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Digital library software - Theses and PhD dissertations

OpenDLT is open source digital library of master theses and PhD dissertations. It has been developing since 2010 at University of Novi Sad, Serbia. The first version will be available at summer 2014. The digital library of theses and dissertations is a web application implemented using Java platform and set of open-source libraries written in Java. Data about theses and dissertations are stored in MARC 21 format. Architecture of the digital library enables an easy integration with library information system as well as easy integration with research information system based on CERIF standard. Since 2012 OpenDLT is in use at University of Novi Sad ( .


Digital library software features

  • Architecture
    1. Software has open-architecture which enables easy extension with new features.
    2. It has three tiers. The first tier is web browser or OAI-PMH client side implementation. The second tier is Apache Tomcat application server containing the core of application. The third tier is database management system which stores data. Communication between the second and third tier is implemented using JDBC technology.
    3. Digital library can be easily integrated to a complete scientific-research information system.
  • Interoperability
    1. Data model of digital library is CERIF compatible data model based on MARC 21 format. It enables interoperability with library information systems and CERIF based scientific –research information systems.
    2. Also, exporting data via OAI-PMH is implemented. It enables export of data in MARC 21, Dublin Core and ETD-MS format. The digital library can become a member of NDLTD, DART-Europe and DRIVER networks.
    3. The digital library can interoperate with MARC 21 based library information system.
  • Submission process
    1. OpenDLT supports PhD dissertations submission process.
    2. Submission process can include a few actors including PhD candidate, scientific-research institution librarian and scientific-research officer.
    3. OpenDLT supports notifications via email about PhD dissertations status changes.
  • Users
    1. The software system enables defining various user roles.
    2. Privileges for each user role can be defined through back-office user interface.
  • Reporting
    1. Reporting is implemented using FreeMarker templates. It enables easy extension with new types of reports.
  • Search
    1. Search of theses is implemented using Lucene information library.
    2. Analyzer for text preprocessing can be customized.
    3. There is also a web form for searching authors, advisors and board members.

Why it is important

The main advantage of digital library compared to classic library with hard-copy theses is easy distribution. Easy distribution improves visibility of theses and thus improves rating of scientific-research institutions. Electronic theses and dissertations showcase intellectual achievements of a scientific-research institution.

“The quality of a university is reflected by the quality of its students’ intellectual products. Theses and dissertations reflect an institution’s ability to lead student and support original work…. In future a university’s quality will be linked to its digital library of theses and dissertations… ” (Joe Moxley)

University of Novi Sad

The digital library has been developing since 2010 by researchers employed at University of Novi Sad. The University of Novi Sad was founded on 28 June 1960. The University of Novi Sad is now the second largest university in Serbia. Today it comprises 14 faculties located in the four major towns of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina: Novi Sad, Subotica, Zrenjanin, and Sombor. The university employs over 3,000 researchers and more than 40,000 students studied in those 14 faculties and graduated from University of Novi Sad.

Librarian information system BISIS is also developed at University of Novi Sad. Prof. Surla was project team leader of BISIS and he is also project team leader of OpenDLT software system.

Future plans

Future work on OpenDLT follows two main directions.

The first one is improvement of OpenDLT services. An ultimate goal is creation of a digital library system which can be easily customized for the needs of various universities and which can be easily integrated with universities library information systems and scientific-research information systems. Besides requirement of easy customization and integration, the digital library system should maximize visibility of scientific results published through theses and dissertations and thus improves university’s ratings. In the very near future we plan to implement SRU/W service for querying OpenDLT database from external systems. Also, improvements of reporting component aimed at providing users with a tool for creating reporting templates matching their specific needs is planned.

The second one is implementation of an open source institutional repository which stores all scientific-research results of an institution. This institutional repository will be implemented as extension of OpenDLT.

News & Events

  • The first user
    OpenDLT is integrated to scientific-research information system of University of Novi Sad in January of 2012. Migration of more than 3,000 PhD dissertations from previous digital library to the OpenDLT system is done. Data are checked and supplied by university’s librarian. Procedure for PhD dissertations’ submission is defined.
  • New scientific paper
    The scientific paper describing OpenDLT importer has been published in conference proceedings. Conference is held at Prague in June of 2012. The details about OpenDLT importer component can be found in the References section. The paper is entitled: A software module for import of theses and dissertations to CRISs
  • New R&D team member
    OpenDLT research and development team member is extended with a new member in September of 2013. The new member name is Robert Molnar, he is employed at Faculty of Technical Sciences of University of Novi Sad. More details about Robert you can find in the Team section. Members of the OpenDLT team wish to welcome Robert to this project.