Digitizing Dissertations for an Institutional Repository: A Process and Cost Analysis

10 03 2010

A very nice article published in 2008 about digitization, workflow, policy development, cost analysis, and end user access by Mary Piorun, Associate Director for Technology Initiatives and Resource Management ; Email: mary.piorun@umassmed.edu.


This paper describes the Lamar Soutter Library’s process and costs associated with digitizing 300 doctoral dissertations for a newly implemented institutional repository at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Project tasks included identifying metadata elements, obtaining and tracking permissions, converting the dissertations to an electronic format, and coordinating workflow between library departments. Each dissertation was scanned, reviewed for quality control, enhanced with a table of contents, processed through an optical character recognition function, and added to the institutional repository.


Three hundred and twenty dissertations were digitized and added to the repository for a cost of $23,562, or $0.28 per page. Seventy-four percent of the authors who were contacted (n=282) granted permission to digitize their dissertations. Processing time per title was 170 minutes, for a total processing time of 906 hours. In the first 17 months, full-text dissertations in the collection were downloaded 17,555 times.


Locally digitizing dissertations or other scholarly works for inclusion in institutional repositories can be cost effective, especially if small, defined projects are chosen. A successful project serves as an excellent recruitment strategy for the institutional repository and helps libraries build new relationships. Challenges include workflow, cost, policy development, and copyright permissions.



Digital Repository Management Uncovered

4 03 2010

Digital Repository Management Uncovered is a WEBWISE 2010 preconference presentation by Jessica Branco Colati and Sarah Shreeves.  Colati and Shreeves provide a great primer for understanding digital repositories. They discuss the components of  a DR management framework to include key areas, functions, and policies that provide for the  drive and sustainability DRs.  6 key components of DRs include (1) Hardware (2) Software (3) Content (4) Relationships (5) Controls & (6) Trust.  The abstract of the presentation reads:

“More and more libraries are establishing repository manager positions – either full time or as a piece of another position, but because of the newness of this area, the responsibilities of a repository manager are sometimes not well defined. This session will give an overview of the major areas of repository management institutions should be aware of and offer strategies and tools for participants. This session is platform agnostic and focuses on issues around preservation policies and activities, access and dissemination, and intellectual property of repository management, as well supporting sustainability and growth. The session will be useful whether or not your repository is in-house or hosted elsewhere.”

JISC Digital Repositories InfoKit covers the same ground as Colati & Shreeves’ presentation. It also contains information on a broad range of topics running from the initial idea of a digital repository and the planning process to the maintenance and ongoing management of the repository. The main focus is on institutional repositories.

Thanks to  IDEALS for providing access to the presentation. IDEALS collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Faculty, staff, and graduate students can deposit their research and scholarship – unpublished and, in many cases, published – directly into IDEALS. Departments can use IDEALS to distribute their working papers, technical reports, or other research material. Contact Sarah Shreeves, IDEALS Coordinator, for more information.

Repositories and the cloud – useful links via JISC

4 03 2010

Links prepared for the JISC and Eduserv  meeting to discuss repositories and the cloud on Tuesday 23rd of February. Full details are on the event website and Andy Powell has written a great blog post introducing the event and asking for people’s views. See, also, repositories in the cloud report for a recap of the event.

Repository specific links:

General cloud information:

JISC links:

Repositories and the Cloud Report

1 03 2010

JISC/Eduserve event Repositories and the Cloud – twitter stream from the event. Videos and slides of the presentations have been posted. Also, check out Gareth Johnston @ U o L Library Blog. He  posts a good recap of the event.