This is the second of three posts on demystifying electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). The first post looked at the process for submitting, approving, and making available current ETDs by OSU students. This one examines the process used to provide access to older, print theses and dissertations.


Several years ago, OSU implemented a program to digitize “pre-ETD” theses and dissertations.  Although there are several factors and flows involved, the main drivers for this program are increased accessibility, preservation, and interlibrary lending. The university makes these works available for the purposes of research and scholarship.

Digitizing and submitting

The basic flow for digitized ETDs is this: A document is requested for interlibrary lending or otherwise identified for digitizing. A copy is pulled from the stacks, notes are entered into the record for that copy, which is then made unavailable for further requests. It is scanned to a PDF file, which is then submitted by a Libraries staff member to the OhioLINK ETD Center using the same process that current ETD authors use for theirs. The Graduate School sees that it is an older document, checks for machine-generated errors, and releases it to the ETD Center.

Making discoverable

Catalogers receive notification emails for the digitized ETDs just as they do for the current ones. These older documents already have records in the catalog and WorldCat, so these records are updated to include the URL for the online copy.

Next time…

The last post in this series will look at the anatomy of an ETD record in the OhioLINK ETD center.