The reporting of doctoral theses

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TEF, data model for theses

The data produced via the STEP and STAR applications comply with the AFNOR recommendation. TEF - French Electronic Theses- which aims to facilitate data exchange and dissemination at national and international level. The TEF schema includes descriptive (bibliographic) metadata and management (administration, rights, conservation) metadata.

The TEF recommendation consists of the following elements :

  • metadata modeling
  • XSD schema: exchange format and validation tool that specifies the structure and content of a TEF record.
  • schematron: validation rules that precisely express the constraints specific to TEF, in coherence with the regulatory texts organizing the reporting and archiving of electronic theses.
A STEF data model has been designed using the format TEF enriched with metadata useful for the description of thesis subjects in preparation.


STAR - Thesis Reporting Archiving

The reporting and archiving of doctoral theses in electronic form defended in France is ensured via the national professional application STAR at the disposal of the institutions empowered to award the doctoral degree.

In accordance with theorder of 25 may 2016 which sets the national framework and modalities for the award of the doctoral degree, the use of STAR is of a regulatory and mandatory nature.

STAR, a central device

STAR constitutes a central point in the national circuit of doctoral theses defended in France in order to ensure their exhaustive reporting, to promote their dissemination and to guarantee their perennial conservation.

Each institution has its own collaborative workspace: as the thesis progresses, the different actors (doctoral students, doctoral schools, tuition services, libraries, etc.) are called upon to carry out the tasks that are specific to them.

In order to promote data exchange and interoperability between information systems, the STAR application offers configurations adapted to the organization of institutions. It is thus possible to import metadata of theses entered in other information systems and to transform them according to the metadata schema. TEFstandardized and validated

Features and Services

The following features are available :

  • archiving: STAR acts as an intermediary between the institutions and the CINES  (CAP).
    • automation of exports of files and certain metadata to PAC
  • attribution of an identifier: an NNT identifier - National Thesis Number - is associated to each thesis, which guarantees a perennial access to thesis records from the search engine.
  • descriptive metadata management
  • conversion of metadata from TEF format to different formats :
    • UNIMARC : catalogue feed Sudoc
    • Dublin Core: OAI-PMH STAR Tank Supply
    • TEI: feeding the open TEL archive
  • authority metadata enhancement
  • export of theses to a diffusion server (CCSD, Abes ...)
  • searchable: the metadata base is searchable from institutions' STAR environments
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STEP - Reporting of Theses in Preparation

The reporting of doctoral theses in preparation is ensured through the national professional application STEP . The reporting of theses in preparation is one of the good practices to improve the visibility of the doctoral research in progress, this information being accessible from the search engine

Precision: the reporting of theses in preparation does not guarantee protection or exclusivity on the subject treated. The scientific interest of a submitted subject is exclusively a matter for dialogue between doctoral students and their thesis director, who will take care not to approve a subject that has already been reported.


At the disposal of the thesis managers of the defending institutions, STEP proposes various forms for the capture of descriptive metadata of the theses in preparation and the events concerning them (ex: date of defense, change of defending institution, abandonment).

Depending on institutional policy, doctoral students may have STEP identifiers to enter and complete certain data themselves. If need be, the connection modalities are transmitted to them by the managers of their institution at the time of the creation of the file corresponding to their thesis in preparation.

In coherence with the information system of the French Ministry of Foreign AffairsAbes for the notification of theses, the STEP application is interconnected with STAR.

In order to accompany the different stages of the thesis circuit, STEP adapts to the information systems of the establishments. As such, it allows the import of data from different local information sources.

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