All entries for Tuesday 11 October 2005

October 11, 2005

Electronic thesis submission.

Writing about web page http://www.vtls.com/

VTLS Inc. have announced the release of VALET, a "Web submission solution for managing electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), which uses customizable, form-based templates to allow ETDs to be submitted into an underlying FEDORA™ repository." VALET is available free as open source software.

I have been watching the momentum of institutional repositories, and it seems to me that one of the biggest obstacles is getting copyright permission from publishers in order to store a copy of any work. However, Universities already own the copyright for theses written by their own members, so perhaps institutional repositories will begin as thesis repositories.

In my opinion, the second biggest obstacle to creating an instiutional repository of any sort is the creation of metadata. Metadata is what enables people to use the repository to find works on whatever they are interested in. Metadata is what makes the storage of those works worthwhile, but who should create it? VALET automatically creates standardized metadata when a thesis is submitted to a repository. It is pre-configured to create Dublin Core or ETDs metadata, but can also be configured to use other metadata schemas such as MARCXML.

So it seems to me that VALET is a step in the right direction.


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