Introduction

The University of North Texas (UNT) has a long history with electronic theses and dissertations.  Since 1999, the UNT Graduate School has mandated the electronic submission of theses and dissertations as a requirement for graduation from the masters and doctoral programs at the university.  Partnering with the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies, the UNT Libraries provide long-term storage and preservation and provisions access to these documents to interested users around the globe.

Since the UNT Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) project inception, over 3,800 ETDs have transferred to the UNT Libraries' server.  Libraries are well suited for supporting ETD users by integrating ETDs into the existing digital resources. Among other tools and functionalities, the UNT Libraries offer advanced search mechanisms and a number of other added values to enhance ETD use.

 ETD-Structure Click to view full-size
Figure 1: UNT ETDs by types


UNT ETD Collection Size

The number of ETDs at the University of North Texas has grown at a rapid pace. As can be seen from tables 1 and 3, the number has grown to more than 4,100 ETDs in 2012. Currently, about 52% of the UNT ETDs are Doctoral dissertations, while the remaining (48%) are Master's theses or Problems in Lieu of Theses.

Figure 1 shows the UNT ETDs by types and tables 1 and 2 show lists of breakdowns for the current ETDs (as of August 2011) organized by semester, year, and access level.

 Year Spring (May)  Summer (August)
Winter (December)
Total 
 2011 128  - -
 128
 2010 120  140  103  363
 2009 103
 100  108  311
 2008 114
126
096
336
 2007 122
119
108
349
 2006 102
100
124
 326 
 2005 086
111
087
284
 2004 106
116
082
304
 2003 116
111
101
328
 2002 096
109
093
298
 2001 102
109
079
290
 2000 112
117
086
315
 1999 019
036
065
120
*Pre-1999 304
110
001 *415
 Total

1630

1404

1133

4167

         

Table-1: No. of ETDs by semester
*[For Pre-1999 see Table-2)


Year

Spring
Summer
Winter
Total
1998
 -  -  001   001 
 ...  ...  ...  ...  ...
1943 021  001 -  022
1942 063  -  -  063
1941 020  -  -  020
1940 105
009 - 114
1939 078 002 - 080
1938 008 051 - 059
1937 009 028 - 037
1936
- 019
- 019
Total

304

110

001

415

         

Table-2: No. of retrospectively digitized theses or dissertations (*Pre-1999)

 Year Open
(Public)
Permission
(UNT-Community)
Restricted
(UNT-
Strict)
Total 
 2011 123
005
-
128
 2010    339
 025  -  363
 2009 289 022 -  311
 2008 331 005
- 336
 2007 349 - -
349
 2006 213 084  29  326 
 2005 200
061
23  284
 2004 206
073 25  304
 2003 236
072
20
328
 2002 221
074 03 
298
 2001 189
097 04
290
 2000 210
104
01  315
 1999 071
047
02
120
Pre-1998 415* -
-
415*
         
 Total

3391

669

107

4167

% 82%
 16%  2%  100%

Table-3: Total No. of E/TDs by Access Level 

 Keys to Access Level:

  • Public: - These ETDs are open or there are no restrictions on these resources.

  • UNT-Community:- Access to these ETDs are restricted to users associated with the University of North Texas. Users are normally required to login using their EUID, if they are located outside UNT campus. The restricted ETDs after 2007 have a delay (2-5 years) and then they will be moved to "Public" or open access after the embargo period has passed. 

  • UNT-Strict:- These ETDs are restricted to UNT Community. This will be strictly enforced and users are always required to login using their EUIDs, regardless of their location.

  • *:- Retrospectively digitized theses and dissertations

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations Digitization

In summer 2010, the UNT Library started  a digital retrospective conversion (in-house) project for older (pre-1999) theses and dissertations (TDs) previously available only in paper form. As can be seen from Table-2, 239 theses and dissertations already digitized and uploaded. It's going to take a few years to work through them all (10,000+ analog TDs), but we will upload them as they completed.

Summary

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process.  One of the first three American universities to require ETDs for graduation, UNT began accepting theses and dissertations in electronic format in 1999. More than 83% of ETDs are available in open access and the other less than 17% have some type of a delay (up to 5 years) and then they (the 2007 and later ETDs)  are moved to open access after this period has passed. 

Digital Retrospective conversion of older (pre-1999) theses and dissertations started as in-house project. The first phase of the projected started  in summer 2010 with the goal of digitizing all TDs in analog formats and make them available online, open access.

To create shareable metadata and ensure interoperability with other institutions and ETD aggregators such as the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), the UNT Libraries provide a mapping document for ETD metadata, which uses a qualified Dublin Core (DC) schema. Furthermore, the UNT Libraries intend to identify innovative ways of providing enhanced services to our ETD users worldwide. By doing so, we will continue being instrumental in strengthening UNT's existing reputation and will make progress toward the visions outlined in the global initiatives to bring research works across the world to the public domain.

If you have questions or comments regarding the ETDs project in general, please contact Daniel Gelaw Alemneh at Daniel.Alemneh@unt.edu or Mark E. Phillips at Mark.Phillips@unt.edu.