This paper looks at the differences with institutional repositories that contain electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs, particularly regarding metadata, policy, access restrictions, representativeness, file format, status, quality and related services. The intent is to improve the "quality of content and service provision in an open environment, in order to increase impact, traffic and usage". This paper shows five ways in which institutions can add value to the deposit and dissemination of electronic theses and dissertation:
- Quality of content. A good IR not only defines a set of standards and criteria for the selection and validation of deposits but also communicates and promotes this editorial policy.
- Metadata. The description of the content and context of the ETD files will make a difference.
- Format. The IR should contain full text, offer different file formats, and have deposit formats are searchable, open, and appropriate for long-term preservation and use of the content.
- Repositories should network and interconnect.
- Provide needed services beyond basic searching, viewing, and downloading. Some possibilities are discussion forums, usage statistics and metrics, citations, Print On Demand in book format, copyright protection or Creative Commons licensing, and preservation.