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UC Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) Now Have Preservation and Access

By Patricia Cruse, Director, University of California Curation Center (UC3) and Catherine Mitchell, Director, Publishing Group

Several UC campuses are actively using CDL’s preservation and access services for the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) of their graduate students, exercising a range of the tools CDL provides in support of the information lifecycle.  UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Merced have all submitted ETDs to the UC Curation Center’s Merritt Repository, from which UC San Diego’s ETDs (;facet-affiliation=UCSanDiego) have been harvested and are now publicly available in eScholarship. Other campuses have chosen not to make their ETDs publicly available at this time.  CDL’s ETD service was developed with the support of campus partners; this most recent milestone of providing both preservation and access to ETDs was achieved through a strong collaborative effort with UCSD library staff.

Below are some questions and answers about the service:

Is the CDL able to provide an ETD preservation/access service for all UC campuses?

Yes. The CDL provides robust preservation and access services for Dissertations and Theses authored by UC students. CDL’s ETD service integrates the Merritt Preservation Repository with the eScholarship access interface.

Submitted materials will benefit from the long‐term curation strategies developed by the CDL’s UC3 group, as well as the visibility and robust access tools offered by the CDL Publishing Group’s open access, digital publication platform.

Must all ETDs submitted to Merritt be displayed within eScholarship?

No. Though ETDs can benefit from fully integrated preservation and access within this service, it is possible for campuses, departments, and individual students to opt out (if so desired) of the access component, as determined by campus‐wide or departmental policy.

What is the mechanism of the Merritt/eScholarship integration? Where will we submit our ETDs?

ETDs are submitted to Merritt. Those intended to be publicly available will then be programmatically harvested from Merritt, indexed and displayed with the rest of the eScholarship content.

How are ETDs be submitted to this service?

Currently, UC libraries submit their legacy ETD collections directly to Merritt. Merritt provides several methods for submission, including a simple web form, as well as RESTful APIs and other methods. See Merritt’s User Documentation for more information, or contact UC3 at with any questions about how best to submit collections to Merritt.
In the future, we may consider supporting student-based submission, using Vireo or other similar systems. This will require working closely with Graduate Divisions on campuses to coordinate all the necessary steps involved in submitting an ETD.

What about supplemental files – can they be supported as well?

Supplemental files should be submitted to Merritt alongside ETDs. eScholarship maintains the linkage between ETDs and their supplemental files, providing access to those files from the ETD publication view.

How do we handle version control? What if the ETD comes back from ProQuest with rights issues, for example?

Any revised thesis or dissertation will need to be resubmitted to Merritt as a new version. Merritt will persistently maintain all versions of a given ETD (and all of its supplementary material). eScholarship will harvest and display new versions in the place of originals as needed.

How are ETDs organized within eScholarship?

You can browse UCSD’s ETDs (;facet-affiliation=UC%20San%20Diego) currently in eScholarship.

What do I need to do to contact to get started?

Please contact to ask questions or express interest in participating in the ETD service.