UPeTD: It's the start of your publishing career




UPeTD: It's the start of your publishing career


The role of electronic theses to jumpstart scholarly communication is discussed in the context of a first world university in a developing country. In the developing world the context within which new initiatives are taken is of the utmost importance: resources are constantly in short supply which implies that projects cannot be launched merely because they are interesting, because the enabling technology is available or because the rest of the world is doing it. It should make a very definite contribution to the most prominent strategic goals in order to have a chance to succeed. The University of Pretoria is one of a few truly first world universities in South Africa, competing with the rest of the world amidst the constraints of a developing country at the other end of the globe. It strives to be known for international competitiveness, local relevance and a commitment to continuous innovation. Its graduates, branded as the Innovation Generation, must exemplify a new generation of well-rounded, future leaders and the spirit of creative energy. The paper will discuss the University of Pretoria's electronic theses project (UPeTD) in the following contexts: 1. Renewed focus on research. Over the last five years emphasis was placed on learning in order to help create top class human resources for a fast growing economy. Now the time has come to pump resources into research. Publications and patents should increase. New researchers have to be trained and research leadership needs to be cultivated. Quality post-graduate work forms the basis of this drive. 2. An e-scholarship initiative, of which UPeTD forms the first leg, will support these research goals by creating a climate and environment conducive to world class research and the latest developments in scholarly communication. 3. African initiative is necessary to bring our continent on board the electronic theses movement. UP plans to play an active role in the UNESCO initiative for Africa. Clearly for us this is much more than a change in format. It plays a vital role in jumpstarting the careers of our young researchers.