User:Daniel Mietchen/Notebook/Open Science/2010/09/16/Open Theses Project

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Return to the Open Thesis session at Eurodoc 2011.

Open Theses aims to create a bibliography of Theses across the world, based largely on the technology and practice developed in the #jiscopenbib project (see blog: http://openbiblio.net/). The project will address bibliographic metadata which includes :

  • author, title and other normal bibliographic material;
  • thesis-specific material (degree, institution, etc.);
  • Open-specific metadata (e.g. what rights does the thesis carry - explicitly or implicitly)
  • packaging/containment of supplementary material
  • format of components.


The major problem in doing this at present is that:

  • there are often no comprehensive national or international bibliographies of theses
  • where there are they are often commercial
  • even when they are not the rights are not specified.

Open Theses will address this by (a) engaging with national and institutional bodies (b) crowdsourcing, probably through graduates/graduands. The value of the OKF is that it naturally crosses national boundaries.

Open Theses has two roles/motivation for the “Open” concept:

  1. can the metadata be made Open? Bibliographic metadata must be available for re-use, editing, republication, etc. without restriction.
  2. is the content Open? Most students and most institutions don’t label their theses explicitly so we expect relatively few cases initially. We hope that this will highlight the question and alert graduate offices and archivers to its importance.
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