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Shodhganga: a reservoir of Indian Theses

Theses and dissertations are known to be the rich and unique source of information, often the only source for research work that does not find its way into various publication channels. However, theses and dissertations remain an un-tapped and under-utilized asset, leading to unnecessary duplication and repetition that, in effect, is the antitheses of research and wastage of huge resources, both human and financial.

The UGC Notification (Minimum Standards & Procedure for Award of M.Phil./ Ph.D Degree, Regulation, 2009) dated 1st June 2009 provides for submission of electronic version of theses and dissertations with an aim to facilitate open access to Indian theses and dissertation to the academic community world-wide. Online availability of electronic theses through centrally-maintained digital repositories, will not only ensure easy access and archiving of Indian doctoral theses but will also help in raising the standard and quality of research. This would overcome serious problem of duplication of research and poor quality resulting from the "poor visibility" and the "unseen" factor in research output. As per the Regulation, the responsibility of hosting, maintaining and making the digital repository of Indian Electronic Theses and Dissertation (Shodhganga) accessible to all institutions and universities is assigned to the INFLIBNET Centre.

Shodhganga @ INFLIBNET

The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET is set-up using DSpace, an open source digital repository software developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in partnership between Hewlett-Packard (HP). The DSpace uses internationally recognized protocols and interoperability standards. The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET provides a platform for research students to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. The repository has the ability to capture, index, store, disseminate and preserve ETDs submitted by the researchers.

DSpace supports "Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting" (OAI-PMH) and uses a qualified version of the Dublin Core schema. The INFLIBNET Centre, promotes setting-up of institutional and ETD repositories in member universities using OAI-PMH complaint software. A number of member universities have already set-up their institutional and ETD repositories using either DSpace or other OAI-PMH compliant Institutional Repository software leading to a scenario wherein it would be possible for universities having sufficient network and computing infrastructure to maintain their own ETD repositories wherein their research scholars could deposit e-versions of their theses and dissertations, and INFLIBNET Centre, besides maintaining the Central ETD Repository (Shodhganga) would also deploy a central server to harvest the metadata from all such ETD repositories distributed in universities with an aim to provided unified access to theses and dissertations through its harvesting server.

Shodhganga Repository at INFLIBNET replicates academic structure of each university in terms of Departments/ Centres and School each university has. This structure facilitates research scholars from universities to deposit their theses in the respective Department/ Centre.