Theses In The Internet Save Time, Money And Library Space

November 05, 1998

In Germany alone, the findings of young scientists who have just obtained their doctorate fill many hundreds of thousands of pages every year. Time, money and space in university libraries are needed to make this host of information available to scientists and other interested parties. If, however, a thesis is published in the Internet, it can be accessed in a matter of seconds, and it is possible to conduct a targeted search for indexed terms, key words and citations. Five learned societies, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), have been working on the "Dissertation Online" project since the beginning of the year on developing the foundations and procedures for writing, archiving and searching digital theses.

In close co-operation with the Deutsche Bibliothek (German Library) researchers have developed a programme that adds so-called meta data to the scientific texts, i.e. structural information required for an Internet search. The programme is currently being tested by the Duisburg University library. Another sub-project focuses on developing a software tool permitting the targeted search for specific information.

Major efforts are devoted to studying multimedia formats and extending the data formats needed for a multimedia presentation of the accumulated knowledge. Another essential element is adequate support of the authors which involves the development of guidelines for digital theses. The first version of "Advice for authors" is now available.

Members of the interdisciplinary research network are the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaften (DGfE - German Society of Educational Science), the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (DMV - German Association of Mathematicians), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG - German Physical Society), the Gesellschaft deutscher Chemiker (GDCh - German Chemical Society) and the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI - German Society for Computer Science). Under the umbrella of five sub-projects they co-operate closely with scientific libraries.
On-line information on the current status of these activities is available at

For further information on the "Dissertation Online" project please contact:

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Kamke
Humboldt-Unviersität zu Berlin
Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 7
D-10099 Berlin
Phone +49-30-2093-4177
Fax +49-30-2093-4193

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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