Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Initiatives in India: Identification of Some Indicators of Success



Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Initiatives in India: Identification of Some Indicators of Success


India has over 354 university level institutions. Most of these Institutions offer Doctoral programmes in different disciplines. Over 130 theses are accepted every week for award of Doctoral degree by all these universities put together. A copy of each thesis in print format goes in to the collection of University library for preservation and future use. Systematic efforts have been made by various agencies at national level to achieve the bibliographic control of this valuable collection. The Association of Indian University publishes the list of theses accepted by the universities in India as part of its weekly publication University News. Consolidated lists of the same under broad disciplines are also published by this association. The Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET) has created a bibliographic database having over 2,00,000 records. The DELNET, NASSDOC and Vidyanidhi Project have also initiated work in this area and maintaining sizeable records providing bibliographic information. During last few years, quite a good number of universities have started creating Electronic Theses and Dissertations database covering full text of theses submitted to their universities using open sources software such as DSpace and E-Prints. Some of them have formulated policies to accept the theses in e-form besides the print. The Vidyanidhi: Digital Library and E-scholarship project has already put in over 600 theses in full text. INFLIBNET proposes to facilitate the universities to undertake the work of creating ETDs. To give an impetus and direction to the efforts in this area, the University Grants Commission came out with some regulations to be followed by universities for creating ETDs and sharing the information. All this indicates that, like many other developed and developing countries, there has been a strong desire in India to make this rich, valuable and unique information contained in the theses and dissertations available for furthering the scholarship. What the author is attempting to do in this proposed paper is to critically look at each ETD project undertaken by the universities, R&D institutions as well as national level organizations in India using certain well established parameters and present the progress made along with their future plans. This paper will also present the issues and challenges faced by these institutions in creating the ETDs, particularly, the challenge of creating ETD in Indian languages. Paper would also present certain indicators which can be used to measure the success of these ETD efforts in the country.