Time to Harvest: Electronic Doctoral Theses in Italy




Time to Harvest: Electronic Doctoral Theses in Italy


The Libraries Committee of the Conference of the Rectors of Italian Universities, hence CRUI, has recently approved the Guidelines for archiving doctoral theses in Institutional Repositories. The Guidelines are the first step of an initiative aimed at putting the principles of the Berlin Declaration into effect in Italian Universities. The CRUI Working Group on Open Access has conceived the Guidelines as a toolkit for Italian Universities, i.e. practical and legal advice for managing and disseminating theses via Open Access IRs. This paper will detail the text of the guidelines reporting the main issues addressed by the Working Group. Legal implications have been rated as a top priority, and an embargo period has been required to protect patents and works in publication. Metadata have been defined in accordance with both European recommendations (KE) and Italian National Libraries requirements, in order to implement national and international service interoperability. Delivery formats for long term preservation have likewise been judged as a matter of great importance. This paper will illustrate how CRUI recommendations are affecting Italian University policies by presenting the results of a survey conducted early this year. The legal deposit of electronic doctoral theses via OAI-PMH, a parallel project started in 2007, has recently obtained full support by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and has already reached the test phase. This paper will show the potential impact in terms of enhancing national discovery and provision services.