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Morphing metadata: maximizing access to electronic theses and dissertations

Sevim McCutcheon (Kent State University Libraries, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Michael Kreyche (Kent State University Libraries, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Margaret Beecher Maurer (Kent State University Libraries, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Joshua Nickerson (Coutts Information Services, Niagara Falls, New York, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




This paper aims to describe work at Kent State University Libraries and Media Services to promote and devise electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) storage at OhioLINK's ETD Center, to find efficient methods to represent these unique scholarly materials within the library's catalog, and to foster the establishment of state‐wide library catalog standards for ETDs.


A semi‐automated process has been devised that extracts student‐supplied metadata already available in the OhioLINK ETD Center to provide almost instantaneous access to unique resources through the library catalog. A Perl program uses the OAI‐PMH protocol to extract metadata, modifies and enhances the data, and inserts it into the Innovative Interfaces, Inc. catalog. Significant effort was made to map the data from ETD‐MS to MARC. Catalogers retrieve records for completion and contribute full bibliographic records to OCLC WorldCat in addition to the local and consortium catalogs.


The process successfully produces a provisional bibliographic record that is useful immediately for resource discovery and that can serve as the basis for full cataloging.

Practical implications

This research provides libraries with a method they can adapt locally to provide provisional level access, full level access, or both, to unique scholarly research.


This research broke new ground regarding the use of a software agent to repurpose metadata in library catalogs. It also impacted national cataloging standards for ETDs.



McCutcheon, S., Kreyche, M., Beecher Maurer, M. and Nickerson, J. (2008), "Morphing metadata: maximizing access to electronic theses and dissertations", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 41-57.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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