Worldwide ETD Activities in 2021
While electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) have been an integral part of academia for over 20 years, the year 2021 marked only the third survey collecting data on the general practices of higher education institutions around the world regarding ETDs. Each survey, sponsored by the Networked Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), very broadly defined an ETD as a born-digital work that represents a student’s research and writing completed at the culmination of a degree program, such as a master’s or doctorate. The third international survey of ETDs was distributed broadly through listservs and Google groups, as well as targeted audiences, such as ETD conference attendees, the Association of Research Libraries’ graduate studies and library representatives, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The survey, administered via Qualtrics, covered institutional practices, support systems, submission, dissemination, preservation, final review procedures, hosting, availability, budgetary considerations, and survey respondents' familiarity with the NDLTD. General trends identified by the survey include widespread institutional acceptance of ETDs, students’ preference for PDF submissions, library-run repositories, public availability of ETDs, often after a restricted or embargoed period, and opportunities for increasing NDLTD awareness.