ETD Guide/Technical Issues/Contexts: local, regional, national, global

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World Diversity

Our world is a very diverse place. We have many geographies, climates, races, cultures, and languages. Another characteristic that differentiates places of the world is the level of development. This creates various levels of access to:

  • Food and water
  • Housing, electricity and sanitation
  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Jobs
  • Information and knowledge

World Infrastructure

Infrastructure is different in different regions of the world too. Third world nations have characteristic social/economic gaps among groups of persons and/or regions within the countries. In one nation, developed areas, where people have access to all the items listed above and where infrastructure is good, coexist with very poor regions where living conditions are bad.

This coexistence leads to a varied range of infrastructure levels in general and in universities too. There are universities with very good campuses and with the infrastructure comparable to those in developed nations. Others have bad installation, lack equipment and do not have good networks and Internet connections. This bad fortune reflects on students, faculty and staff who may not be proficient with information technology tools.

When an ETD program is considered, some aspects of the infrastructure must be examined. They can be grouped in 3 categories, as follows.

Local (in the university) infrastructure

  • The level of automation of the library in terms of cataloging of the collection, library system, equipment for the staff and for end users, etc.
  • The number and quality of machines available to students
  • The number and quality of machines available to the administrative staff
  • The network conditions - connection to all university buildings, speed, reliability and support
  • The level of computer literacy of students, faculty, library staff and administrative staff
  • The number of machines connected to the Internet
  • The connection of the university network to WAN's and the Internet - speed, reliability and support

Regional and national infrastructure

  • The network connections - speed, reliability and support;
  • The existence of other ETD and/or digital library projects to develop the culture and to seek/provide support
  • The possibility of funding, from agencies and/or private companies, to ETD programs Global
  • The network connections - speed, reliability and support;
  • The dissemination of information on ETD and/or digital library projects to provide support to those who want to start programs
  • The agreement on minimum standards for systems, technology and metadata to allow interoperability and seamless access
  • The discussion and agreement on languages to identify ETDs so that they can be searched, retrieved and used

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