The advent of Information Communication & Technology (ICT) has resulted into a revolution in the ways of production, dissemination, preservation and accessibility of information. Traditional librarianship has opened its doors and embraced ICT to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of services provided by libraries. Libraries have expanded their scope to Library & Information Centres. With the changing trends of libraries, the users have also moved to advanced stages of accessing the information.
Theses and dissertations are one of the major sources of authentic in-depth information on a particular topic on which a researcher conducts extensive research work. In spite of being a main source of scholarly communication, the print theses and dissertations is mostly not accessible to outside world. In this way, the important information remains unused and unknown to users. The Electronic format of the theses and dissertations makes it possible for the information content to be used by information seekers.
‘Open Access’ is a boon for the users who strive for information. Policy Guidelines framed by National and International Organizations like UNESCO, BOAI, Berlin Declaration, ECHO Charter, Bethesda Statement, Salvador Declaration, National Open Access Policy and National Knowledge Commission‟s Report on Open Access (India) have promoted the benefits of open access for researchers, organizations, public and funding organizations.
Institutional repositories provide access to various institutional documents through open access. The type of contents vary from books, journals, conference proceedings, theses, dissertations, newspaper clippings, datasets, manuscripts, software, lectures, learning objects, maps, pre-prints, post-prints, research reports, audio-visual material etc.
The present research work deals with the Electronic Thesis Repositories which are a major form of grey literature of any organization. There are various benefits of ETDs like they help in increasing the citation count of the author and the institution, minimum time required for dissemination of scholarly information, various file formats can be incorporated in the electronic form which is not possible in the print theses and dissertations and they provide a solution of long term preservation of theses and dissertations. In spite of the benefits of ETDs, authors hesitate in depositing their research work in electronic format mainly due to fear of plagiarism.
There are various concepts in the whole process of setting up of an ETD Program. The present research work aims to study the various concepts of ETDs by analyzing the E-thesis Repositories in the world and collecting data from the Repository administrators through Web Questionnaire.