A primary goal of ETD initiatives is to make the research and scholarship conducted by graduate students freely and openly accessible. Another goal is to give future academics opportunities to prepare electronic works such as book chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations, assuming that they will be publishing electronically in the future also. Yet another goal is to expand the medium of expression for graduate research and scholarship to more than words and figures that can be reproduced on paper, to other media, including audio and video. There are awards available for outstanding ETDs.
In the Philippines, an academic thesis is named by the degree, such as bachelor/undergraduate thesis or masteral thesis. However, in Philippine English , the term doctorate is typically replaced with doctoral (as in the case of "doctoral dissertation"), though in official documentation the former is still used. The terms thesis and dissertation are commonly used interchangeably in everyday language yet it generally understood that a thesis refers to bachelor/undergraduate and master academic work while a dissertation is named for doctorate work.
Generally in the US, a thesis is the final project for the masters degree and a dissertation leads to a doctoral degree. Those pursuing a masters degree must perform research on a specific subject that demonstrates their knowledge acquired through their program. Seeking a PhD is different in that your dissertation must contribute something completely new and undiscovered to your field. In other words, you have to contribute original knowledge to the subject. So the main difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the depth of knowledge you must attain in order to write the paper.