The UTD survey carried out in April-May 2015 has been analysed by Sara Gould (The British Library) as part of the UTD project. You can read the details of the results and what they mean for the administration of theses in UK universities in the report available at this DOI:. There are six key findings:
- 49 institutions (35.5%) responded to the survey, indicating that Unlocking Thesis Data is of interest to a significant proportion of HE institutions. A list of respondents is provided in Appendix A.
- At the time of the survey, no institution assigned DOI identifiers for their theses, although DataCite DOIs were used by 33% of institutions for their research data.
- Around 59% of institutions require students to submit both print and e-copies of their final thesis, and this often results in double-handling, for example in creating separate records for the catalogue and repository. This may have implications for UTD.
- The most ‘typical’ scenario is an institution which uses an EPrints repository for its e-theses and supporting files, students must submit both print and electronic versions of their thesis, the thesis is uploaded and the metadata created by the repository staff (though students are a close second), and the institution assigns DOIs for its datasets but not theses. This suggests such a scenario might form the first case study or the core focus for UTD.
- In response to the question How ready are you to begin assigning DOI identifiers to your theses? institutions varied from ‘Completely ready’ to ‘DOIs are not on our radar at all’. You can see the results in this pie chart, and our intention is to ask this question again at the end of the full UTD project; this will form a key indicator as to the success of the project.
- Twenty-four respondents (49%) volunteered their institution to be a case study for UTD. The aim is to deliver just six case studies under Phase 1, and we hope those institutions not selected will be willing to host UTD clinics, become early adopters or have other opportunities to be closely involved.
If you are interested in looking at the survey data in more detail, you will find it in XLSX and CSV formats at http://dx.doi.org/10.15123/DATA.12. We will soon be releasing case studies, looking at procedures in more detail in six different universities. These will complement the survey findings with a range of different practices, so that we can ensure subsequent work in the project will take account of real-world situations. And we hope to repeat the survey later in the project to see if there have been any actual or planned changes in procedures.