Event Title

Acting on Lessons Learned: Improved Tracking for Long-term Scanning Projects

Presenter Information

G.W. Swicord, University of Florida

Location

Union B

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

23-4-2020 5:00 PM

Description

The University of Florida’s long-term Retrospective Theses and Dissertations Scanning (RTDS) project formally began in 2008 with a workflow centered on contact efforts seeking opt-in agreements from dissertation authors. 2012 saw us transition from the opt-in model to an opt-out one. By the start of 2016, we had fully processed 7,611 of what eventually became a list of 14,112 dissertations. At the start of July 2018, we had completed 11,783 items. Confident that we would finish work on all of the easily accessed and processed dissertations within a year or two, we started preparing for large-scale digitization of master’s theses. In March of 2019, we began regular production thesis scanning.

The bulk of the preparation work for the theses phase lay in the initial construction of a new tracking database. The design of the new database is a best effort at applying many of the lessons that we learned over the first 11 years of the project. It also includes elements intended as ‘future-proofing’ against likely changes, such as our Libraries’ transition to a new catalog system, and possible changes, such as the use of multiple scanning vendors.

This poster uses diagrams and screen captures to illustrate some challenges built into our original database alongside new database and workflow elements aimed at avoiding similar problems. Quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the efforts needed to work around data design-based problems during the dissertations phase of the project complement the diagrams. The challenges covered by the poster include responding to the deployment of a new Library Information System, shifting between in-house and vended scanning, and post hoc management of multiple physical copies needed to enable completion of a single digital item.

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Apr 23rd, 5:00 PM

Acting on Lessons Learned: Improved Tracking for Long-term Scanning Projects

Union B

The University of Florida’s long-term Retrospective Theses and Dissertations Scanning (RTDS) project formally began in 2008 with a workflow centered on contact efforts seeking opt-in agreements from dissertation authors. 2012 saw us transition from the opt-in model to an opt-out one. By the start of 2016, we had fully processed 7,611 of what eventually became a list of 14,112 dissertations. At the start of July 2018, we had completed 11,783 items. Confident that we would finish work on all of the easily accessed and processed dissertations within a year or two, we started preparing for large-scale digitization of master’s theses. In March of 2019, we began regular production thesis scanning.

The bulk of the preparation work for the theses phase lay in the initial construction of a new tracking database. The design of the new database is a best effort at applying many of the lessons that we learned over the first 11 years of the project. It also includes elements intended as ‘future-proofing’ against likely changes, such as our Libraries’ transition to a new catalog system, and possible changes, such as the use of multiple scanning vendors.

This poster uses diagrams and screen captures to illustrate some challenges built into our original database alongside new database and workflow elements aimed at avoiding similar problems. Quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the efforts needed to work around data design-based problems during the dissertations phase of the project complement the diagrams. The challenges covered by the poster include responding to the deployment of a new Library Information System, shifting between in-house and vended scanning, and post hoc management of multiple physical copies needed to enable completion of a single digital item.