I recently helped out running Electronic Theses and Dissertations 2014 at University of Leicester 23rd – 25th July 2014 with colleagues from Academic Liaison in the Library.
Before the event I was wondering what more there was to be said about Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs):
I learned that:
- Many places in the world are just starting to make ETDs available
- Leaps and bounds are being made in making ETDs understandable by computers
- People are thinking beyond ETDs as an electronic version of essentially a block of written text towards richer digital objects
The size of the conference was perfect for both meeting many colleagues from around the world and having very practical conversations in small groups which I feel can get lost in very large events.
I was impressed at the way structured and carefully curated ETDs could be made available and deeply searched so facts could be extracted and presented. We could read a dissertation in traditional fashion from anywhere in the world or extract knowledge from many theses collected as a group. I didn’t know automated or semi-automated text and image semantic software was so advanced or being worked on by such an active open community.
There is a huge amount of research and analysis done by people earning higher degrees and I’m glad to be part of making that available to the world in addition to journals and other channels for research publications.
The NDLTD ETD Awards – 2014 Winners were presented and the winners spoke to us live about their work. I liked the idea of rewarding innovative uses of the electronic medium to present a traditional piece of academic writing but to go further than that.
The next ETD conference will be in New Delhi, India from 3th – 6th November 2015. The theme for the ETD 2015 shall be “Evolving Genre of ETDs for Knowledge Discovery.”