University of Waterloo electronic theses: issues and partnerships
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss issues associated with open access (OA) to electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and to describe the University of Waterloo E-thesis Project and its partnerships with Theses Canada and the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. Design/methodology/approach – UW E-thesis Project decisions on issues associated with electronic submission and OA are presented. Partnerships with Theses Canada and the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations are described and the goals and activities of these organizations are outlined. Findings – Author-created metadata form the UW E-theses searchable database of records that link to theses in full text. The metadata are OAI compliant and are harvested by Theses Canada and the ETD Union Catalog. The E-theses Project supports authors' rights while minimizing access restrictions and encourages innovations while respecting the value of gradually evolving thesis standards and traditions. The success of the UW E-thesis Project illustrates that progress can be made toward the OA paradigm for theses and dissertations while upholding perennial values. Collaborations with like-minded organizations support and advance these goals. Originality/value – Academic librarians and graduate studies officers will find this e-thesis project description and this discussion of issues relevant to planning and maintaining electronic thesis submission and access systems at their own universities. The descriptions of the benefits of the partnerships may prompt readers to make similar connections themselves.