By Just de Leeuwe

The TU Delft Repository has been in existence for 10 years. Beginning with the publication of a few dissertations, it has developed into the most prominent TU Delft outlet for displaying the university’s output to the world: dissertations, theses, books, speeches, video lectures, images and educational materials. Much has changed in 10 years. Open Access has been transformed from a lofty ideal to a business model for publishers, and the content of Open Access has been broadened to become Open Science, including teaching resources, open data and software as part of a larger whole.

During these last few weeks of 2014 we look back at these developments in 5 chapters.

In chapter 1: A look back at the start in ‘Dissertations online’.

Dissertations online

In 2003, the first cautious steps were made towards what would eventually become the Delft by posting several dissertations online in a specially designed database.

In the same year, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was launched in Lund, Sweden, with a modest collection of 300 titles. The TU Delft Library’s entry into the world of Open Access was partly pragmatic and somewhat atypical, given that Open Access at that time was synonymous with peer-reviewed journal articles.

Long-standing access problems concerning dissertations were the impetus for breaking open the existing paper information structures, in order to share knowledge with the knowledge partners.  At that time, most dissertations were published by the Delft University Press, a publishing company that was a subsidiary of TU Delft from 1946 to 2005, operating under various names as a publisher of books and journals.[i] The dissemination of dissertations involved an intensive and costly exchange between affiliated academic libraries and the Royal Library.

Interface portal online dissertations TU Delft, 2003

[i] In 2005, Delft University Press was taken over by IOS Press in Amsterdam, but it retained the DUP imprint.