As the body of open access (OA) literature continues to grow, the job of figuring out how to access OA-specific material has remained a challenge for researchers. But up to this point, no discovery tool has focused exclusively on openly accessible electronic theses and dissertations (ETD). The Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) project was designed to change this situation. Led by Thomas Dowling, director of technologies for the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, OATD provides a simple way for users to search a global collection of openly accessible ETD literature. The service, which was launched in early April 2013, currently includes references to ETDs from more than 600 universities around the world. OATD works by harvesting metadata records using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, a protocol incorporated into most commonly adopted institutional repository platforms including DSpace, EPrints, and Digital Commons.
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