eThesys Help Page

This page contains helpful information regarding the submission scripts and/or related to the submission process in general.

The submission process begins with the the "login" page. All subsequent links are indicated in the texts of the descriptions.

All links contained on this page point to information about a script rather than the script itself.

The Submission Process


This page asks an author to enter a username and password of their own choosing, which can be used to access and make changes to their ETD until it has been approved.

If an author's username has not been registered, this script will direct them through the process of creating an account and then allow them to log in.

A successful login results in three things: First, a unique session ID and the authenticating PID are registered in a table. Second, the unique session ID is inserted into a cookie which will expire in a half hour. Most subsequent screens will verify and then renew this cookie for an additional half hour increment. Third, their browser is redirected to the "manage etd" page, which acts as the central launching point for the rest of the process.

If your session cookie expires at any time, you will be instructed to return to this page and log in again. This portion of the process requires that your browser support and allow cookies (more information about cookies).


Each PID is allowed to have one ETD waiting to be approved at a given time. Only ETDs associated with this PID which have not been approved may be viewed, modified, or deleted by the author.

If there is no ETD waiting to be approved for a given PID, this screen will send you to the title page entry form, where you can enter the basic information regarding their ETD.

If you have submitted an ETD which is still waiting to be approved, this screen will direct you to any steps of the submission process not already completed. These steps, in order, are:

If you have completed all of the initial steps, this page will display the current information regarding your ETD, including files, advisors, and availability. There are links to modify all of this information from this page, which point to the "modify etd", "manage files" and "manage committee" pages.

This page will also display any notices entered by the graduate school. A notice is generally a small bit of text informing an author of missing or incorrect information contained in their ETD. The idea is you will be able to see what the graduate school expects of you every time you log in to update your ETD.


This page displays a form which will allow an author to create a record for their ETD based on their basic bibliographic information. The contents of this form are processed by the "add etd" script. This page will not allow an author who already has an ETD waiting to be approved to submit an additional ETD.

The abstract field on this page is designed to handle large portions of text. To save time, you can simply "cut-and-paste" your abstract from whatever word processor or page layout program your ETD was authored in. The text of your abstract may use html tags freely, although <table> and </table> tags may not be supported. If you choose not to include html tags in your abstract, please separate your paragraphs with two (2) carriage returns, our scripts will automatically insert paragraph tags in the version of your abstract displayed on your title page.


This page processes the contents of the "enter biblio" page. First, it verifies that all neccessary information has been entered. If any information is missing or incorrect, it displays a detailed message describing what an author needs to fill in. If all information has been entered correctly, the script determines the next available URN and creates a record for this ETD based on the URN, PID, and all information entered in the previous form. It then instructs authors that their information has been registered, and that they will need to visit the "view etd" page to continue the process.


This page is nearly identical to the "enter biblio" page, with the exception that all fields are neatly filled in based on the contents of the current ETD record. It should be noted that the availability of an ETD cannot be directly updated using this form. Instead, this page displays the current availability and provides a link to the "change availability" page.

As a convenience, this page also contains links to the "manage files" and "manage committee" pages. In this sense, it is similar to the "view etd" page.

The contents of the form contained on this page are processed by the "update etd" script.


This page is virtually identical to the "add etd" page. Once again, it will not allow an author to leave fields blank or enter incorrect information. It updates the existing record, leaving the internal variables unique to this ETD (URN, date of submission) intact. As with the "add etd" page, a successful update informs the user and provides a link back to the "view etd" page.


This page will display the current file information associated with an ETD. It provides a links to the "delete files" page, which can be used to remove any files which have already been uploaded. A form is also provide to add new files, which is processed by the "add files" page.

If you have decided that your availability should be "mixed", i.e. the ETD will be available in its entirety to the Virginia Tech campus while parts are accessible worldwide, then this page will also provide a link to the "change file availability" page.


This page adds new files uploaded using the "manage files" page. You will generally receive confirmation that files were succesfully uploaded, but if there are problems with the filenames you have used, this script will also inform you and instruct you to return to the "manage_files" page and upload files with corrected names.

As a rule, a correct filename will not contain any spaces or slashes. On the title page that will eventually present your information over the web, your files will be sorted alphanumerically. If you want to guarantee that your files will appear in a given order, it is suggested that you name them with two digit numeral codes in front of them, something like the following:

If you have chosen "mixed" availability (see above), then this page will remind you that any files you upload will be set to the most restricted access (vt-only) by default. In this case, a successful result will also provide a link to the "change file availability" page.


This page displays a table of the files currently associated with your ETD. Each filename has a Yes/No radio button in a column entitled "Delete?". All radio buttons are set to "no" (do not delete) by default. Any radio buttons which are set to "yes" when the form is submitted (back to itself) will be deleted from their file system, and their information will be removed from the file database. A successful result displays the names of files which have been deleted and provides a link back to the "manage files" and "view etd" pages.


This page displays a table of the files currently associated with your ETD. Each filesname has radio buttons next to its name for each of the possible availability options. Each radio button is set by default to the current availability for each file. You may change the availability of each file using the radio buttons. This form can not be used if you have not chosen "mixed" availability (see above), and will instruct you to use the "change availability" page if you would like to select "mixed" status.

A successful result confirms that the file availability information has been updated and provides links back to the "manage files" and "view etd" pages.


This page is very similar to the availability section of the "enter biblio" form. Unlike the original form, the radio button indicating the current availability is selected by default.

If you have already selected "mixed" status (see above), and would like to change to another status, this page reminds you before you submit the form that all custom file availability information will be lost, i.e. set to the new availability value.

If you are changing from another availability to "mixed" status, you will be reminded that all files are set to restricted access (vt-only) by default, and will be given a link to the "change file availability" page, where you can customize file availability information.

A successful result for any status will provide a link back to the "manage etd" page.


This page will display the current committee information associated with an ETD. Next to each committee member's name are links to the "delete committee" and "modify committee" pages. There is also a link to the "add committee" page.

This page also contains a form which allows you to add a committee member's information to their ETD. Note that although you must fill out all fields to add a new committee member, you may enter "none" for the email address if one is not available.


This page processes the contents of the "new committee member" form on the "manage committee" page. This page will report successful results and will remind you about missing information.


This page is identical to the "add committee member" form contained within the "add committee" page, with the exception that it is already filled out with the current information for the advisor being updated. The modified committee member information is also processed by this page, which will report any missing information or errors as well as successful results.


This page allows an author to completely remove an advisor's information from their ETD. When this page is first called (from the "manage committee" page), it asks the author to confirm that they wish to permanently remove this advisor's information from their ETD.

A successful result provides links back to the "manage committee" and "view etd" pages.


This page allows an author to completely remove all of their information from the database. When this page is first called, it asks you to confirm that you want to permanently remove all information regarding your ETD from the system, including all files.

If you confirms that you want to remove your information, all information in every database is removed, with the exception of the URN registry. The URN is not deleted or reassigned, as it is also used for logging purposes.

A successful result confirms that all information has been removed and provides a link to the "login" page, where you can begin the process again from scratch.

Additional Information

Browser Compatibility Issues

In order to make full use of the ETD submission process, your browser must support cookies and file uploads. There are currently known incompatibilities with the Macintosh version of Netscape version 3.02, you will need to upgrade if you are using this version.

File uploads

File uploads through a browser window are supported by all versions of Netscape greater than 3.0 and All versions of Internet Explorer greater than 4.0. Our file upload page can generally support files of up to 20 Megabytes in size. It is reccommended that you keep your files under this size, as it increases the usability of your research over the web. However, if you need to submit a larger file, ftp access is also available on request.


A cookie is a bit of information about a user or session that is stored in a cookies.txt file by a compatible browser. Whenever the browser requests a page from a host for which it has cookie information, it also sends the cookie information along, which can be used by any scripts or CGI programs capable of processing cookie data. In our case, this cookie is used to store a unique session ID, so that it is not neccessary for you to log in before visiting each subsequent page in the process.

Most recent browsers come with cookies enabled, but people often disable them for various reasons. If your browser has cookies disabled, consult the documentation (online or otherwise) that comes with your browser for instructions on reenabling cookies.

The session cookies issued by our scripts are set to expire in 15 minutes, but are renewed by each subsequent script. If you remain on the same page for more than 15 minutes, your cookie will expire, and you will be required to log in again. If this happens, you can still use the "back" button on your browser to return to the page you were working on before your cookie expired.