ETD Guide

This page provides resources for librarians, academic managers, and faculty to start and manage an electronic thesis program and to build and manage a thesis repository.

We invite all NDLTD members and other interested parties to submit resources for inclusion in this web site. We also invite academic institutions to submit links to web pages and documents that may serve as valuable examples to others. Please send any contributions to

Start and Manage an ETD Program

The Guidance Documents for Lifecycle Management of ETDs are a series of topical briefs to assist ETD stakeholders with the long-term curation and preservation of their ETDs. The cover the following issues:

Introduction: Guidance Documents for the Lifecycle Management of ETDs

Guidelines for Implementing ETD Programs – Roles and Responsibilities

Guide to Access Levels and Embargoes of ETDs

Briefing on Copyright and Fair Use Issues in ETDs

Guidelines for Collecting Usage Metrics and Demonstrations of Value for ETD Programs

Managing the Lifecycle of ETDs: Curatorial Decisions and Practices

Metadata for ETD Lifecycle Management

Guide to ETD Program Planning and Cost Estimation

Guide to Options for ETD Programs

Build and Manage an ETD Repository

Open Source Repositories

Commercial Repositories and Repository Services

ETD Submission Systems

  • Jarrow – Submit theses and dissertations to an Islandora repository.
  • OpenETD – Export ETDs in METS/XML for ingest into a variety of repositories.
  • UMI ETD Administrator – Submit theses and dissertations to ProQuest.
  • Valet for ETDs – Submit theses and dissertations to a Fedora repository.
  • Vireo – Submit theses and dissertations to a Dspace repository.

Open Access, Metadata Harvesting, and NDLTD Union Catalog

Open your repository, and allow those harvesters who are compliant with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) to harvest metadata (Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, PMH).

Most repository software have a built-in OAI-PMH interface. If you must use a system that does not have an OAI-PMH interface, there is a free open-source interface available from OCLC, OAIcat.

After configuring the OAI-PMH interface, register as an OAI data provider.

You are now ready to participate in the NDLTD Union Catalog, an initiative led by NDLTD to provide a seamless interface to the thesis collections of all participating institutions. It contains records of millions electronic theses and dissertations. The NDLTD Union Catalog is managed by the University of Cape Town Digital Libraries Laboratory.

To ensure your ETD repository is harvested by the NDLTD Union Catalog, please e-mail the details of your OAI registration to Hussein Suleman.

The list of institutions that participate in the NDLTD Union Catalog is available at

A machine-readable version is available at

ETD Preservation

ETD Preservation is a collection of resources about ensuring long-term open access to ETDs with sound, affordable preservation strategies.

ETD Metadata

To give maximal exposure to your institute's ETDs, you must provide accurate and complete metadata. NDLTD recommends that you use the ETD Metadata Standard ETD-MS.