ETD Management in the Texas Digital Library
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One of the earliest TDL initiatives was a federated collection of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from across the state. There are currently four schools contributing over 4000 ETDs per year, and with 16 participating member schools in TDL, this number is continually increasing. A diverse set of content contributors introduces problems of inconsistent metadata and incompatible storage and access methods, making it difficult to offer effective tools and services. This situation drove the decision to create a common system for managing the entire life-cycle of ETDs, from the point of ingestion to final publication. ETD management fits nicely with the other services offered by TDL, and a single point of ingestion is appealing for both technical and economic reasons. In 2007, we reported on the status of the functional system prototype. Much progress has been made toward implementation of this system, starting with the majority of the development, and leading to the demonstrator event that is currently taking place in spring 2008 at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. This presentation discusses the ETD management system from a functional point-of-view, starting with the student interface for ETD submission (the ingestion point into the repository), and then covering the administrative interface used by university staff members for managing the iterative verification workflow. Finally, we will discuss the requirements for moving forward into a production environment. These include testing and scaling the system to handle the large numbers of users dispersed over a significant geographic area (Texas is the third-highest producer of PhDs in the United States). Rough timelines will be discussed for deployment, first at Texas A&M and the University of Texas, then as the system is gradually expanded through a program of beta testers, and finally into open enrollment.