This is the final post in our “demystifying ETDs” series. The first post looked at the process for current ETDs, and the second looked at digitized theses and dissertations. This one will ‘dissect’ an ETD record in the OhioLINK ETD Center. As an example, we will look at one of the most frequently downloaded ETDs in the OhioLINK ETD Center: a dissertation by Charlotte Weber titled Making common cause?: western and middle eastern feminists in the international women’s movement, 1911-1948.


First, a note about accessing it: All ETDs may be accessed by a “Permalink,” which starts with “” This URL is used in the records in the Libraries’ catalog and OCLC’s WorldCat database. It is the URL that should be used whenever the ETD is cited in a bibliography or reference list.

The title and author’s name are near the top of the page. The Permalink is under the author’s name.

Then follows more information:

Year and degree: This line also includes the institution and major.  In this example, we have a doctoral dissertation written in 2003 at Oho State.  The author’s major was in history.

Abstract: This is a brief description or summary of the document. The initial display is truncated, but you can click “More” to see the whole abstract.

Committee: At minimum, as in this case, the advisor’s name is listed.  Authors often include the names of everyone who served on the committee (at OSU, this is usually three or four persons).

Pages:  This is simply a statement of how many pages are in the document.  This ETD has 236 pages.

Keywords: These are included at the discretion of the authors.  Many authors choose not to list any keywords or phrases.  The author in this example listed five keywords and phrases. Each term is hot-linked as a keyword search back into the ETD Center. As of this writing, the last keyword in this example, “orientalism,” is also used as a keyword by the authors of 17 ETDs from six OhioLINK institutions.

Recommended Citation: This area provides links to Refworks, RIS, and Mendeley (each of which may require a separate log-in). Clicking on the arrows next to “APA Citation,” “MLA Citation,” and “Chicago Citation,” will show the citation in each of these styles.  (N.B.: “Chicago” means “Chicago Manual of Style.”)  However, the citations don’t include the Permalink, which needs to be filled in manually.

Files: This line starts with the document number. All ETDs produced at OSU start with “osu”, which is followed by a string of numbers and the file type extension.  In this case “.pdf” for a PDF file.  The size of the file is in parentheses. Following the size, are “View”  (which opens another window to view the document) and “Download” (which automatically saves the document to the computer).  For an example of an ETD with multiple files, go to this ETD page.

Document number: As described above, all of Ohio State’s ETDs start with “osu”.

Download count: This is a counter of the number of times the documents has been downloaded. As of this writing, this ETD has been downloaded 163,920 times!

Then, near the bottom, there is a copyright statement, followed by the line, “This open access ETD is published by The Ohio State University and OhioLINK.”  All non-embargoed ETDs are openly accessible, meaning that the ETD Center is crawled and indexed by Google and other search engines.