National Central Library has been devoted to the acquisition and collection of theses and dissertations. To that end, the Taiwan Consortium of Electronic Theses and Dissertations was created, and an annual meeting held every year. The 2020 annual meeting was held on December 2 in the international meeting hall of the Library and Information Science Building at Shih Chien University. Dr. Zhen-rong Gan, an expert in applied ethics from National Tsing Hua University, was invited to speak. She explored the relationship between theses and dissertation e-services and academic integrity. The award ceremony for the consortium logo design competition was also held, with awards going to the top three designs as well as honorable mentions. In the afternoon, a forum was help on library operations, after which attendees toured the National Taiwan Science Education Center to increase their professional acumen. NCL hopes that through these annual meetings librarians from the various schools can exchange ideas, leading to an even smoother execution of thesis and dissertation deposits.
The main aim in NCL creating this consortium, in addition to a complete acquisition of bibliographical data and full texts of theses and dissertations in Taiwan, is to increase the academic visibility and influence of consortium members internationally. Even more so, it is hoped that this consortium can assist in research and collectively plan out improvement plans for the nationwide thesis and dissertation database. Because of this, when the consortium was established, the desire was to provide a venue for the exchange of ideas by holding an annual meeting. This would allow a channel whereby to discuss the expectations of thesis and dissertation deposits by member schools and of the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
At the beginning of the annual meeting, NCL Director-General Tseng took time to thank the participating schools for supporting the freedom of scholarly dissemination. She also thanked all past graduate students for their selfless contributions and authorizations. Votes from the Taiwan Consortium of Electronic Theses and Dissertations logo design contest entries were also announced at the annual meeting, with awards and prize money being given to the top three student designs. The consortium decided to adopt the winning design as its future logo, to be used in events and advertisements. Then Dr. Zhen-rong Gang, an assistant research scholar at National Tsing Hua University, gave the keynote address on “Research Integrity’s Last Mile? A Discussion on the Relationship between E-services for Theses and Dissertations and Academic Integrity.” In her address, Professor Gan particularly emphasized that open access to theses and dissertations is the beginning of research integrity. Not only does it make knowledge accessible, but also a way to urge academic honesty by the authors. In the afternoon, the first activity was a forum on library operation services, with discussion from librarians at National Taiwan Normal University, Shih Jien University, and National Taipei University of Technology. Many questions were asked by attendees as part of the forum. To improve knowledge exchange of thesis and dissertation deposit services between schools. As the last event of the annual meeting, a tour was arranged of the National Taiwan Science Education Center, which recently completed a traffic flow line in its exhibition hall and a revamp of its outdoor landscaping. The Center was also asked to provide a tour of its operations to as to increase the working knowhow of the attending librarians.
The National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan is one of the most important scholarly support sites in Taiwan. Currently, the database has over 1.21 million bibliographic records. During peak use times, a total of 15,000 users have been on at one time. The most searches in one day is 1.6 million. Electronic theses and dissertations that have been authorized for open access number more than 530,000. This is an indispensable scholarly resource for graduate students. In response to the amended theses and dissertation authorization law in 2018, this year NCL also completed the creation of an independent retrieval system for theses and dissertations and an audiovisual streaming system. These will soon be available online and can reduces the time patrons take to access these items in the library. In addition, outstanding artistic, applied technology, and physical education theses and dissertations are viewable online in their multimedia formats, providing patrons with a more convenient and multifaceted electronic thesis and dissertation service.
With the pandemic ravaging the entire globe this year and borders being closed, it is not a time for library services to stop. Online resources have suddenly become even more important. To help a greater number of graduate students learn, it is hoped that schools will continue doing what they did in the past and fully support and promote the authorization of open access to electronic theses and dissertations. This will improve academic integrity across disciplines and allow the results of higher education to bless even more students and researchers alike.