The new EThOS service from the British Library aims to make the full text of UK PhD theses available online for free. PhD and other Doctoral graduates may well remember the feeling of relief when they finally handed in the bound copies of their thesis. However, destined for closed access library stacks, the majority of theses sit gathering dust, rarely used and rarely read. A vast quantity of significant research is held within the thousands of theses stored by university libraries in the UK.
With the launch of The Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) all this has changed. EThOS is a national initiative covering theses from institutions throughout the UK. The central system will be housed at the British Library and it will be the first point of call for anyone seeking to access a UK thesis. This major UK Project, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is working to make this important strand of the research literature available electronically online. EThOS will digitise paper theses on request by a researcher and will then make the thesis available online for other researchers. The full text of PhD theses will be free at the point of use for anyone who wants to read it.
The University of Stirling is a member of EThOS and Stirling’s recent theses will be included in EThOS, as well as in our own Repository: STORRE. Usage statistics for existing theses repositories in other parts of the world have demonstrated that there is a great deal of interest in this type of material. The major advantage of making your thesis available online is that it will be accessible worldwide to anyone with an interest in your area of research. Wider availability of research material such as theses is supported by UK universities and funding bodies, and EThOS will be an important step towards achieving this goal.
Stirling PhD theses completed since September 2006 onwards will automatically be included in the EThOS service, so you need take no further action for your thesis to be included. However, if you have an electronic copy of your thesis that is older than September 2006 and you wish it to be included in EThOS please contact: Clare Allan, email: email@example.com. Do not send theses directly to the British Library.
If for any reason you do not wish your thesis to be digitised you should contact Clare Allan, email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about EThOS, please visit the EThOS website at http://www.ethos.ac.uk/ or the EThOS toolkit at http://ethostoolkit.cranfield.ac.uk/.