By focusing on the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) as a mile-marker in a student’s research trajectory, ETD+ Toolkit for Teaching File & Data Management provides in-time advice about avoiding common digital loss scenarios for the ETD (and all of its affiliated files) as well as about improving research output management. 


The ETD+ Toolkit (released April 2017) is the result of a project funded by the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS); ETD+ Toolkit  materials were produced under an IMLS-funded project, "Preservation & Curation of ETD Research Data & Complex Digital Objects". Educopia Institute led the creation of the Toolkit in partnership with the NDLTD, ProQuest and 12 U.S. research libraries. 

The ETD+ Toolkit project team would greatly appreciate your brief (2 minutes) FEEDBACK about the ETD+ Toolkit modules (see below).

Your feedback will help the project to refine the toolkit components and report back to its funder about how and where they are being used: 

The ETD+ Toolkit is designed to help:

  • students make sure that their research outputs are stored and maintained in durable formats and on durable devices;
  • students make informed decisions about file formats, documentation, and rights;
  • administrators better understand the digital research outputs students are creating and assess what they need to collect and care for as part of the institutional memory.

ETD+ Toolkit is an open set of six modules and evaluation instruments

that prepare students to create, store, and maintain their research outputs on durable devices and in durable formats.

Each module :

  • is designed to stand alone; they may also be used as a series; 
  • includes Learning Objectives, a one-page Handout, a Guidance Brief that can be customized for your campus, a Slideshow with full presenter notes, and an evaluation Survey;
  • is released under a CC-BY license and all elements are openly editable to make reuse as easy as possible.

Anyone may freely adopt and adapt the ETD+ Toolkit. The Toolkit could be especially recommended for use by administrators, faculty, and librarians teaching students and by students seeking practical advice about digital content management.

Begin by visiting Educopia ETD+ Toolkit

  • Select the ETD+ Toolkit link at the top of the page to access the Google Drive folder in which all of the ETD+ Toolkit materials are maintained.
  • Once you’re in the Google Drive folder, you’ll see seven folders: one “About the Toolkit” (where you’ll find at a Glance guide) and one folder for each of the six modules.
The ETD+ Toolkit modules: 

Module 1: COPYRIGHT: How can students gain appropriate permissions and how can students signal copyright for their own works?

Module 2: DATA ORGANIZATION: How can students structure, describe, store, and deposit data and other research files for reuse and/or future access?

Module 3: FILE FORMATS: How will the formats students choose make future access to their research easier or more difficult?

Module 4: METADATA: How can students store information describing their files to make sure they can tell what they are in the future?

Module 5: STORAGE: How can students make well informed choices about where to store their research materials?

Module 6: VERSION CONTROL: What mechanisms can students use to make it easier to see the history of a file with multiple versions?

The ETD+ Toolkit project background: 

In a 2014 survey of nearly 800 students across nine universities, students reported that non-PDF files - including research data, video, digital art, and software code - are either as important or more important than the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) PDF as research outputs and evidence.

Fully 80% of these students are producing non-PDF research outputs, most commonly tabular data (43%), digital images (38%), software code (29%), and digital text (28%).

This ETD+ Toolkit addresses students’ needs to ensure the longevity and accessibility of their research outputs.

Source: ETD+ Toolkit

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