D. Edelman, E. Cutchins, R. Earl, E. McEachern

North Carolina State University (UNITED STATES)
The North Carolina State University Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD) System is a fully electronic submission and review system and digital storage repository for electronic theses and dissertations. The system offers major advantages to students, staff, faculty, and researchers over paper or hybrid paper/electronic submission systems. A storage interface to the Hershey Singularity system allows the ETD to be stored and accessed electronically by researchers. The major advantages we have seen in using the system is that the theses and dissertations are completed in a substantially shorter time with less time required on the part of the student's masters or doctoral review committee, the Thesis Editor, and the Graduate School whose job is to verify that the student has met all requirements for graduation. The system has proved so successful that all theses and dissertations at North Carolina State University must be submitted electronically.

All interactions of the student with the University in terms of the thesis are online: classes on how to prepare an ETD (also given in a regular classroom for those who are interested); an upload process so that the student can prepare the ETD as a Word or PDF document with media file attachments, then upload it to the ETD system; and document review and approval of the ETD by the student's advisory committee, In addition, all interactions of the student with the Thesis Editor and committee members are tracked, and the student interface includes a Dashboard display of required milestones and their status which allows all parties to check and verify the process of ETD completion. The student can modify the ETD and resubmit it without a formal office meeting or chain of emails, allowing a substantial reduction in time for completion of the ETD.

This paper will present the basic operation of the system, including how it was developed, the major modules of the system and how this would be applicable to other Universities. The paper will show how a student submits the thesis online, how it is reviewed by the Thesis Editor and members of the student's masters or doctoral committee, how it interacts with the main North Carolina State University information system (Peoplesoft) for tracking student requirements for graduation, and finally how the ETD is stored in the North Carolina State University Library System so that researchers across the world can search by topic or other criteria to access completed theses and dissertations electronically. Important aspects of the ETD system, including security, requests to keep research unavailable to researchers for a fixed amount of time, and visual/audio media incorporation will be discussed.