The MG University's online theses digital library has been short-listed for IT award.
The Mahatma Gandhi University's online theses digital library has been short-listed to the final round of the Kerala Information Technology (IT) award. The archive (http://mgutheses.org) which provides open access to all the doctoral works accepted by the university from 1983 to the present has been lauded for its transparency it provides to its public-funded research. The online archive has also enhanced the accessibility of previous works for further research.
The archive was launched by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in November 2008. He had then stated that project was an important step towards ‘democratisation of knowledge'.
Major research information system INTUTE (developed by the U.K. Government's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has selected the digital library as one of the best web resources for education and research, and have included in its recommendations of approved resources.
According to the university, the library is the only full text research archives for e-learning and research hosted on the World Wide Web from Kerala.
Moreover, it is the only such archive which has successfully implemented the Malayalam language technology for a search engine. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has urged every other Indian universities to emulate the MGU by making their doctoral dissertation accessible to the public.
The archive is Unicode-compliant and the content of the archive, which is in English, Malayalam, Hindi and Sanskrit, can be searched using local scripts. Currently, its multi-lingual search capacity and online keyboard covers English, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada scripts.
This project was completed in six months. During this short span of time, the university has completed the task of digitising around 1,100 of the 1,250 theses. These consisted of approximately 3,00,000 pages in English, Malayalam and Hindi. A software that could successfully harness the technologies for handling local scripts was also developed.
Every page is indexed and the search engine is capable of retrieving specific pages consisting of specific keywords.
Copyright and technical information's have also been provided on the website.