Member Story: UT Southwestern Medical Center Library moves ETDs to DSpace

UT Southwestern Medical Center logoUsing TDL services, member institution UT Southwestern Medical Center Library is upgrading its electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) program to streamline submission and management and make theses and dissertations more visible to the worldwide scholarly community.

This fall, the library completed the migration of all of its existing electronic theses and dissertations from a homegrown online database to its TDL-hosted DSpace repository. Led by Digital Services and Technology Planning Manager Matthew Zimmerman, the UT Southwestern team moved roughly 450 theses and dissertations and related metadata from the legacy system to DSpace.

According to Zimmerman, the migration is the first step in a process of revamping the UT Southwestern ETD program in ways that will ease the process for the library, as well as the graduate school and medical school, both of which produce theses and dissertations.

“Moving the ETDs to TDL-hosted DSpace takes our library staff out of the business of maintaining our own system,” said Zimmerman. “It also makes the theses and dissertations more discoverable to other scholars because DSpace exposes the metadata to Google.”

The next step in streamlining the UT Southwestern ETD program will come in the spring of 2011, when the graduate and medical schools begin pilot testing TDL’s Vireo system for ETD submission and management.

UT Southwestern has allowed students to submit electronic versions of their theses and dissertations on compact disk since 2002. With online submission through Vireo, however, the process becomes much easier for both students and thesis offices, which will no longer have to keep track of the disks.

“Moving to DSpace made ETD management easier for the library,” Zimmerman said. “Vireo will make things easier for the graduate and medical schools and their students.”

The institution plans to pilot Vireo as an ETD submission tool beginning in January 2011 with the intention of deploying the system fully for May 2011. Theses and dissertations submitted through Vireo will be published in UT Southwestern’s DSpace repository, which is located at  The ETD collection can also be searched from the UT Southwestern Library homepage.

In addition to Zimmerman, UT Southwestern staff members Joseph Tan, Janis Darden, Cameron Kainerstorfer, and Jon Crossno worked on the technical implementation of the DSpace ETD collection; and Heather Perkins, Paul Denning, and Tracy Beeson contributed metadata and cataloging support. The team collaborated with personnel at the TDL, including Lance King, Ryan Steans, and William Sydney to successfully complete the migration.

For more information about the UT Southwestern Medical Center ETD program, please contact Matthew Zimmerman at

Posted in Institutional Repositories, Member Story, TDL Member news, Texas Digital Library, Vireo
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