ETD Visibility: A study on the exposure of Indian ETDs to the Google Scholar crawler.

Weideman, M.

Proceedings of The 18th International Symposium on Theses and Dissertations. 2-4 November. New Delhi, India.

Weideman, M. 2015. ETD Visibility: A study on the exposure of Indian ETDs to the Google Scholar crawler. Proceedings of The 18th International Symposium on Theses and Dissertations. 2-4 November. New Delhi, India.

Electronic theses and dissertations are often stored and made accessible by universities, as a means of disseminating research results to a wide audience. Google Scholar provides an index separate from the Google index, and strives to provide results filtered for scholarly users. This research will determine to what degree a sample of online theses from Indian universities are indexed by Google Scholar. A sample of theses currently stored in the repositories of some Indian universities has been taken from Shodhganga. Search queries were then constructed for each thesis. These queries were executed on Google Scholar, and results recorded. None of the full-text PDF content pages from Shodhganga were indexed by Google Scholar, although some metadata was indexed. In one case, the thesis full-text was indexed, but it was hosted on a university website. Recommendations include that the Shodhganga database be restructured according to the guidelines, to enable Google Scholar to index its contents. Also, the practice of storing one thesis as a number of separate files works against the achievement of high visibility. Since open access to research publications is becoming the norm rather than the exception, scholars are expected to ensure that their publications enjoy a high degree of global visibility. This study has measured the visibility of a small sample of research publications, proved that it is virtually nonexistent, and provided guidelines to improve the situation. This is a unique approach, and according to the literature survey, has not been done before.
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