Electronic Dissertations Workflow


Three times a year (for February, May, September), the Office of Degree Requirements in the Graduate School of UMass receives dissertations submitted for a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree. Graduate students do an online submission of their works to ProQuest, which then gives the Graduate School access to the back end of this submission system so that each submitted title can be reviewed. Once the Grad School gives the go-ahead to publish, ProQuest FTPs a copy of each dissertation to one of the UMass Library web servers. The company also adds World Wide Web links to each dissertation title contained in the Dissertations series of the ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst digital repository. These are external links to the ProQuest Theses and Dissertations database and only users who have an UMass Amherst OIT NetID account can access the full text PDF files in this database. However, dissertation titles which are designated Open Access by the authors are uploaded to the Open Access Dissertations series on ScholarWorks. The full text of these dissertations will be openly accessible to both UMass and non-UMass users. For more information, see Dissertations and Theses Overview in this wiki.

Each dissertation author has the option of embargoing, or limiting public access to, their works. The BePress Digital Commons system, which powers the ScholarWorks Digital Repository, will automatically handle embargoes and access restrictions that students decide to place on their works. If an open access dissertation has an embargo placed on it, a note will appear on the title's citation page on ScholarWorks indicating when it will be available for full text download. If it is a campus access dissertation, the download page contains a note that the work is currently unavailable for purchase at the request of the author, with no release date given. Embargoes are typically for six months but note that the terms are counted from the date they are received by ProQuest, not when they are received by the Graduate Office. Also ProQuest typically uploads files on or around the 15th of each month, so there may be a delay before the titles become available on Scholarworks. At times a title does not appear on ProQuest at all. Such missing works should be searched for on Scholarworks periodically for up to a year before checking with the Graduate Office and/or ProQuest.

The Graduate Office no longer sends a binder containing paper dissertation signature pages to the UMass Library’s Thesis Cataloger since the practice of requiring print copies was discontinued in 2010, but an emailed Excel spreadsheet containing information for each author is still sent to the Cataloger. It is this Cataloger’s responsibility to implement and keep track of each step required to make these dissertations available to the public, including and not limited to creating catalog records in Connexion, creating temporary bibliographic records in ALEPH and uploading the finished bib records into OCLC’s database and the library’s own OPAC.


1) The Thesis Cataloger creates and prints out an Excel worksheet containing the graduate program, degree, and date of birth and access category for each author as provided by the Graduate Office. This worksheet is also used to track the progress of each dissertation as it is cataloged, uploaded to OCLC, exported to ALEPH and spot-checked to make sure they are linked to their appropriate ScholarWorks communities online as well as track any embargos.

2) OCLC’s authority file, author files and the UMass library's OPAC are no longer searched for any variant forms of name. However if there is a previously established form of name in OCLC or in the OPAC, it may take precedence over any form of name submitted by the Graduate Office. If necessary, authority records are created or updated in OCLC, particularly in the case of married vs. unmarried surnames.

3) Once the electronic dissertations are loaded into Scholarworks and their entire contents can be accessed online, cataloging records are created in Connexion for each dissertation using a previously created Constant Data template for electronic resource bibliographical records. If a dissertation is Open Access, the bib record receives a 506 field (indicators 0 blank) saying “Open access”. If the dissertation is Campus Access, the bib record receives a 506 field (indicators 1 blank) saying “Access restricted to the UMass community” Both Open and Campus Access records contain a 856 URL field with their appropriate Scholarworks link and a subfield |z saying “Connect to this title online”.

NOTE: The program name in the cataloging record must be that which is provided by the Graduate Office on the spreadsheet. Do not use any variant form or department listed on the title page. A copy of the Degree Programs and their codes can be found in Graduate Degree Program Codes.

4) Once the Connexion records are done, with or without subject headings, the Thesis Cataloger proofs and validates each record before uploading them individually to OCLC. These records are then exported to ALEPH where the 856 field is then removed from the bib record and an item/holdings record is created (Step 7, below). In the Connexion file, each record with an OCLC Control number will have a note in the My Status column stating whether subject headings are still needed (typically, “Needs SH - [degree program]”).

5) In a status report sent out via email by the Thesis Cataloger at the beginning of every month, the library's professional catalogers are notified which Connexion files contain bib records waiting for the assignment of subject headings. The catalogers directly add these headings to the OCLC cataloging record and the ALEPH bib record. This is the only work they need to do associated with the dissertations aside from any potential authority record work.

6) Electronic dissertations which are accessible via Scholarworks but are under embargo are given temporary bibliographic records in ALEPH using an established template. Each bib record contains the fields for author, title, statement of responsibility, 506 field, mode of access, the 502 and 690 fields, and a 910 field stating “TEMP” plus the Thesis Cataloger's initials and the date. A 590 field is added with the following note: “At the request of the author, this dissertation is currently under embargo and will not be available until an unspecified date” or, if available, “until [date]”. The bib records then have item and holdings records created for their corresponding Scholarworks URL (Step 7 below). These temp records allow the library to have an established access point in the OPAC while awaiting a fully cataloged bibliographic record. When a full record becomes available in OCLC, the OPAC record is overlaid (See Special Situations, below).

7) To create an electronic resource item record for each dissertation's bibliographic record in ALEPH:

  • Click on New. Set the following categories:
  • Sublibrary: UMDUB
  • Collection: UWWW
  • Material type: EBOOK
  • Item Status: 04
  • Statistics: 09
  • Update

Create a new Holdings Record and edit as follows:

  • For Open Access works, add the following Holdings Record field:

856 40 |u<document number> |z Connect to this title (open access)

  • For Campus Access works, add the following Holding Records field:

856 40 |u <document number> |z UMass: Connect to this title

8) The dissertations are automatically assigned to their appropriate ir_series (academic program) collection in Scholarworks but should be spot-checked occasionally. See related instructions at Adding Dissertations and Theses to ScholarWorks Collections.

Make sure the Excel spreadsheet have had their categories checked off where appropriate for each author.

Special Situations

  • Dealing With Attached Files

On occasion, an electronically submitted dissertation will be accompanied by attached files, most notably .avi (movie) or PDF files. These are to be noted in a 500 field of the cataloging bibliographic record in the following format:

Accompanied by [number of] [type of file(s)] which are accessible through the same online resource.

(Example: Accompanied by two .avi files which are accessible through the same online resource. )

  • Title/Author Discrepancies

It is not unusual for an author’s name in a Scholarworks abstract to vary from the form of name on the title page of a work. The rule of thumb is to catalog the piece with the name which is on the title page, along with the author's year of birth, unless there is a form of name already established in OCLC’s authority file or in the UMass OPAC. If this is the case, that form of name often takes precedence. There is no need to make or edit an authority record to reflect the form of name found in Scholarworks, unless searching by the proper form of name does not bring up the document there.

The abstract title in Scholarworks should match the title on the dissertation. If there are any discrepancies they should be corrected in the back end of Scholarworks.Dissertations submitted in Spanish or any other foreign language are asked to have their abstracts also submitted in English; in this case, the original title is cataloged along with an added title for the English abstract title. If a title on Scholarworks is in English but the original is in a foreign language, catalog using the foreign language title in the 245 field and the English abstract title in a 246 field.

Titles which contain mathematical symbols in Scholarworks but which are spelled out on the title page of the piece, and vice versa, should have added titles inserted in the bibliographic record as needed.

  • Errors in ScholarWorks

If there are typos in an author's name or in a title which are severe enough to impede a search for the work, these typos can and should be corrected. Since the works live at ProQuest (which provides the links to each title added to Scholarworks), the library's metadata cataloger must submit any corrections needed to ProQuest and have them make the fix(es). For open access titles, the errors will need to be fixed by Proquest in the Dissertation series AND by the metadata cataloger in the Open Access Dissertation series.

  • Embargos

Each dissertation author has the option of embargoing, or limiting public access to, their works. The Bepress Digital Commons system, which powers the ScholarWorks Digital Repository, will automatically handle any embargoes and access restrictions which an author might decide to place on their work. If an open access thesis has an embargo placed on it, a note will appear on the title's metadata page on ScholarWorks indicating when it will be available for full text download. However, if it is campus access, the embargo is handled by ProQuest. The download link on the Scholarworks metadata page will bring up a ProQuest abstract page stating that the work is not available as per the author. There will be no specific release date.

For either open access or campus access works, once an embargo has lifted the full text will automatically become available for downloading. The corresponding bib record in Connexion should then be edited, proofed, and uploaded to OCLC. The 590 embargo note in the ALEPH bib record should be removed before overlaying with the OCLC record, and the 910 field edited to remove TEMP.

  • Print Copies

For pre-2010 print copies obtained from ProQuest:

1) Use the electronic resource cataloging record as the basis for a new print copy record. A Library of Congress call number is assigned using the Cutter-Sanborn author table. The library’s OPAC is checked to ensure there are no duplicate call numbers. The appropriate format for each call number is LD3234.M267 <Year of degree awarded> .<Author cutter>. Example: LD 3234.M267 2009 .D1235

2) Proof, validate then upload the print copy record to OCLC. Export to ALEPH.

3) Create an item record for each to-be-bound dissertation in ALEPH:

Open the appropriate bibliographic record then create a new item record for UMDUB or UMSCI with the following:

Scan in the piggyback barcode. Set the following:

  • Sublibrary: UMDUB or UMSCI
  • Collection: UGEN
  • Material type: BOOK
  • Item Status: 01
  • Item Process Status SB
  • Internal note: Sent to Bindery <date>

Update. Create a Holdings record. Apply the piggyback barcode to the upper edge of the last page of the dissertation.

4) Create a duplicate bib record for the Depository copy:

In the main bib record, hit CTRL-N (or Cataloging–>Duplicate). This will pop up a window menu asking you to Select. Click on FC101 then OK; this will create a duplicate copy on the Five College server. Change the OWN field code in the duplicate bib record to DP. Save. In the left-hand column under the FCL101 list, find DEP50. Click on ITEMS beneath that.

To create an item record: Scan in the piggyback barcode. Set the following:

  • Sublibrary: UMDPT
  • Collection: UDBKS
  • Material Type: BOOK
  • Call number type: 8
  • Item Status: 02
  • Item Process Status: SB
  • Check Temporary Location box
  • Internal note: Sent to Bindery <date>

Update. Create a Holdings Record. Add an 856 field:

856 55 |u |z Request item from Five College Depository for use in UMass Special Collections and Archives

Apply the piggyback barcode to the upper edge of the last page of the dissertation.

5) A bindery record is created on Acme Bookkeeping for each copy, using the appropriate horizontal or vertical binding format (UMH75 or UMV75 - black binding with gold letters) and using the following format in capital letters:

  • AUTHOR <Last name only>
  • PROGRAM NAME <i.e., Astronomy>
  • DEGREE NAME <PH.D. or ED.D.>
  • YEAR <on title page>

The program name is to be the same form of name shown in the work's bibliographic record (field 690). Printouts for each manuscript are then inserted into their corresponding copy and the entire batch sent to the Bindery.

Apply the piggyback barcode to the upper edge of the last page of the dissertation.

Primary contact: Kay Dion

electronic_dissertations_workflow.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/14 14:48 by mbanach Creative Commons License Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0