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Frequently asked questions
General 

 

# What is an etd?
# What is PDF?
# Do I have to submit an electronic copy of my thesis/dissertation?
# Are there advantages to electronic submission?
# Can a thesis/dissertation be submitted before examination to give access to examiners?
# Do I have to do all of this myself?

Process
# When should the etd be converted to pdf format
# When should a thesis/dissertation be submitted using the UPeTD software?
# Can deposit/submission be done off campus?
# Is there a limit to the size of files which are submitted as a part of an etd?
# How do I import scanned photos?
# Which multimedia file types are acceptable?
# May I include running programs, such as executable files or simulations?
# How do I include references to external multimedia objects (such as video and audio) in my etd?
# Can I have internal figures in a "landscape" orientation?
# What do I do to get formulae to appear correctly in the abstract of my etd?
# How do I ensure that my etd survived the conversion to PDF?
# May I make changes to my etd after it has been submitted?
# How do I correct my etd after it appears on the UPeTD server?
# What are the options regarding electronic access?
# How does this process relate to the use of Research Toolbox?
# What happens to my etd once I submitted it?

Publishing Issues
# What if I want to have a journal article as a chapter in my etd?
# I have completed my thesis/dissertation but I am still in the process of publishing from it: when should I submit?
# What do I need to know about signing agreements with publishers?

Support
# Where can I get help with the conversion and submission processes?
# Where do I get access to the necessary software?

Language I Taal
# My proefskrif/verhandeling is in Afrikaans. Maak dit sin om dit op UPeTD te sit?
# Do I have to provide an abstract in Afrikaans?

Other
# Will only theses and dissertations be published in this way?
# How do I access submitted etds?
# What about long term preservation issues?
# What about document security?
# Are there any other similar digital theses programmes?
What is an etd?

An etd (Electronic Thesis/Dissertation ) is an electronic version of your thesis or dissertation in PDF format, which will be published on the internet. It will be freely accessible to the international research community (as well as for your family and friends).

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What is PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format.  It is a hypertext file format developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated for electronic publishing.

To view PDF files, you will need the free viewing application Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0, freely available from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html.  To create PDF documents you will need Adobe Distiller which is freely available in all the service units of the Academic Information Service.

You have to submit your etd in PDF because PDF is accepted worlwide, is easy for you to create, is easy for us to manage, and it works on multiple platforms (e.g., Macintosh, Windows 95/2000/NT, UNIX).

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Do I have to submit an electronic copy?

As from 2004 it is compulsory to submit a PDF copy for archiving as well as a Word/WordPerfect copy. Students who registered prior to 2004  are strongly advised to take this route which is clearly in line with international trends.

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Are there advantages to electronic submission?

Yes. Firstly, it saves valuable resources. When you submit electronically you are no longer obliged to supply the Academic Information Service (Library) with bound copies and, if arranged with your supervisor, neither do you have to submit paper copies for examination purposes. It is also a less costly way for the university to archive and make your thesis/dissertation available.

Secondly, you may be able to better convey the message of your thesis or dissertation in an electronic format as opposed to a paper document. Thus, you can easily have colour diagrams, colour images, hypertext links, and even include audio, video, animations, spreadsheets, databases, simulations, virtual reality worlds, etc. in your appendices.
 
Thirdly, by preparing an etd and submitting it electronically you learn about electronic document preparation and  digital publishing. These skills will help prepare you for your future role in the Information Age, whether you teach, do research, or use the research results of others.

Fourthly, a web version of your etd is much more accessible to the outside world and will give valuable exposure to your research work and the knowledge output of the university.

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Can a thesis/dissertation be submitted before examination to give access to examiners?

Yes, it can be done and will save you and your faculty administration the cost of printing, binding and sending copies to examiners. Please ask your supervisor to contact the UPeTD Administration should you select this option.

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Do I have to do all of this myself?

Yes, it is not a complicated process and actually a natural conclusion of what you have done so far. If you are making use of the services of a professional typist you may involve her in the process. However, keep in mind that finally you will personally be responsible for the quality and correctness of your etd.

We have the contact details of a people who who offer services in this regard. Please contact us at upetd@up.ac.za for information.

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When should the etd be converted to PDF format?

The conversion to PDF needs to be done after your thesis/dissertation has been signed off by your supervisor and before submitting the etd as this process also incorporates the uploading of the PDF files to the local server. Please make sure that all the preliminary steps  are completed before converting your etd.

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When should a thesis/dissertation be submitted using the UPeTD software?

If the examiners will be using the WWW to  access  your thesis, it should be done once your supervisor declares the thesis to be ready for examination. Please make sure that the submission form has been completed and submitted to the Head: Faculty Administration before submitting your thesis to UPeTD.

If the examination has already been done on paper copies and all corrections have been made and the faculty administration has advised the UPeTD Admin Office accordingly, submission can start immediately.

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Can deposit/submission be done off campus?

Yes. Submission can be done virtually from anywhere once your files have been converted to PDF.  All you need is a computer with internet access to the UPeTD system.

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Is there a limit to the size of files which are submitted as a part of an etd?

We recommend that you try to keep files under 4MG in order to make it downloadable everywhere.  

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How do I import scanned photos?

You may "copy'' and "paste'' scanned images directly into your word processor as internal multimedia objects inside a  text box.

Otherwise, save the scanned photo as a JPEG file and make a link to it as an external multimedia object. This is recommended whenever the JPEG file is bigger than 3MG.

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Which multimedia file types are acceptable?

We suggest that you provide multimedia files in a standard format such as JPEG or GIF.  In this way, everyone who reads your etd can get an idea of your work without installing a special viewer.

For special cases (e.g., 3-D molecule browsers), you may include the viewer for the multimedia format as an appendix to your etd. Then you may make links to the external multimedia objects. Make sure that you document the tool and its use carefully. Also be sure that you have proper permission to redistribute the viewer as well as documentation on the file type.

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May I include running programs, such as executable files or simulations?

Yes, you may include programs just like external multimedia objects. Please include directions on how to install and run the program.  Make sure you have included all required support libraries and that you have permission to make these publicly available.

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How do I include references to external multimedia objects (such as video and audio) in my etd?

In your word processor file, centre an anchor: a figure number, caption, file name, and approximate file size on a line by itself. Create the PDF file as usual.

Figure 1.1 Air escaping through steam portal (steam.wav, 10K)

Then, using the link feature of Adobe Acrobat, make a link to the file ``steam.wav.'' Be sure to include the ``steam.wav'' when you submit your etd.

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Can I have internal figures in a "landscape" orientation?

Yes. PDF files can represent pages that are more than one metre wide and tall. This is a useful feature of the etd, as it is nice to be able to pan and enlarge parts of such a figure with no loss of resolution.

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What do I do to get formulae to appear correctly in the abstract of my etd?

The abstract is part of an HTML document and the correct HTML tags should be used. You will find guidelines on the following sites. Please contact the UPeTD office for assistance.

For more complete lists of HTML entities, please visit the following URL, which is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium:

http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/HTML3/latin1.HTML or

Webenalysis: free webmaster resources

http://www.webenalysis.com/special-characters.asp

Superscripts/subscripts
http://fel.utc.sk/physics/computing/HTMLtutorial/tut/download.htm

Problems with Greek and other symbols can also be solved with the Symbol Font Face as described on the following page by Dr Charles S Tritt: http://people.msoe.edu/~tritt/symbols.html

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How do I ensure that my etd survived the conversion to PDF?

Use Acrobat Reader to review your PDF files. Get a friend to help! Make sure all the pages are formatted correctly, and that all fonts converted correctly. Make sure all pages are numbered correctly (no skipping of pages), and that the table of contents matches the numbering. Make sure you have included all the document parts.

Additionally, your supervisor should review your PDF before the etd Approval Form is signed. Once your etd gets accepted as part of the collection, we cannot change it.

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May I make changes to my etd after it has been submitted?

Yes, you may continue to make changes to your etd until it has been approved by the UPeTD Admin Office. To make changes to your etd, simply log in to the same system you use to submit your etd. Remember to keep note of your password.

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How do I correct my etd after it appears on the UPeTD server?

Once your etd has been approved, that version is a matter of University record and will be archived as such. You may not make any corrections. For this reason, you and your supervisor must check the etd thoroughly before submitting it.

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What are the options regarding electronic access?

You have four options for electronic access:

1.The first option, which we recommend, is to make it freely available worldwide. 

2.The second option is to make the etd freely available to the University of Pretoria community but at the same time disallow access from others. In order for others to gain access as soon as appropriate, this restriction on access is only for a period of one year. To protect you, the University will allow the period to be extended, a year at a time, as long as necessary, and will not release your work until you and your supervisor provide written authorization. 

3.The third option is to restrict access for a period of a year. The University community is included in this restriction. This option addresses situations such as when a patent application is planned, where publishing of a book or journal articles is being negotiated or when proprietary interests are at stake. 

4. The fourth option provides for "mixed availability" where access to certain parts of the etd is restricted due to reasons similar to 3.

You should discuss these options carefully with your supervisor. If you intend to work with a publisher regarding journal or book publications, be sure you understand their policies and any agreements you would sign. 

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How does this process relate to the use of Research Toolbox?

Research Toolbox provides the ideal infrastructure to create an etd which will easily convert to PDF. We strongly recommend this product. Copies are available in the Academic Information Service for use of UP students.

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What happens to my etd once I submitted it?

The UPeTD Admin will confirm receipt of your etd. Thereafter a quality check on it will be done to make sure it conforms to the UPeTD standards and set the security level. If, for some reason, changes have to be made to your etd, you will be notified. The UPeTD system will keep track of the communication between yourselves and us. When everything is in order, we will make your etd accessible and will notify you.

If an examination copy of your etd is added to the database the procedure will be more complicated and will be finalised with your supervisor in advance.

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What if I want to have a journal article as a chapter in my etd?

If you have published an article or articles before you hand in your thesis or dissertation, and you wish to include it as part of your etd you have a number of options. These should be discussed with your supervisor, and possibly with your publisher.

Firstly, you can simply cite that publication in your references.

Secondly, if the publisher has the publication online, you can link or point to it (with permission of the publisher, who usually has protection so that paying customers or subscribers are the only ones allowed access).

Thirdly, if the publisher gives you a signed release, you can include the publication in your etd as allowed in that release. If the publisher restricts access in that release, say to UP only, you may select the "mixed availability" option for your etd.

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I have completed my thesis/dissertation but I am still in the process of publishing from it: when should I submit?

The best time to do so, is right now. Later on your mind will be on other issues. Just choose Access option 3 which will make your etd visible without revealing the contents and which may even create expectation for your articles. Please let us know as soon as we can lift the embargo.

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What do I need to know about signing agreements with publishers?

When you have your research published in a conference, book, or journal, you usually sign some type of agreement with the publisher. You should read that agreement carefully before signing, making sure you understand AND AGREE with the terms and conditions. If you don't, you may want to change the agreement and should discuss it with the publisher, and possibly with advice of legal or other counsel. The agreement should be explicit about what future rights of use you retain. If you want to include the materials in a dissertation or to reuse the materials for teaching or a book chapter, say so.

As the author you are entitled to discuss your plans with the publisher. We encourage you to obtain an agreement that allows you to include your research in a freely available electronic thesis or dissertation. 

During these negotiations you may want to discuss matters of timing and revision. You have the right to negotiate with a publisher to reduce access to your etd to the university only for a limited amount of time, if they request this as a condition for publishing your article. However, most publishers consider a thesis or dissertation to be quite different from a journal article. Typically the article is much shorter than the chapter or full work, has been revised as a result of the editorial process and peer review, and sometimes has several authors, resulting in many publishers having no concern regarding fully accessible etds. 

Visit the excellent website dealing with publication policies that has been develped by the University of Cincinnati.

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Where can I get help with the conversion and submission processes?

Both processes are clearly explained in the online help. However, if you need additional help

- the Academic Information Service will be running workshops on demand throughout the year, and
- a support team will be on hand to assist you. Please make an appointment by sending a message to upetd@up.ac.za or phoning mrs Alet Grobler at (012) 420 3791.

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO IT FOR YOU.

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Where do I get access to the necessary software?

Acrobat Distiller 5.0 is available in all the service units of the Academic Information Service. Please enquire at the UPeTD Admin Office by sending a message to upetd@up.ac.za or by phoning (012-4203791). In due course additional copies will be placed in all the computer labs.

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My proefskrif/verhandeling is in Afrikaans. Maak dit sin om dit op UPeTD te sit?

Ja, natuurlik maak dit sin. Die stelsel is ook bedoel om op die kampus en in die RSA gebruik te word. Om te verseker dat nie-Afrikaanssprekendes nie van jou werk uitgesluit word nie, stel ons die volgende voor



       Tik agter die titel (Afrikaans) sodat lesers kan weet wat hulle te wagte is
      
Verskaf sleutelwoorde (keywords) eers in Engels en dan in Afrikaans
      
Verskaf 'n Engelse "abstract"
      
Maak seker dat jou e-posadres reg is vir geval iemand jou wil kontak vir verdere inligting.

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Do I have to provide an abstract in Afrikaans?

No. It is not compulsory but may be added if you have it anyway. 

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Will only theses and dissertations be published in this way?

This will be a faculty decision. Please discuss it with your supervisor.

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How do I access submitted etds?

Access is provided from the UPeTD home page or via the library catalogue. You will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0  which may be downloaded from  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html if necessary.

Etds are also picked up by search engines such as Google.

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What about long term preservation issues?

We are committed to electronic archiving of your etd and will make sure that it will be accessible in the future, regardless of changes in media and standards. This is a firm guarantee so you need not worry. In due course other formats will be introduced.

We store copies of all completed UPeTD theses/dissertations on CD-Rom as an additional precaution.

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What about document security?

The UPeTD administrators will control and oversee document security is in place for each thesis. The document security switches available with Adobe Acrobat are:

1.PASSWORD level security
1.1 Password to use the document at all
1.2 Password to change any existing security settings.
2.DOCUMENT USAGE level security
2.1 Do NOT allow Printing
2.2 Do NOT allow Changing the Document
2.3 Do NOT allow Selecting Text and graphics
2.4 Do NOT allow Adding or Changing Notes and Form Fields

The default for UPeTD documents will be read and print only with no changes to the document possible. This will mean activating 2.2, 2.3, 2.4. In order to protect these document securtiy settings it will be necessary to also activate 1.2. This will password protect the settings, preventing those reading an UPeTD document from altering these settings.

This requires that when documents are submitted by students that the appropriate security switches are NOT activated.  

When we make etds available to examiners on the web additional security is provided.

Please contact UPeTD if there is an urgent need for additional document security.

PDF is not immune to hackers. There will always be a risk but the security settings will minimise such risk.

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Are there any other similar digital theses programmes?

UPeTD is a member of the international Networked Digital Library of Theses & Dissertations (NDLTD). Its aim is to create tools, standards and services, to share knowledge and experience and generally help universities build their information infrastructure, and extend the value of digital theses worldwide.  Detailed information on NDLTD and its future plans can be found at http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september01/suleman/09suleman-pt1.html.

UNESCO is also heavily involved with the movement with a particular emphasis on the needs of developing countries.

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