ETD Guide/Students/Checking and correcting

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A. Important Parts for a checking procedureEdit

After an author has written his or her ETD, the service institutions, like the university library or computing and media center, have to check whether the ETD is complete, readable and correct. Therefore, a checklist is useful. The checklist should consider the following parts of a document and should also be open to the authors for self- checking:

  1. Organizational questions
  2. The WinWord, WordPerfect or LaTeX document
  3. The PDF-Version of a digital dissertation
  4. Metadata

Checking organisational questions

After receiving an ETD from an author, several organisational issues have to be proofed:

  • Does the student belong to the university?
  • Has he passed his exams?
  • Has he passed the approvals?
  • Has he missed deadlines or not?

Checking the WinWord / WordPerfect document

For the application of style sheets the following parts of a word document are mostly critical for further usage:

  • Can the document as a whole been opened within the WinWord or WordPerfect systems at the service institutions?
  • Has the student used all style sheets correctly?
  • Has the students used the heading feature of WinWord or WordPerfect?
  • Is the title page fully styled and all information filled in?
  • Do figures and tables have own captions, and has the insert caption feature of the text formatting system been used?
  • Are lists styled as lists?
  • Are Tables produced using the table features from the text formatting system? (Sometimes authors use the tabulator to build tables)
  • Has the authors used a reference managing system for the references? This makes the automatic formatting of the bibliography much easier and enables a linking into the text parts.
  • Did the author use the automatic spell-checking features instead of applying hard coded – letters in the text?

Checking the LaTeX document

  • Have the guidelines and rules been followed by the author?
  • Has the template or styles file been used?
  • Has the author used bibtex to collect the references?
  • Have all figures been provided in an EPS (encapsulated postscript) format?
  • Have all additional styles been provided by the author?
  • Is the whole ETD processible at a computer of the library or the computing centres?

Checking the PDF document

  • Is the PDF document readable? Can it be opened within the actual version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader?
  • Does the PDF file contain all text pars?
  • Does it contain hyperlinks for multimedia additions? Do the hyperlinks work within an actual Internet browser?

Checking the metadata

  • Has the author provided all Dublin Core metadata requested about himself and his thesis?
  • Are there keywords in different languages, according to different classification schemas?
  • Are there abstracts in different languages?
  • In which format has the metadata information been provided?

B. Checking for an SGML/XML-based publication and archiving workflowEdit

An SGML/XML-based archiving strategy today consist on a conversion workflow, as shown:


Workflow Version 1:

The Conversion from native text formatting formats (like doc WinWord) into SGML/XML-compatible documents is done by a service of the university. Here checking and correcting basically consists of the checking of the adequate usage of the style sheets and the guidelines provided by the university. This procedure is in practice at Humboldt-University Berlin, at Université Lyon 2, Université de Montréal, …

This checking has to be done within the word processing systems used, e.g. WinWord and can e.g. partially automated by Macros defined within the word processing system's macro language, e.g. Visual Basic. Then, the checking person of the staff runs this checking macros and can find out, whether special styles have been used or not. This checking procedure has to be added by a manual checking of the correct usage of the styles applied to the document by the author. For this reason it is very helpful to have a checklist for each document. This will ensure the level of strictness for the style control equivalent for every document.

Workflow Version 2: The conversion from native text formats (like doc WinWord) into SGML/XML- compatible documents is done by the author himself or the author writes directly in SGML/XML. Here checking and correcting basically consists of the checking of the adequate usage of SGML/XML by an SGML/XML parser and concentrates especially on the correct usage of the document type definition (DTD) provided by the university and the guidelines.

This procedure is e.g. in practice at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.


This can completely automated by an SGML/XML-parser and checking scripts that produce an error list for the checking staff and can save a lot of time in comparison to the previously described workflow. The disadvantage of this model from today's perspective is that a very comprehensive author's support has to be designed and carried out, in order to enable authors either to perform an initial conversion from any text formatting system into an SGML/XML compliant document or to use an SGML/XML editor in a way that allows the author to understand and interpret messages.

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