Making Today's ETDs Available to Future Scholars

A session at USETDA 2013

Wednesday 24th July, 2013

4:00pm to 5:00pm (PST)

Kravis Center 102

Speaker: William J. Donovan, Digital Imaging & Curation Manager/ETD administrator, Boston College

Unlike physical dissertations for which secure and environmentally hospitable archival storage may suffice, ETDs have special stewardship needs. As technology evolves, today's computing environment will someday become obsolete. A file format that is ubiquitous now, may one day become unreadable. Environmental disasters may damage the servers where ETDs are stored. Or, simple poor organization or metadata may effectively make an ETD hard to find or hard to be sure of its authenticity. These are predictable risks and can be mitigated by the curatorial practices discussed in this talk.
Specifically, we will address topics such as: file formats; data wrangling; distributed digital preservation; migration; complex content objects; and versioning. In the not so distant future, our handling of these issues will determine whether a researcher can still find a particular ETD, whether they can still open the file(s), whether their viewing experience will still be faithful to the author’s original work, and will still encompass the totality of the scholarly work, i.e. the ETD and any supplementary material.
It is hoped that this presentation will result in a deeper understanding and appreciation for the curation and digital preservation of ETDs and will motivate debate within the ETD community about what are the best practices and the tools needed to effectively curate ETDs.

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Time 4:00pm5:00pm PST

Date Wed 24th July 2013


Kravis Center, The Claremont Colleges

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