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Vidyanidhi: Indian Digital Library of Electronic Theses

The Vidyanidhi project based at the University of Mysore and sponsored by India's National Information System for Science and Technology (NISSAT) is emerging as a national effort to create, maintain, and provide network access to a digital library of Indian theses. Vidyanidhi—a Sanskrit term meaning treasure of knowledge—has a two-fold objective: to provide network access to Indian theses; and to reach a global audience for research from Indian universities.

Vidyanidhi is a direct consequence of the policy initiatives identified in the Information Technology Action Plan [1]. The impetus has come primarily from a policy initiative [2] that makes it mandatory for all universities or deemed universities in the country to host "every dissertation/thesis on a designated Web site."

Vidyanidhi is intended to demonstrate the utility of digital library technologies in maintaining, enhancing access to, and visibility of Indian academic research. We are currently examining relevant standards for electronic publishing and metadata; interoperability issues; and multilingual and multiscript issues at all levels—metadata, full-content database of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) in Indian scripts, and languages and development of the search interface.

The building blocks of the Vidyanidhi are two full-content databases and the metadata database; the search engine; the user interface with multilingual interfaces layered and embedded within. The multilingual interface under development will accept queries in English or any Indian language. Vidyanidhi will eventually emerge as a distributed input and database environment for the ETDs digital library. In the immediate future, however, it will be a centralized repository facilitating network access. This is necessary and important for the purpose of evolving a national consensus and agreement on all relevant issues and standards. However, the goal—to assist the end-user community in obtaining access to one of the most neglected and underutilized of all resources—remains irrespective of the structure and technology that ultimately emerges.

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1. National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development. Action Plan. Government of India. New Delhi (1999).

2. National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development. Long-term IT National Policy. Government of India, New Delhi (1999).

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Shalini R. Urs ( is a professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Mysore, India.

K.S. Raghavan ( is a professor and head of the Department of Library and Information Science at the of Madras, India.

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UF1Figure. Vidyanidhi: A conceptual model.

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©2001 ACM  0002-0782/01/0500  $5.00

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The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2001 ACM, Inc.


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