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Paper Dissertations and Theses Workflow

Three times a year (February, May, September), the Graduate Records Office receives dissertations and theses submitted for a Doctoral or Master’s degree. These submissions are normally in electronic form, but the GRO occasionally allows exceptions for paper copies. Once these paper dissertations and theses are reviewed and approved, the Grad Office forwards one copy of each dissertation to ProQuest for microfilming then one copy of each dissertation and two copies of each thesis to the library’s Thesis Cataloger. These paper copies are accompanied by “packing list” printouts containing information for each work; the same list is emailed to the Thesis Cataloger. One copy of each work is assigned to the Main or Science library and a second copy to the Five College Depository. Once ProQuest is finished microfilming each work they receive, the paper copy is sent to the library’s Thesis Cataloger. (It could be several months before the copy is received, so it is imperative that the cataloger keeps track of all copies.)


1) The Thesis Cataloger creates and prints out an Excel worksheet containing the graduate program, degree, and date of birth for each author as provided by the GRO. This worksheet is also used to track the progress of each dissertation and thesis as it is cataloged, uploaded to OCLC, exported to ALEPH, the paper copies received from ProQuest, and said copies sent to the bindery.

2) A Library of Congress call number is assigned to each author 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.M67 <year of degree awarded> .<author cutter> for Doctorals, LD3234.M268 <year of degree awarded> .<author cutter> for Masters. (Example: LD 3234.M267 2009 D1235)

3) OCLC’s authority file, author files and the UMass library's OPAC are searched for any variant forms of name. 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.

4) Cataloging records are created in Connexion for each work using a previously created Constant Data template for monographic bibliographical records. The paper copies are then distributed to the Cat & Proc professional catalogers for assignment of subject headings. The catalogers directly add these headings to the Connexion cataloging files; this is the only work they do associated with the dissertations and theses. The Thesis Cataloger takes care everything else.

NOTE: The program name in the cataloging record must be that which is provided by the Grad 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.

5) Once the subject headings are assigned the Thesis Cataloger proofs, validates and uploads each record to OCLC. The records are then exported to ALEPH, where they are given item and holding records for each copy.

6) Item and holdings records are created for each bibliographic copy, along with any bindery information. One bibliographic record is established for the Main ADM library (UM) and another bibliographic record established for the Depository ADM library (DP).

To create an item record for each Main copy:

  • Click on New
  • Scan in the piggyback barcode
  • Sublibrary: UMDUB (or UMSCI)
  • Collection: UGEN
  • Material Type: BOOK
  • Item Status: 01
  • Item Process Status: SB
  • Internal Note: Sent to bindery <date>
  • Update.
  • Create Holdings record.

For the second (Depository) copy:

In the main bibliographic (UM) record, hit CTRL-N (or Cataloging–>Duplicate). This will cause several windows to pop up one at a time. Keep clicking OK until you reach a pop-up menu asking you to Select. Click on FC101; 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 for the Depository copy:

  • Click on New
  • Scan in the piggyback barcode
  • Sublibrary: UMDPT
  • Collection: UDBKS
  • Material Type: BOOK
  • Item Status: 02
  • Item Process Status: SB
  • Check Temporary Location box
  • Internal note: Sent to Bindery <date>
  • Update
  • Create a Holdings Record.

7) A bindery record is created on Acme Bookbinding for each copy, using the appropriate binding format – UMH75 or UMV75 (black binding, gold letters) for Doctorals, UMH03 or UMV03 (red binding, gold letters) for Masters and the spine labeling as follows:

AUTHOR <Last name only>

PROGRAM NAME <i.e., Astronomy>

DEGREE NAME <i.e., PH. D.>

YEAR <on title page of work>

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

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

-Primary contact: Kay Dion

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