NDLTD: Encouraging International Collaboration in the Academy
The Networked digital library of theses and dissertations (NDLTD) is an international effort aimed at ensuring that future scholars are more effectively prepared for the lnformation Age. The NDLTD also supports present day scholars by providing a forum for more timely, detailed, and effective exchange of information. The NDLTD streamlines the entire thesis process, not only simplifying searching and retrieval, but also making submission and approval easier.Individual universities play a key role in the development of the NDLTD. Each university establishes a team responsible for local development. Information professionals from the university train students on ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) submission, and the university network and computer systems provide essential NDLTD infrastructure. University professors play a vital role in ETD quality control, and advise students on publication practices and appropriate digital library access controls.When a university decides to work towards full participation in the NDLTD, it is most appropriate to engage in pilot efforts. There are several different methods that exist for developing a pilot program. Level of study, discipline, geographic, and administrative groupings are all valid criteria for selecting participants in the pilot initiative. In addition, student volunteers may be invited, thus bringing in innovators and early adopters.As a result of collaborative activities the NDLTD has been growing rapidly. ETDs in the NDLTD are increasing in number, and are accessed ten to a hundred times more than paper theses. Universities have been joining steadily - twenty during the first year. As more universities join the NDLTD we expect that the materials produced by Virginia Tech will be adapted to varying local situations, allowing the NDLTD to continue to expand rapidly and to facilitate further collaboration.
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