The quality of a university is reflected by the quality of its students’ intellectual products. Theses and dissertations reflect an institution’s ability to lead students and support original work. In time, as digital libraries of ETDs become more commonplace, students and faculty will make judgments regarding the quality of a university by reviewing its digital library. Universities that incorporate new literacy tools, such as streaming multimedia, will attract students who hope to produce innovative work.
Starting an ETD program is like starting any other project: a need for the results must exist so all those involved will be motivated and committed through all the steps to the end--the moment when ETD's have become a regular and consolidated activity in the graduate programs of the University.
ETD's are based on the joint work of graduate students, mentors, graduate deans, administrative staff, library staff and the IT team. The success of the implementation of the ETD program requires the commitment of all these players plus that of the university’s higher administrative officers.
American Universities Should Require Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Moxley, Joseph M. (Educause Quarterly, No. 3 2001, pp. 61-63.)