ILL requests 2002- 155 estimates, 58 copies sent 2003 (to date) - 110 estimates, 47 copies sent High cost - 300 pages £60 +VAT/P&P - 300-600 pages £100 +VAT/P&P
…so why ETDs? current demand for access inhibited by physical restrictions and cost most theses are born digital better presentation of research not available in paper format (multimedia files, dynamic data presentation, programmes and code, hyperlinks) and in the longer term, less expense to authors and libraries? (less printing/binding/paper/cataloguing/ storage costs)
International ETD programmes NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations) 185 members worldwide To date 49 universities worldwide require electronic submission, but many more have or are acquiring ETD capability.
The UK and ETDs Reasons for sluggishness How we are tackling the problem What might work in the UK The Theses Alive! project
The fact is, the UK is slow Non-assertive library-academic relationships Highly devolved structures in research universities Heterogeneous model of postgraduate administration
Are ETDs a solution in search of a problem? We cannot use the journals pricing crisis argument So if it aint broke … Research value of theses not appreciated Could publisher lag be partly to blame? But in the digital age we are learning the importance of impatience
And yet … 100% of recent and new theses are ETDs-in-waiting The demand is there –Much preferable to conventional interlibrary loan –Visibility increases demand Theses authors want it
But there is a fear of dragons Theses will be considered as prior publication (Ingelfinger thinking) Too risky The valuable research will eventually be published anyway
In other words … A combination of (understandable) academic self-interest and the relatively small size of the perceived problem is denying access to a rich world of research literature But the cavalry is here! (JISC FAIR, OAI-PMH, NDLTD)
How do we do it? Make submission easy –DSpace Make ETDs complementary –Dont build a door with a brick wall behind it Permit restriction –Win/win Work community by community –Informatics first?
Theses Alive! lead site Edinburgh pilot partners –Cambridge, Cranfield, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan funding: JISC (FAIR programme) and UoE duration: 2 years, November 2002 – October 2004
Broad aims to develop an infrastructure which enables e-theses to be published on the web to produce a checklist approach for universities to use as they develop e- theses capability
Theses Alive! Pilot project Repository publication Source customisation for UK FAQ Technical and dialogue help
Conclusion: we need to show how … We contribute to the research corpus And at the same time … We provide research impact data to our own institution Requires a new role for the Library/Information Services – not simply a replacement for traditional interlibrary loan