Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

International harvesting of OA ETD repositories

Leading the way with a European e-Theses demonstrator project, a press release from the Dutch SURF Foundation, July 31, 2007.  Excerpt:

The organisations JISC (UK), the National Library of Sweden and the Dutch SURFfoundation have tested the interoperability of repositories for e-theses. The result  is a freely accessible European e-Theses portal providing access to over 10,000 doctoral theses.

For the first time ever, various local repositories containing doctoral e-theses have been harvested on an international scale. Five countries were involved in the project: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Doctoral theses contain some of the most current and valuable research produced within universities. Still, they are underused as research resources. Nowadays, theses and dissertations no longer have to gather dust in attics or on the shelves of university libraries. By making them available on the Internet, both the author and the university can showcase their research, benefiting not only fellow scientists, but a broad public as well. And when they are publicly available, they are used many times more often than printed theses available only at libraries or by inter-library loan.

The result of this pilot project is described in the report A Portal for Doctoral e-theses in Europe; Lessons Learned from a Demonstrator Project. The report gives practical recommendations to improve the interoperability between the service provider and the data supplier. The recommendations are entirely in line with the guidelines of the DRIVER project.

The report may be useful for institutions that wish to show the world the results of their research. By making their material accessible in a standardised manner and using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), they can reach beyond any boundary….