Vt Thesis Etd

Vt Thesis Etd-78
This paper describes the Digital Access Team’s efforts to design an ETD cataloging workflow by harvesting author-supplied metadata using a customized DC-to-MARCXML Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) crosswalk in Marc Edit to create a file of Resource Description and Access (RDA) MARC records for batch loading into The CAT.The history of thesis cataloging at Penn State is described, including the transition to cataloging ETDs, and how the new harvesting method has improved access to ETDs while simultaneously freeing up staff time.These schemes can be customized for local metadata harvesting.

Mc Cutcheon gave a good summary of the issues and noted that “the descriptive record created by automatic harvesting is only as good as the quality of the author-supplied metadata, which varies from author to author.” Metadata quality issues included representation of scientific symbols and diacritics, separation of titles from subtitles, nonfiling characters in the title proper, capitalization, management of whitespace, spelling, and other data entry errors.Cataloging of print theses and dissertations (TDs) at Penn State has historically been minimal level and formulaic.Catalog records generally consisted of the full title, author, date of issuance, a pagination count, degree type, and graduate degree program (in a local MARC 699 field).Beginning in 1975, full subject analysis was performed and LCSH was assigned only for TDs containing the term Pennsylvania or a local Pennsylvania name (such as a town or county) in the title. With this workflow, the average thesis required ten to fifteen minutes to catalog, with an additional five to ten minutes per thesis if referred for subject analysis.Such a relatively minimalist approach was designed primarily as a balance between providing sufficient access for TDs while minimizing the amount of time spent on complicated subject analysis for what are generally very narrow and specialized subject areas.Special Collections Team catalogers perform full subject analysis for any TDs added to Penn State’s Special Collections Library.Penn State University Libraries initiated a pilot project in collaboration with the Graduate School, Information Technology Services, and Digital Library Technologies in the fall of 1998 to investigate the possibility of allowing theses and dissertations to be submitted and archived electronically. Penn State originally used ETD-db, an open-source ETD database developed at Virginia Tech.Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) were assigned until 1964, though the headings were generally broad in scope.From 1965 until 1974, LCSH were added only when a personal name, corporate name, or title of a work were present in the TD title.As such, they often coexist with author-supplied metadata that has the potential for being repurposed and enhanced to facilitate discovery and access in an online environment.The authors describe the evolution of the electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) cataloging workflow at a large research library, from the era of print to the present day, with emphasis on the challenges and opportunities of harvesting author-supplied metadata for cataloging ETDs.

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