Electronic Theses And Dissertations Digital Library

Increasing numbers of higher ed institutions require graduate students to submit electronic, rather than print, versions of their theses or dissertations. To make the process of submission and management of these electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more efficient, the Texas Digital Library host the Vireo ETD Submission and Management System, which addresses all steps of the ETD process, from submission to approval by the graduate office to publication in one or more institutional repositories.

With Vireo, students submit their digital theses and dissertations via a simple online interface, while graduate offices can manage the ETD approval process behind the scenes. Institutions can also use Vireo to publish the ETDs in their TDL Institutional Repositories and the TDL Statewide ETD Repository, where they are readily available to other researchers.

The Texas Digital Library, in close collaboration with Texas A&M University, provided initial development of Vireo and released it under an open source license in 2010. The TDL and members of the Vireo Users Group continue to oversee development  of the application.

Online Student Submission

Vireo provides a simple and intuitive interface through which students can submit their theses and dissertations online.

The submission interface features:

  • An easy five-step process.
  • Autofill capability for personal information to reduce typos.
  • Embargo options for any document.
  • Ability to send ETDs to UMI Dissertation Publishing.

Workflow Management for Graduate Schools and Libraries

Vireo’s expert interface lets graduate school staff and librarians shepherd theses and dissertations through the entire ETD workflow, from submission to approval to publication in an institutional repository.

The workflow management interface provides useful tools for:

  • Tracking and managing the manuscript review process
  • Creating flexible workflows using customizable filters.
  • Exporting documents and metadata.
  • Managing communications with all participants, including students, faculty advisers, and staff.

Vireo Users Group

The Vireo Users Group (VUG) guides the future development of the Vireo ETD Submission and Management System and provides a forum for mutual support among Vireo users.  For more information about the Vireo Users Group, and for instructions on joining the VUG email list, visit the Vireo Users Group website.

How do I start using Vireo?

The TDL hosts Vireo for its consortial members and continues active development on the software. To find out more about membership opportunities, please see the Membership section of our Web site. If you are a member of the Texas Digital Library and want to deploy Vireo at your institution, please contact the TDL staff to get started.

Vireo is also freely available for download under an open-source license.

Want to know more about Vireo?

  • For an introduction to Vireo, please download this brief presentation with screen shots of the Vireo system: Introduction to Vireo.
  • Learn more about the Vireo Users Group on its website.
  • Check out Vireo end user documentation.
  • Download Vireo from GitHub.
  • Vireo was developed initially with grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Find out more about the grant here.


ETD Preservation and Access Service: California Digital Library


The California Digital Library provides preservation and access services to the UC campus libraries for stewarding electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) authored by UC students. CDL's ETD service integrates the Merritt preservation solution with the eScholarship access interface, providing long-term curation and preservation as well as enhanced visibility and robust access tools where appropriate.

Because each campus has its own set of policies and procedures for handling ETDs, the CDL ETD service can be customized to best address local needs. Specifically, while all campuses desire preservation for their ETDs, only some require that these culminating projects be made publicly accessible at this point. CDL's ETD service can accommodate both of these scenarios.

Typical Workflow

The broad steps of the typical workflow are similar across campuses:

  1. Student submits ETD to ProQuest
  2. ProQuest processes ETDs and makes metadata and ETD files available for the campus library to download
  3. Campus library augments metadata (optional)
  4. Campus library submits ETDs (PDF files, metadata records and any associated supplemental files) to Merritt
  5. eScholarship automatically harvests non-embargoed ETDs intended for public access

CDL can now receive ETDs directly from Proquest, cutting out steps #2-4 above. In addition, we can receive MARC records from Proquest and augment them with the link to the eScholarship copy, along with any other changes to match local campus cataloging practices. Contact uc3@ucop.edu for more information.

Currently, the CDL ETD service does not support direct student submissions, though this is a potential future project that could be taken on collaboratively by the campuses and the CDL using Vireo or another similar system. Until then, ETDs are submitted to the CDL after they have been processed by ProQuest.


The CDL ETD service charge is limited to UC3's cost of storage, which is currently $650 per terabyte per year and is expected to decrease over time. Preliminary estimates show that the cost of preserving an ETD in Merritt is on average less than $0.01 per year.

Submitting ETDs to the CDL

All campuses require preservation for their ETDs, therefore use of the CDL ETD service begins with submission to Merritt. CDL can receive ETDs directly from Proquest and submit them to Merritt, simplifying the process. We can provide reports about the ETDs and metadata received from Proquest.

If you'd like to receive and submit ETDs to Merritt, there are several methods for submission, including a simple web form, as well as RESTful APIs and other methods that allow for easy programmatic submission and/or integration into existing content management tools. See the Merritt User Guide for more information, or contact UC3 at uc3@ucop.edu with any questions about how best to set up an account and submit collections to Merritt.

In addition to the mechanisms of submitting content, some import attributes of the material should also be considered:

  • Public Access: As part of establishing your collection in Merritt, you will be asked if the ETDs should be harvested for public display in eScholarship. It is fine to start with only preservation and add in public access at a later date—simply let us know.
  • Embargoes: If your ETDs are generally intended for public access but include some embargoed items, please let us know so that we can confirm the embargo system after the first harvest of your content. Note that eScholarship follows the ProQuest embargo periods as encoded in the ETD metadata.
  • Versions: Revised versions of an ETD or one of its component files should be submitted to Merritt as a new version of an existing item. For those campuses choosing public access, eScholarship will pick up that new version in its daily automatic harvest.

Providing Public Access

Public access to submitted UC ETDs is provided through eScholarship and many campuses are already taking advantage of this service. In addition to direct end-user access, ETDs on eScholarship are indexed by major search engines alongside other eScholarship content and monthly usages statistic are generated for analysis purposes.

ETDs can be: browsed to as a discrete collection for all campuses, explored as a series for a given campus, found in eScholarship search results and discovered in Google and Google Scholar searches, where all eScholarship content is indexed.

The eScholarship ETD display uses the ProQuest metadata record (or, in the case of UCSD, the UCSD METS ETD profile) to display metadata elements specific to ETDs along with all of the functionality of other eScholarship publications:

  • ETD Specific Metadata
    • Acceptance date
    • Degree
    • Advisor
    • Committee members
    • Embargo date—embargoed items have a metadata only display that indicates when the embargo expires.
      • 0=no embargo
      • 1=6 month embargo
      • 2=1 year
      • 3=2 years
      • 4=until date specified. This requires the date be included, eg:
        <DISS_sales_restriction code="1" remove="06/13/2019"/>

        This element occurs near the bottom of the XML metadata file. The value of the "remove" attibute represents embargo end date, or restriction on sales/publication. Note that when eScholarship sees the "01/01" value in acceptance date for an embargoed item, it automatically adds a year minus one day to the encoded embargo period.
  • eScholarship Selected Display Features
    • PDF online viewing/reading
    • PDF download
    • Supplemental file listing and download (files can be of any type)
    • Document level metrics
    • Sharing via social networks and email
    • Citation tools


eScholarship generates monthly data regarding submission activity and end-user requests (views and downloads) for all content published on the site, including ETDs. Administrators wishing to receive an emailed link to these reports (available in HTML and as an Excel spreadsheet) should contact help@escholarship.org. Alternatively, the report for the previous month, which also includes historical data, can be downloaded at anytime directly from eScholarship:


Preservation related questions should be sent to uc3@ucop.edu.

Access related questions should be sent to help@escholarship.org.

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