Theses Alive! : an E-theses management system for the UK
The concept of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) is not a new one. E-Theses have been openly discussed by key players in the present worldwide ETD movement since 1987 , and even accepted by some universities (e.g. Virginia Tech) since 1994 . Presently, the acceptance of e-theses as a viable medium is increasing. This is reflected in the growing number of universities that actually require an electronic version to be submitted. At the last count the number of universities registered with the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) that actively mandate electronic submission totalled 56, from a diverse background including not only North American and European institutes (e.g. California Institution of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech), but also universities from South America, Asia and Africa. In contrast, no universities from the UK have adopted this policy, and only a select few are developing an e-theses capability. In order to encourage the disclosure and sharing of content, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) initiated the Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR) programme in August 2002. It was under this programme that the Edinburgh University Library (EUL) gained funding for the Theses Alive! project, which began its work in a national effort to promote ETDs in November 2002. The Theses Alive! project is working with two other JISC-FAIR projects investigating electronic theses, namely DAEDALUS, based at Glasgow University Library, and Electronic Theses, based at Robert Gordon University Library.