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Libraries release open source software, receive international response

The Rutgers University Libraries' home-grown software, now available for use by other institutions, may be the latest example of the University's motto: "Jersey Roots, Global Reach."

In early May the Libraries publicized the availability of OpenETD, a web-based software application for managing the submission, approval, and distribution of the electronic versions of theses and dissertations (ETDs). OpenETD is the open source release of the Rutgers University Libraries' RUetd application. The OpenETD software is available for free to other universities and may be adapted for use on their campuses.

Shortly after the announcement of OpenETD's availability, the Libraries' Integrated Information Systems department received an inquiry from a technical services librarian at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, in Columbia, South America, seeking a copy of the software for use on their campus. Additional inquiries have come in from universities in Canada and Mexico. OpenETD received favorable mention on "Peter Scott's Library Blog," a publication by the Internet Projects Manager in the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. OpenETD also received a positive review on the "Curious Librarian: From Philosophy to Practice" blog, a project of Mallikarjun Dora at the Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India, and on the website of the PTFS-Europe Limited library technology services company.

OpenETD was developed by a team of designers and programmers, led by Chad Mills, RUL Programming Coordinator, Shaun Ellis, former RUL programmer, Kalaivani Ananthan, Digital Library Application Manager, Rhonda Marker, RUcore Collections Manager, and Martha Barnett, Open Source Documentation Coordinator. The development and release of OpenETD is managed by the RUL open source software team, Kalaivani Ananthan and Chad Mills. OpenETD is released through GNU GPL License 3.0. Basic support for the community includes complete installation and user documentation, as well as communication tools for reporting bug fixes and suggesting enhancements. OpenETD can be downloaded from outside Rutgers from the RUcore Open Source Projects page:

The Rutgers University Libraries implemented its Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) service in spring 2007, in cooperation with the Rutgers Graduate School of New Brunswick. Currently the Rutgers' Graduate School of New Brunswick, Graduate School of Newark, Camden Graduate School, Bloustein Graduate School of Planning and Public Policy, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and the Graduate School of Education support the Libraries' ETD service. Since its introduction the Rutgers ETD service has accepted nearly 1400 theses or dissertations.

Posted May 21, 2010