ETD Guide/Technical Issues/Packaging

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The Australian Digital Theses (ADT) Program software is a modified version of the original Virginia Tech ETD software and is in its second release. The ADT software modifications were to make it generic, flexible and customisable for easy integration within the local IT infrastructure. This is critical as the ADT Program is a distributed and collaborative system involving a large number of Australian universities.

The software is distributed to all ADT members free by ftp download as a .tar file. The reason for using a .tar file is that it keeps related files together, and thus facilitates the transfer of multiple files between computers. The files in a .tar archive must be extracted before they can be used.

Extracting the distribution .tar file will reveal a directory (adt) containing 2 further directories (cgi-gin & public_html) plus installation instructions in a readme.txt file plus an empty adt-ADT admin site to help identify the structure of the admin side of the software.

Also included in the release package is a test site for members to look at and use to familiarise themselves on the look, structure and functionality. Three dummy theses are used as examples of how theses can look, and how they fit into the admin structure. General software details, as well as all other information regarding the ADT Program is publicly available on the ADT Information page @:

Responsibility for the ADT software and initial setup support for new members is taken by the lead institution - The University of New South Wales Library.

Overview of the ADT Program software

  1. Deposit Form
    • generic look and feel
    • includes both Copyright & Authenticity statements
    • completely revised help screens
    • revised, as well as new alerts for errors etc..
    • does not allow non compliance with core ADT standards - e.g. filenames; illegal symbols
    • all fields & processes compulsory unless otherwise indicated on the form
  2. Administration pages
    • possible to edit html as well as change restrictions
    • with new update function it is now possible to ADD, DELETE, RENAME files. Another feature of the update function is to be able to move files to a NOACCESS directory, as well as and to make them accessible again. This is designed primarily for certain parts of theses that cannot be made public for reasons of copyright, patents, legal reasons, and other sensitivities
    • now possible to make thesis available without any restriction (ideal), restrict to campus only, restrict whole thesis for approved caveat period, totally restrict parts of thesis. Any combination is possible with the choice, or choices made, being reflected in the local view of the thesis. That is, if thesis is restricted to campus only this is now obvious, similarly if part of thesis is restricted (noaccess) this is obvious too. Knowing if restrictions apply at the outset will not frustrate those searching the database
    • now possible to easily un-make a deposit. That is, to remove a thesis from public/restricted view and/or to take this back to the deposit directory where any editing and changes can be made before reapproving and making accessible again
    • refined URI structure using date (yyyymmdd) and time (hhmmss)
    • revised and new help & alert pages
  3. Metadata
    • completely revised and updated according to latest Dublin Core Qualifiers document released 11th July 2000.
    • to aid search functionality keywords/phrases (i.e. DC.Subject) are each repeated as separate element strings. This has resulted in a revised look of the HotMeta database view. The brief record (default) now shows Title, Author, Date, Institution/School, with the expanded view showing all the metadata.

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