The www.cybertheses.org site is the result of cooperative project that started at first between l’Université de Montréal "http://www.theses.umontreal.ca/" et l’Université Lumière, Lyon 2 "http://www.univlyon2.fr/, supported by the Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes "http://www.francophonie.org/fonds/", and dealing with the theme of the electronic publication and distribution of theses on the Web.
At first, this cooperation dealt with the conception and creation of a production line for electronic documents, using the SGML norm. It also had the objective of setting up a server to be shared by the different participating establishments so as to allow their theses to be indexed.
In a desire for openness, we decided to enlarge participation on this server to all establishments of higher education distributing full-text versions of their thesis on the Internet, without constraints based on the language used or on the chosen format of distribution.
The www.cybertheses.org site allows theses to be indexed on line using a common metadata model. Its implementation provides a structure for this growing cooperative effort by basing itself on the Internet’s own modes of functioning and of distributing skills. Our wish is that it can quickly ensure a better distribution of the research work conducted within the participating establishments and serve as an effective tool for the entire community of researchers.
From the conception of the project, the partners wanted to contribute to the distribution of software tools created for use in the university environment. These tools are available to the partners in the Cybertheses network. They permit all the partners to participate, on equal footing, in the construction of an electronic university library that functions in a dispersed manner and applies the concept of distributed intelligence.
One of the principles that motivated the implementation of this program is to favor, as much as possible, the re-appropriation of research work by the researchers themselves. Our objective is to eventually help create a new political economy of knowledge, which makes researchers the masters of their publications, beyond any economic constraints. Many aspects of our project respond to this goal:
- Placing theses freely and completely on-line on the Internet, and thus widening their distribution, means that the thesis will no longer be considered as solely the result of a research project. It will instead become a genuine work instrument integrated to a much larger system in order to satisfy the user’s demand.
- The creation of the Cybertheses database containing the metadata of the participating institutions’ theses. Cybertheses provides an efficient indexation system and rapid searching, even while significantly increasing the visibility and the distribution of the theses.
- The use of free or freely distributed software is favored at each stage of the production and distribution process.
- The sharing of research, self-created software programs, and documentation between the
Cybertheses partners, thereby creating a "toolbox" permitting participation in the program.
The Cybertheses partners are concerned with developing solutions that can be used by all actors, be they of the North, South or East. Our procedure in based on appropriating the skills and techniques related to the electronic production and distribution of the university community’s research results.
For more information, consult: http://www.cybertheses.org/
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