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Time to Harvest: Electronic Doctoral Theses in Italy Stefania Arabito, Daniela Cermesoni, Paola Galimberti, Marialaura Vignocchi ETD 2008, Aberdeen, 4th-7th.

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Presentation on theme: "Time to Harvest: Electronic Doctoral Theses in Italy Stefania Arabito, Daniela Cermesoni, Paola Galimberti, Marialaura Vignocchi ETD 2008, Aberdeen, 4th-7th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Time to Harvest: Electronic Doctoral Theses in Italy Stefania Arabito, Daniela Cermesoni, Paola Galimberti, Marialaura Vignocchi ETD 2008, Aberdeen, 4th-7th June

2 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June2 Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Harvesters 1565 - Oil on Wood - New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

3 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June3 The CRUI Working Group on Open Access Set up in April 2006 within the Library Committee of the Conference of the Rectors of Italian Universities (CRUI). The OA WG aims to implement the principles of the Berlin Declaration. The starting assumption was to ensure visibility, dissemination and impact to doctoral theses by archiving them into OA IRs, as the first step towards establishing OA policies for all research outputs.

4 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June4 The accessibility of doctoral theses in Italy... The role of the National Libraries in Florence and Rome Preserve doctoral theses Ensure public access Often searchable in local University OPACs

5 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June5 …with some restraints Physical access to doctoral theses delayed because shipment from Universities cataloguing procedures are extremely time consuming. Doctoral theses cannot be checked out; They cannot be requested on interlibrary loan; No photocopying services are provided on premises.

6 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June6 How to enhance doctoral theses: Immediate deposit in IRs, to the advantage of both post graduates and the Institutions they belong to; Open Access availability in compliance with the Berlin Declaration and the recent recommendations of the European Commission ( Council calls for swift progress to knowledge economy, http://cordis.europa.eu/search/index.cfm?fus eaction=news.document&N_RCN=29243). http://cordis.europa.eu/search/index.cfm?fus eaction=news.document&N_RCN=29243

7 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June7 The Guidelines (1) The Linee guida per il deposito delle tesi di dottorato negli archivi aperti (Guidelines for archiving doctoral theses in IRs) were approved by CRUI in November 2007 and are meant to promote best practices for capturing storing disseminating electronic doctoral theses.

8 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June8 The Guidelines (2) Models provided by Germany, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden, where harvesting services, established at a national level, have carried out the European E-Theses project. The Guidelines aim at supplying a practical toolkit for all Italian Universities planning to deposit doctoral theses in IRs. Legal forms and clauses are included A metadata scheme has been devised for the sake of interoperability. Practicable solutions offered to simplify both administrative and technical procedures.

9 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June9 Legal issues (1) the PhD student is the only author as such holds all moral rights and economic exploitation rights hence, s/he has the right to prevent his/her thesis from being publicly available. The laws regulating PhD courses ( DPR 07/11/80, n. 382, art 73, D.M. n. 224 04/30/99) conversely hold BNCF responsible for making all PhD theses publicly available. Italian copyright law

10 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June10 Legal issues (2) There is no specific law catering for electronic material and copyright issues. In fact most Universities do not provide full access to e-theses lest copyright infringements may ensue. These Universities have not set up an IR yet. However, the assumption of the OA WG is that accessibility should be nation-wide and by no means institution-wide.

11 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June11 Institutional Repositories (1) Doctoral theses become public as soon as they are defended CRUI OA WG Guidelines Italian Universities have the right and the duty to mandate self-archiving of doctoral theses in their IRs.

12 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June12 Institutional Repositories (2) The institutional policies regulating PhD courses have to be suitably modified. notification of theses availability in the IR after defence is a requirement for being granted a PhD degree students will have to comply with such provision but for a few exceptions where an embargo period will be allowed For ongoing courses immediate deposit can be mandated. All universities should adopt similar strategies and go for self-archiving instead of mediated deposit by librarians.

13 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June13 Institutional Repositories (3) All doctoral theses will be submitted to, or harvested by, BNCF and BNCR, which are in charge of legal deposit long-term preservation national discovery and accessibility. Integration and interoperability require the adoption of standard protocols and metadata.

14 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June14 Copyright clearance and embargo Copyright issues jeopardize the free availability of theses: use of third party owned materials third parties involved (possible infringement of privacy) patentable discoveries ongoing publication of data (according to the publisher policy) EMBARGO PERIOD, in compliance with the immediate deposit/optional access model. metadata immediately searchable and retrievable e-theses embargoed for a period from 6 to 12 months.

15 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June15 Sharing the metadata (1) Metadata set attached to the Guidelines the OA WG made a comparative analysis between the metadata sets commonly used in Italian IRs and current European practices. interoperable repositories not only in Italy but also in Europe share standardized procedures. All the main harvesting servers can convert the metadata set of an IR to a standard format. It is crucial to build upon a common metadata set, to avoid subsequent interventions to normalize metadata both within and outside Italy.

16 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June16 Sharing the metadata (2) Presently, the only viable objective is to attain the interoperability level of sharing a common protocol for data exchange (OAI-PMH), information exchange and data structure, with an accurate definition of the meanings of all fields. Simple Dublin Core has been considered inaccurate for an advanced search, ensured by a DC qualified metadata set. Some fields are mandatory, others are recommended or optional.

17 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June17 Sharing the metadata (3) Set of mandatory fields dc.title: title of the work; dc.creator: author of the work (surname, name); dc.description: abstract (better if in English); dc.language: language (format ISO639-1); dc.identifier: URL of the thesis full-text or of a halfway page; dc.type: Doctoral Thesis (only in English); dc.contributor: tutor/supervisor (surname, name); dc.date: date of publication (ISO 8601), i.e. date of defence; this is the only date in metadata dc.publisher: name of the University dc.format: dimension in bytes/MIME type. Set of recommended or optional fields dc.subject: classification of subject fields according to the Ministry of Education and Research; dc.rights: embargo or immediate availability

18 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June18 File formats (1) administrative documents need to secure and endure Authenticity Integrity fixity for the sake of long-term digital preservation. They should also be assigned suitable archival metadata. bibliographic items criteria of web accessibility lack of domain expertise in the field of digital curation by authors and limited informatics toolset lack of awareness of format obsolescence interest in protecting their work from unintentional/malicious altering after web publishing files must not be encrypted, in order to permit refreshing. The right file formats is still a controversial issue, especially in the domain of e-theses.

19 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June19 File formats (2) What to do: Educate on long-term preservation issues. Provide with the correct tools to produce xml files. Liaise with faculty. User-friendly and effective authoring tools. A nation-wide strategy. All the parties involved should share their expertise.

20 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June20 File formats (3) About PDF PDF/A has eventually been chosen – in accordance with the requirements of the National Libraries. it does not allow text mining; has become a de facto standard all over Europe and beyond (apart from Germany); Digital Preservation Coalition recommendations Betsy A. Fanning, Preserving the Data Explosion: Using PDF. DPC, 2008. www.dpconline.org/docs/reports/dpctw08-02.pdf But trouble and not straightforward choice for Universities; need to start collecting and store e-theses; yet, the matter is not settled at all; a constant evaluation of file formats is required;

21 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June21 File formats – archivists point of view Long-term preservation vs accessibility Archive and dissemination files should be different. Possibility to duplicate the uploaded thesis applying different metadata to the archive file. Authorization by the author required. Effective collaboration between librarians and archivists.

22 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June22 IRs and National Libraries (1) July 2007: legal deposit of doctoral theses could rely on digital technology / paper copies were no longer needed. The OA WG immediately started a project with BNCF and BNCR to test the feasibility of the new system: analyze the workflow of the legal deposit of e- theses implement the necessary technological infrastructure to automate the procedure.

23 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June23 IRs and National Libraries (2) At this early stage, two possible technical procedures have been put forward BNCF will harvest both the metadata and full-texts via OAI-PMH of the doctoral theses of the Universities which have already implemented their IRs. alternative upload via web form for the Universities which have not set up an OAI-PMH compliant repository yet. Planned workflow only partially accomplished. Harvesting via OAI-PMH tested successfully with the IR of the University of Bologna, but SHA1 hashes have not been sent back and metadata have not been validated. even the metadata issue has not been settled yet. BNCF required simple and not qualified Dublin Core. The National Libraries and Universities will have to jointly develop functional metadata for legal deposit procedures, including the automated management of digital rights.

24 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June24 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (1) Last January the OA WG carried out a survey amongst Italian Universities. Here are the main outcomes of the questionnaire: 25 Universities were collecting or about to collect electronic doctoral theses in IRs, mostly to make them OA available (table 1); Resolutions of Academic Senates (table 2); the local output ranges from 50 to 500-800 doctoral theses per year, according to the size of the institutions, with an average of 200-300 theses per year; librarians mainly advocated depositing in the IR; workflow procedures were taken in charge mainly by librarians, with the cooperation of administrative staff;

25 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June25 Availability of collected doctoral theses (table 1) Most of the 25 Universities collecting doctoral theses in IRs make them OA available.

26 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June26 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (1) Last January the OA WG carried out a survey amongst Italian Universities. Here are the main outcomes of the questionnaire: 25 Universities were collecting or about to collect electronic doctoral theses in IRs, mostly to make them OA available (table 1); Resolutions of Academic Senates (table 2); the local output ranges from 50 to 500-800 doctoral theses per year, according to the size of the institutions, with an average of 200-300 theses per year; librarians mainly advocated depositing in the IR; workflow procedures were taken in charge mainly by librarians, with the cooperation of administrative staff;

27 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June27 Academic Senates (table 2) only a few Academic Senates have officially mandated the deposit of doctoral theses in IRs; 50% put a mandate on the deposit only, 50% put a mandate on OA availability

28 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June28 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (1) Last January the OA WG carried out a survey amongst Italian Universities. Here are the main outcomes of the questionnaire: 25 Universities were collecting or about to collect electronic doctoral theses in IRs, mostly to make them OA available (table 1); Resolutions of Academic Senates (table 2); the local output ranges from 50 to 500-800 doctoral theses per year, according to the size of the institutions, with an average of 200-300 theses per year; librarians mainly advocated depositing in the IR; workflow procedures were taken in charge mainly by librarians, with the cooperation of administrative staff;

29 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June29 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (2) DSpace and Eprints are the most popular software tools. IRs are in most cases integrated with other databases, particularly administrative databases, authentication systems, research archives, OPACs, cross-search utilities; self-archiving is a common ingestion procedure; in most cases however librarians deposit e-theses; embargo is usually allowed for periods ranging from six months to three years. Twelve months is the standard embargo period for almost 50% of the Universities. The length of the embargo is very rarely left to the choice of PhD students. In all cases they are required to sign a declaration stating the reasons for the embargo. In all cases metadata are immediately searchable and retrievable (table 3); services added to basic e-theses management (print on demand, legal deposit, statistical services, legal advice for users, permanent preservation) are supplied by 50% of the institutions; 50% is planning to implement them;

30 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June30 Embargo (table 3) IRs and embargo

31 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June31 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (2) DSpace and Eprints are the most popular software tools. IRs are in most cases integrated with other databases, particularly administrative databases, authentication systems, research archives, OPACs, cross-search utilities; self-archiving is a common ingestion procedure; in most cases however librarians deposit e-theses; embargo is usually allowed for periods ranging from six months to three years. Twelve months is the standard embargo period for almost 50% of the Universities. The length of the embargo is very rarely left to the choice of PhD students. In all cases they are required to sign a declaration stating the reasons for the embargo. In all cases metadata are immediately searchable and retrievable (table 3); services added to basic e-theses management (print on demand, legal deposit, statistical services, legal advice for users, permanent preservation) are supplied by 50% of the institutions; 50% is planning to implement them;

32 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June32 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (3) libraries grant financial support in 50% of the Universities; research and/or other institutional units contribute to maintain 50% of IRs; the workflow relies on the interaction between librarians, computer specialists, administrative staff, and tutors. Seldom are librarians the only actors involved; half IRs are dependent on outsourcing contracts, half are managed with internal resources; all Universities would appreciate nation-wide interoperability, namely on syntactic (federated search on multiple archives) and semantic (multilingual, discipline and subject search) bases. Semantic interoperability is considered to be very hard to achieve, though. A dedicated Italian harvester would be top- priority.

33 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June33 E-theses and IRs in Italy: work in progress (4) According to the surveyed institutions, the following issues should be tackled at a European level to enhance the value of electronic doctoral theses (table 4) : widespread archiving programmes; common standards; a European portal/network for doctoral theses; ongoing advocacy; joint international projects; joint participation to international conferences; equivalent systems of higher education in Italy and in Europe; economic, legal and technical support; unlocking the potential of PhD research; networking with publishers.

34 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June34 Issues to be tackled at a European level… (table 4)

35 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June35 Case study (1) - Bologna http://amsdottorato.cib.unibo.it/ Not less than 650/800 doctoral theses per year. 2006: launch of the project aiming at setting up an OAI- PMH compliant IR in order to collect, organize and provide access to the doctoral theses produced at the University of Bologna. Now the repository stores, indexes and provides access to all the theses defended in 2007 and 2008, and is harvested by the BNCF for legal deposit. The project has not evolved into a fully legitimate institutional procedure yet. The various scientific communities have reacted to this indication differently, according to the disciplines, Impact Factor heavily influences research outputs evaluation (young researchers transform their doctoral theses in their first monographic publication).

36 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June36 Case study (2) - Bologna Bologna University has not put a true mandate on OA publication for doctoral theses yet (but only a small number of documents are actually not accessible at all and not merely embargoed). A statistical analysis shows a good acceptance of OA. Out of 565 already published theses, 7% only are subjected to availability restrictions. The most common reasons for restricting the availability of their theses proves once again how the commercial publishing system is deeply rooted in the academic domain. OA is not actually rejected, it is rather considered to be a sort of second best choice. Need to focus on the different needs of the various research communities. Find better and new ways to make the repository more appealing in order to transform it into a real service supporting research.

37 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June37 Case study (3) - Trieste http://www.openstarts.units.it Roughly 200 doctoral theses per year. 2006: OpenstarTs started as an institutional project managed by the Library System grant theses higher visibility and maximize their impact by depositing them in an OAI-PMH compliant repository Sustainability was a major constraint (lack of human resources). The project could cover only start-up expenses, namely the technical support of an external consultant; it was therefore crucial to take a lean approach through full cooperation with the PhD department and interoperability with existing databases. Integrated with LDAP for authentication and with the Registrars Department data warehouse for the relevant metadata. 2007: the system was tested by PhD volunteer students, who only upload their PDF. User friendliness of the procedure appreciated: only abstracts and keywords were entered, all the other metadata had already been entered (and validated) via the Registrars Department data warehouse and subsequently mapped in the repository.

38 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June38 Case study (4) - Trieste 2008: self archiving doctoral theses in the repository was made compulsory as part of the requirements for defence and for the award of a PhD degree. Post graduate students were allowed to opt for a one-year embargo and asked to specify the reason for their request. The 2008 output (181 doctoral theses) will soon be harvested by the National Library of Florence.

39 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June39 Conclusion (1) The aim of the OA WG was to publish the Guidelines, as a reference tool for the Universities planning to deposit doctoral theses in IRs and to make them OA available. The goal was the dissemination of doctoral theses, given their importance as research outputs and their lack of visibility on the web and consequent lost impact. The Guidelines have been greatly appreciated by all the surveyed institutions. In all cases, the Guidelines represent a milestone for putting into effect a national common strategy on OA. The mission of the OA WG has not been accomplished yet. Pervasive advocacy is needed to expand existing IRs and neutralize resistance to change.

40 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June40 Conclusion (2) It is important to keep constantly and closely in touch with other European and international working groups to monitor their progress and keep up with their activities. Establish value added services for this kind of materials, at European level too: syntactic and semantic interoperability, the use of common standards, a dedicated Italian harvester. It will also be vital to instruct PhD students on their rights as authors and on the correct use of third party materials. Last but not least, an exchange of ideas with archivists on the preservation and certification of doctoral theses is top priority.

41 ETD 2008 Aberdeen, 4th – 7th June41 Acknowledgements Stefania Arabito, Paola Galimberti, Marialaura Vignocchi. OA-WG CRUI - Prof. R. Delle Donne Insubria University, SiBA, Dr. A. Bezzi, Prof. A. Sdralevich.

42 Thank you! daniela.cermesoni@uninsubria.it


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