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Conference Report


D-Lib Magazine
September 2004

Volume 10 Number 9

ISSN 1082-9873

7th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD 2004)

Distributing Knowledge Worldwide through Better Scholarly Communication, 3 - 5 June 2004, Lexington, Kentucky, USA


Suzie Allard
University of Tennessee

Red Line


The 7th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD 2004) explored three broad themes associated with digital libraries (DLs) for electronic theses and dissertations:

  1. new technologies to improve ETD-DLs,
  2. organizational structures to support ETD-DLs, and
  3. strategies to encourage wider adoption of ETD-DLs.

Nearly 200 delegates represented institutions in 18 countries on 6 continents, and in 26 U.S. states. Delegates attended three days of activities that included five plenary sessions, 27 papers (many of which were presented in lively roundtable discussions), and an interactive poster session with 17 presentations. The conference highlighted scholarly communication among attendees by offering many opportunities for delegates to meet and socialize in informal settings, including an evening of southern hospitality hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park, an elegant reception during the poster session, and a networking lunch.

The ETD conference series was established by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations seven years ago to provide a forum for sharing ETD-related research and experience among university administrators, computer scientists, academic librarians, systems specialists, and other members of the academic community.

Researchers worldwide addressed the first theme as they introduced emerging technologies that improve the technical infrastructure of ETD-DLs including improved search strategies, repository infrastructure, co-ordination agency, and preservation technologies. Discussions about the second theme centered on how the organizational structure of a university can influence the implementation and management of an ETD-DL. A plenary session explored these issues with a keynote address by Clifford Lynch and a panel discussion led by Lynch with key administrators William A.T. Clark (Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Ohio State University); Karen DePauw (Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School, Virginia Tech); and Michael T. Nietzel (Provost, University of Kentucky). The third and final theme focused on the characteristics of programs that facilitate ETD-DL adoption. In addition, two tutorials provided "start-up" tips for those groups contemplating initiating an ETD-DL program.

ETD 2004 had the honor of announcing of the winners of the 2004 NDLTD awards program that was established with financial support from Adobe Systems. One set of awards acknowledges the creative and administrative efforts of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the worldwide ETD movement. Another set of awards honors students who have created exemplary ETDs that demonstrate new dimensions of scholarship. ETD Leadership Awards were presented to Edward A. Fox (Virginia Tech, USA), Ana Pavani (PUC-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Shalini Urs (University of Mysore, India). Innovative ETD Awards were presented to Hilary Attfield (her ETD may be seen at <>) and Benjamin David Koen (his ETD can be seen at <>).

The University of Kentucky (UK) hosted ETD 2004 with the assistance of the University of Tennessee (UT). West Virginia University was a participating partner. Beth Kraemer (UK) and Suzie Allard (UT) served as co-chairs of the conference. Adobe Systems was a sponsor.

ETD 2005 is chaired by Andrew Wells and will be hosted by The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, on 27 - 30 September 2005. More information is available at <>.

(On December 1, 2004, the name David Benjamin Koen was corrected to read Benjamin David Koen.)


Copyright © 2004 Suzie Allard

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