Member Story: UT Southwestern deploys Vireo for Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

UT Southwestern Medical Center logoStudents in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern now submit electronic theses or dissertations (ETDs) online using Vireo, resulting in a more streamlined process for submitting and managing ETDs.

The Graduate School is one of three degree-granting schools at UT Southwestern; each school processes ETDs independently from one another. As the largest ETD contributor, the Graduate School was selected as the first of the three schools to test and implement Vireo. The Medical School and the School of Health Professions will work with the Library to implement Vireo after the system receives an upgrade later this year.

Switching to Vireo involved process evaluation, staff training at the Graduate School office and in the Library, and limited student testing. Formerly, students were required to fill out paper forms and bring a copy of their ETD on a DVD or CD to the Graduate School office for processing. Students who participated in testing used the same ETDs that they had recently submitted through the traditional process, and then completed a survey to provide further feedback.

According to the administrator responsible for receiving and checking the students’ final submissions, the switch required adjustments but resulted in a better process:

“Making the change to online submission required changing work processes that had been in place for some time. It took a period of several months,” the administrator said. “Now that everything is in place, it has simplified and streamlined the process of final submission. It has saved me a great deal of time. It has saved time for the students as well.”

One example of the time-saving aspects of Vireo for students relates to the way they make revisions to their ETD documents. “If a change or correction is needed in the formatting of their document, all a student has to do is to make a revised PDF and upload it into Vireo,” the Vireo administrator said. “Formerly, students had to create a new revision, save it to another DVD or CD, and bring it to the Graduate School office. Use of Vireo is a great improvement for us and our students have all been quite enthusiastic about their experience.”

For library staff involved with ETD submissions, the changes have been particularly helpful for improved and efficient catalog entries. All of the needed information is in one location. Illegible handwritten entries are a thing of the past, and the ability to reuse the metadata further reduces error.

Everything students need for submitting their ETDs is available at the Library’s Electronic Theses & Dissertations portal, including:

  • Dissertation preparation instructions
  • Thesis/dissertation template
  • Student guide to online ETD submission
  • Online submission system login
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