ETD Guide/Introduction/Global cooperation in ETD activities

There continues to be rapid growth and development of ETD activities around the world. Whether such efforts arise spontaneously or as extensions of existing efforts, it is hoped that all will proceed in cooperative fashion so universities can help each other in a global collaboration [4], passing on lessons learned as well as useful tools and information. The mission of NDLTD is to facilitate such progress in a supportive rather than prescriptive manner. Over 100 members joined NDLTD by 2000, including over 80 universities in addition to national and regional project efforts; international, national, and regional organizations; and interested companies and associations. The only requirement for joining NDLTD is interest in advancing ETD activities, so it is hoped this will help ensure global cooperation.

A number of groups involved in NDLTD are particularly interested in supporting efforts in developing countries. The sharing of research results through ETDs is one of the fastest ways for scholars working in developing countries to become known and have an impact on the advancement of knowledge. It also is one of the easiest and least costly ways for universities in developing countries to become involved in digital library activities and to become known for their astute deployment of relevant and helpful technologies. The Organization of American States, UNESCO, and other groups are playing a most supportive role in facilitating this process.

Next Section: Overview of rest of the Guide