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CONFERENCE REPORT

ADT2000 Workshop Summary
2000-02-14

1. INTRODUCTION: Tony Cargnelutti

We are now at the end of modelling the distributed 'national' database as described in the original project proposal. The model works and theses can also be added retrospectively. Most sites have installed software - Sydney University is in production mode, with others at various stages. Today's meeting has as its theme the sustaining and support of the project work. We need to work towards targets and to establish working groups to work on specific aspects of the project. Marian Bate would like recommendations to take to the next CAUL meeting in March.

Kate Sexton: Need to evaluate project fairly quickly before moving forward and widening out.
Noted. Group will works towards this prior to opening up membership.

Gulcin Cribb: Will there be a project report? DETYA already has the report on the distributed database model. The money has now run out. UNSW is committed to looking after the database in perpetuity and partners are committed to using the software and adding theses using the agreed standards.

2. PROGRESS REPORTS

2.1 Melbourne:
Their Research and Higher Degrees Committee is reluctant to relinquish the paper copy although students are keen to change. The Library will continue to talk with the Committee and when it's operational the students will exert pressure. It is seen as great benefit to overseas students especially. The changeover will be gradual. So far mainly retrospective theses (20) have been added. They do it for heavily requested theses. There is no income loss from reducing ILLs because ILLs cost more anyway. There is no self-submission yet.

It is time consuming getting permission from authors (esp. getting the address). Another problem = the software for scanning. Tony reminded the group that we each agreed to send 20 to Melbourne for scanning. Only Sydney has sent any (5 at a time). There is some concern at sending the copy to Melbourne and it was also felt that others don'tlearn if they send theses to Melbourne.

Decision: it will be optional to send theses to Melbourne. Individual libraries to decide.

2.2 Griffith:
Brian Reis reported that the University had given approval to allow electronic submission. After one year they will all have to be digital. Only 1 thesis has been entered so far due to Brian's LSL. Submission will be allowed in PDF or Word formats, while encouraging the former. To ensure authenticity students are required to tick a box to indicate that digital version is same as paper thesis.

2.3 Queensland:
They are ready too and have 3 theses up so far. It will be a gradual process. They have designed the Web site for local needs and have a leaflet. A letter goes from Director of the Graduate School to all students - it explains that print copy is still required.

2.4 ANU:
Margaret Henty explained previous arrangement with UMI (now Bell&Howell). ANU is not yet accepting theses digitally though they are keen to start self deposit. The University still requires a paper copy be deposited. They are working towards having a local setup by end of April.

2.5 Sydney:
They wanted a mass of theses early to show people on campus and get enthusiasm. They have 26 up and a few waiting (6 have been scanned by Melbourne). They are in production mode, with the University regulations having been changed to accept digital theses. Things will be easier when there is a Graduate School - now they work through a committee. Self-submission is working.

2.6 Curtin:
Peter Green is working on the 2nd version of the software (90% working). The Library is on the Graduate Studies Committee. They are gradually getting agreement from all concerned. A trickle of digital theses has come through so far. One issue is withdrawals from the project when students want to publish their work. Curtin plans to convert the approximately 1000 retrospective theses. They produce approximately 100 per annum.

2.7 UNSW:
The University has changed its requirements so that electronic theses can be accepted. Promotion will occur through student bodies. Eleven theses are up so far. Deposit is by author with some help from Malcolm Gordon. The main problem has been converting to PDF. Acrobat 4 is better than version 3. A unit will be set up in the Library to support thesis production. The option of getting student to tick box indicating that the electronic version is the same as the print is also preferred. They are aiming to get as many as possible up this year.

3. STANDARDS

3.1 Fred Piper proposed changing the DC Metadata Indentifier Scheme from "URL" to "URI". This small change enables the HotMeta software to automatically create a link from the title of the metadata record directly to the abstract and PDF files of the theses located at the local institutions.

Decision: All agreed to this change.

3.2 Some discussion occurred regarding whether title could be standardised to be either sentence case or all capitalised. It was agreed that this would be impossible to monitor so the notion was abandoned. This could be revisited if necessary.

3.3 Typing Mistakes. Brian asked who was responsible for typing mistakes in the deposit/submission details.

Decision: the group decided that this would be the responsibility of the author.

4. SOFTWARE

4.1 The HotMeta search engine, metadata, server and central database will be maintained by UNSW. A HotMeta upgrade is due out soon - field extensions are included plus statistics gathering. UNSW to monitor.

Fred has designed the HotMeta software to enable All Institution searching as well as specific institution from a menu. Furthermore, Fred has created completely separate HotMeta views for those that want this option as well. The new interface was shown to the meeting. Some changes were suggested e.g. Going straight into initial search page. "Home" on the page will need to be defined.

Decision: A working group composed of Fred, Tony, Peter Strong, Peter Green and Mike Manning - the Software Development Working Group - was formed to work on the look, feel and functionality of the distributed metadata site. This group will also be responsible for overall design and software management to the ADT membership.

4.2 New Version of the VT Software / Alternate modified ADT Software

The new version is more complex but can sit side by side with the existing ADT software provided the agreed conventions are embedded. UNSW will continue to use original version. Fred explained that the original ADT software was designed to be generic to meet local requirements, simple to install and requiring no further documentation.

Tony and Fred will look at developments in the US when they attend the Florida conference and after that Fred will work on an alternate generic version of the software after getting advice from the ADT group. ANU and Curtin will be using the new VT version. Fred will consult with Peter Green and Jenny Edwards (ANU) on this.

It was agreed that a standard version or versions needed to be settled before the project was widened out to other universities. The new VT version is harder to install and some universities may not have the expertise at hand to do this. The original ADT software could be more appropriate for some institutions.

What do we release to the rest of the CAUL membership? Tony said that we can't mandate how institutions implement the system locally and it was more appropriate to give institutions a choice commensurate with local expertise and requirements. It was agreed that documentation, such as an FAQ database, for the new CAUL members be developed.

Decision: Fred to work on a generic alternate version of the ADT software after US trip.

4.3 Members are using Acrobat 4 to create PDF files, and it was agreed that this is a better option than the earlier version. Proposed ADT standards for the use of Acrobat 4 were agreed to.

5. TYPES OF THESES

Peter Green raised the possible need to distinguish types of theses for searchers. Also PhDs perhaps should be in different category to professional doctorates.

Decision: Each institution will identify the types of theses deemed to be research doctorates to Tony and Kerrie who will collate information for the group. The item should go to the ADT-CAUL partners for discussion and resolution.

6. POLICY ISSUES

6.1 Tony and Fred will investigate any developments on long term archiving issues at the Florida conference.

6.2 What about theses that can't be made available due to their format? We need a way of referring to them e.g. contact Library or contact author. Tony will investigate conventions and make recommendations to the group. Others may be excluded for copyright or cultural sensitivity reasons as well. Restrictions on Australian theses are harder to obtain than in Virginia Tech, it seems and within the Australian context we are looking at relatively few restrictions.

6.3 Documentation, guidelines, and software recommendations need to be consolidated for discussion by ADT-CAUL partners prior to opening up to all CAUL membership. A group composed of Tony, Karen Kealy, Nicole VanKempen (UQ) will begin work on this. There needs to be a clarification of the basis that members join up on. We need to make it clear what the model is and requirements of universities joining i.e. distributed model. Some people may want to use UNSW server for depositing theses initially as was the case with the intial ADT project.

Tony, together with Margaret and Kate will draft an 'intent to join' the ADT Project statement/document outlining requirements and obligations of new members. This to go for discussion at the March meeting of the ADT-CAUL partners.

6.4 Abstracts v. Fulltext
Jenny had raised this issue on the ADT bulletin board.

Decision: Include full text only at this stage in order to maintain database integrity and to ensure that finding only abstracts does not annoy users and blur expectations. Although there will inevitably be some abstracts without full text temporarily for theses which are restricted.

6.5 Linking with Subject Gateways and CORC. Debbie Campbell (NLA), Kerrie and Gulcin will investigate this and report back to the group.

6.6 Relationship with Other Theses Aggregators Fred and Tony will monitor developments in Florida to see if there are any other models that could be useful to the Australian experiment. It was noted that there was an increasing number of other international models under development out side the NDLTD and UMI/Bell&Howell ones.

6.7 Promotion of ADT

Suggestions: Intranet site, bulletin board, adding high profile individuals' theses to ADT. To be further investigated with Tony and Karen to work with the rest of the group to initiate a strategy.

Decision: that locally produced information & promotional material about the ADT project should be sent to Tony for putting up on the bulletin board for partners to share.

6.8 Opening up ADT to other Universities

Decision: It was agreed that July 2000 was a realistic date subject to ratification by ADT-CAUL partners.


Summary:
Kerrie Talmacs
Tony Cargnelutti
February 2000


ACTION SUMMARY:

1. Restrospective conversion
Decision: it will be optional to send theses to Melbourne. Individual libraries to decide.

2. DC Scheme from URL to URI
Decision:
All agreed to this change.

3. Spelling inconsistencies
Decision:
the group decided that this would be the responsibility of the author.

4. Software management
a)
A working group composed of Fred, Tony, Peter Strong, Peter Green and Mike Manning - the Software Development Working Group - was formed to work on the look, feel and functionality of the distributed metadata site. This group will also be responsible for overall design and software management to the ADT membership.
b) Fred to work on a generic alternate version of the ADT software after US trip.

5. Abstract v. Fulltext
Decision:
Include full text only at this stage in order to maintain database integrity and to ensure that finding only abstracts does not annoy users and blur expectations. Although there will inevitably be some abstracts without full text temporarily for theses which are restricted.

6. Sharing promotional & other information
Decision:
that locally produced information & promotional material about the ADT project should be sent to Tony for putting up on the bulletin board for partners to share.

7. Opening up project to CAUL membership
Decision:
It was agreed that July 2000 was a realistic date subject to ratification by ADT-CAUL partners.

8. Linking with Subject Gateways / CORC
Decision:
SGGroup (Kerrie Talmacs to convene; Gulcin; Debbie) to investigate all options and report back to the group.

Cargnelutti, Tony (2000-02-28)