpt:
The conference was organized around four tracks: open access, open source, intellectual property and institutional repositories....

All four keynote presentations were absolutely stellar. Peter Suberís opening keynote address on open access and Jean-Claude Guédonís closing plenary address on ETDs and institutional repositories in an open access environment really tied the whole conference together. To set the stage, in his opening address Peter Suber (Earlham College)...made a strong case that ETDs are one of the genres most suited to open access, noting that theses and dissertations undergo rigorous review and might even be the most useful resources for a researcher, yet ironically dissertations can be the least accessible. He went on to advocate that universities mandate open access for ETDs and to suggest solutions for issues identified by various stakeholders.

In the parallel session on Open Access that took place later the same day, a team from the University of Waterloo described its universityís recent decision to require students to submit ETDs. Waterloo implemented the first ETD submission program in Canada in 1999. Over the past seven years faculty have become more comfortable with the idea of electronic publishing as scholarly information in electronic format has become ubiquitous and at the same time students have become increasingly enthusiastic about ETDs. The presenters identified key factors in the preparation for required electronic submission as communication with all stakeholders and promotion of the benefits of open access, along with adequate instructional and software support. The University of Waterloo is the first Canadian university to mandate electronic submission of theses and dissertations....

In a thoughtful and amusing closing keynote address Jean-Claude Guédon (Université de Montréal) neatly tied together the conference themes of open access, ETDs and institutional repositories (IR). He talked about examples of the open access movement, such as open access journals, ETDs and self-archiving in institutional repositories. Guédon went on to point out that faculty at many institutions have the option to deposit their work in an IR but are resistant to do so because they donít recognize the benefits. Some feel that their work does not receive a high enough profile in a mixed content institutional repository. Guédon recommended putting all peer reviewed papers and articles in one section of the repository and ETDs in another. He suggested that ETDs could be a test bed for faculty submissions, i.e. if ETDs are better used and cited than faculty research then faculty will realize the impact and value of institutional repositories and make contributions....