.WAFL (l#$N`'n#CpNjmkntry(GM:VYTA*Wn#CpNjmkeurl http://www.ndltd.org/standards/mime text/htmlhntt"264064-15e0-3bd7205e"hvrsdata Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
NDTLD Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

This section of www.ndltd.org is devoted to helping evolve standards for electronic theses and dissertations. Right now, our focus is on developing a standard set of metadata to describe ETDs. This standard is designed for interoperability, i.e., to make it possible to share information about ETDs. This will allow us to improve existing federated searches, create union databases, and provide greater consistency for researchers searching for theses and disserations at different institutions.

This site is sponsored by the NDLTD, but is open for contribution by NDLTD members and non-members alike. For more information about this site, please send mail to <fox@vt.edu>.

The new mailing list for this topic can be reached at etd-stds-l@listserv.vt.edu
If you are not on it and want to be added, or need a change to be made, contact Ed Fox <fox@vt.edu>.

The current standard for metadata for ETDs is called ETD-MS. The approved specifications can be found at:

See also online a draft of the next version of ETD-MS that is now open for comments.

Related to this is a draft discussion of the crosswalk between ETD-MS and MARC. Please send comments to <france@vt.edu> on Robert France's overview of recent work on this.

See below for an historical discussion.

Standards Committee Meeting 3/22/2001

The ETD Standards Committee met just before ETD'2001, chaired by Thom Hickey of OCLC. The list of attendees is shown on a spreadsheet. Minutes were taken by Suzie Allard and are available as a Word document. For a broad overview see also Ed Fox's slides (by Hussein Suleman and others at the DLRL at VT) about planned union services. More detail on that can be found in Ed Fox's closing keynote presentation.

ETD Metadata Standard

In Progress

Develop working draft for metadata standard

The most recent version of the draft metadata standard can be found at:
As the draft evolves into a final document, the above location will always point to the most recent document.

The latest draft of the document is heavily informed by a recent meeting that took place at OCLC in Dublin Ohio. For more information on that meeting, you can visit:


Dr. Ed Fox prepared a Powerpoint presentation to recap the meeting, which can be downloaded here.

To Do

Gather comments on working draft and finalize

All involved in standards work for NDLTD were invited to attend the meeting on Thursday the 22nd of March 2001 in connection with the 4th International Symposium on ETDs.

The meeting was held from 9-12 in Sherman Fairchild Library, Room 328, Caltech.

Translate working draft into other languages

Nothing to report.

Develop reference implementation(s) of metadata standard using common encoding schemes

Nothing to report.

Develop union database(s) of information about electronic theses and dissertations around the world

Nothing to report.

Related Sites


A central registry of information about people, places, and tools used to support ETDs. Sponsored by UNESCO.


In May of 2000, a workshop entitled "DTDs and the usage of new XML-technologies for electronic theses and dissertations" was held at Humboldt University in Berlin. One of the central topics of this workshop was developing a metadata standard for interoperability, the web site includes more information about the participants and the concepts discussed.

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