Dr. Sumant Goel, executive director of the Digital Dissertation Foundation (DDF), will visit the West Virginia University Libraries at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, to present a talkETDs:India Needs to March Aheadin the Downtown Campus Library’s Large Group Viewing Room, Room104. A reception will follow in the Wise Librarys Robinson Reading Room.

Dr. Goel and his wife, Dr. Beena Goel, both dentists, established the Health Care Trust (HCT), a charity in Belgaum India, to serve the rural population by providing access to healthcare education and treatment.The DDF , an institute of HCT , is a consortium of university faculty with the common goal to implement ETD (electronic thesis and dissertation) programs throughout India.

The University Libraries invited the Goels to visit WVU to learnabout the Universitys electronic theses and dissertations projects, according to John Hagen, who heads the effort.WVU and the DDF are members of The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, an international consortium.

The DDF will host a pilot program to offer online distribution of ETDs in the area of medical and allied subjects.In the GoelsIndian state of Karnataka, more than 1,000 ETDs are produced each year in the medical and dental fields.There are approximately 50,000 dentists in India, with over 14,000 new dentists produced each year.However, among the nearly 200 dental schools, there are poorly controlled standards and only a handful of national scholarly dental journals exist to serve a growing population greater than 1 billion.

The Goels hope to improve the quality of life for the average citizen, of which 70 percent live in small villages.The implementation of ETD programs promotes open access of scholarly communications that in turn leads to improved academic standards.

For more information on the Digital Dissertation Foundation, visithttp://www.healthmantra.com/ddf/.