These questions relate to use of the system. Please see the EThOS Toolkit
for further information and FAQs on wider topics. There is a link to
the toolkit on the Home page.
EThOS aims to hold a record for all doctoral theses awarded by all UK universities (institutions).
There are some gaps which we are gradually filling, but there is a record for at least 90%
of all UK theses, some 400,000 records.
EThOS also provides free, direct access to the full text of as many theses as possible.
No, just doctoral level – mainly PhDs but also other types of doctoral thesis, e.g. D.Ed., Mus.D., D.Eng.
No. Guidance from the QAA considers these to be Masters-level, so they’re not generally included. The QAA Qualifications Framework can be found here http://www.qaa.ac.uk/AssuringStandardsAndQuality/Qualifications/Pages/default.aspx
We always work with the UK universities rather than with PhD authors direct. That way we know the theses we hold are the final validated thesis awarded by the university – it offers reassurance to the universities, authors and users. So always start by asking your university to arrange for it to be added. There are other websites where you can upload your own thesis – you could try some of those as well.
Send us the details using the speculative request form, and we will search for it and add it if possible.
EThOS operates a strict takedown process facilitating the removal of any thesis. If you wish your thesis to be removed from EThOS, please contact us with the details of your work, your own contact details and the reason for removal. We will then liaise with the awarding university to confirm the removal.
EThOS works with the universities and each one has a different approach. You normally have to sign a deposit agreement as part of your degree arrangements, but you might be able to arrange an embargo if you have particular concerns – check with your university. There are lots of records in EThOS for which the full thesis isn’t available – perhaps the author has declined to allow it to be digitised, or maybe the PhD output is itself an original work which isn’t suitable to be made openly accessible.
Anyone can use EThOS for their research. You can access it from anywhere in the world, for free. It’s an openly accessible website – http://ethos.bl.uk
There’s no need to login to search EThOS, view the records, read abstracts or follow links to other repositories. You only login to download full theses directly from EThOS or to order digitised copies.
When EThOS was developed open access theses were unusual so we took a cautious approach to provide reassurance to thesis authors. This includes the ability to track usage of the theses in the rare case of misuse of the content. We acknowledge the frustration of having to login to access a free, open access item.
No, unfortunately you have to register specifically for EThOS the first time you want to download a thesis, or order one for digitisation.
If you forget your password when you try to login, just click the Reset Password button; a new temporary
password will be sent to you, and you can change it again when you next login.
If you wish to change your password without requesting a temporary one via email, then at the Login page, simply click Amend my Details and change your password in your account details page.
Go to the Login screen, then click Amend my Details.
Some theses will probably never be available in digital form or downloadable via EThOS. Many paper theses are
simply too fragile to scan or contain third party material where copyright permission has not been given to
make a copy. E-theses may be unavailable because of embargoes or other restrictions applied by the institution or the PhD author.
If there’s no sign of an e-copy and you can’t order a scanned copy, contact the library of the awarding institution - they may let you visit to view the original or even supply it on interlibrary loan.
Abstracts aren’t always available because traditional library catalogue records don’t include abstracts so they’ve never been systematically recorded over the years. You could try checking the university library catalogue for more details, or asking them direct if they can help.
Yes, they are. These institutional repositories are the free, online stores where a university hosts its research outputs such as conference papers presented by its academic staff, often its PhD theses (not always), and some journal articles.
There doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence that making a thesis open access negatively impacts your ability to publish books or journal articles based on the same research. Talk to your university to see about requesting an embargo if you think that would be needed. And if you have firm examples of the impact of open access theses on future publication opportunities, do let us know.
Each EThOS record has a suite of buttons to help with sharing and referencing. You can normally find advice online or from your university on how to cite a thesis, e.g. http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/content.php?pid=609690&sid=5136618#19115245
Yes you can use them for teaching purposes, please cite the thesis and highlight the fact that it came from EThOS or the awarding institution.
Institutions all have different priorities in opening up access to their print theses. Some have funds allocated to support digitisation of their theses in response to orders. For others the only way they can make their older theses openly available is to pass the scanning costs onto the user.
That’s right. Once the scan has been done, it is added to the UK e-theses collection in EThOS and made available for download by others.
The full list of participating institutions shows the digitisation arrangements for each.
Your card is authorised for the full amount and only charged if and when the thesis is digitised. Although you need to provide your payment details in advance, like most online shops the payment is only taken when the order is satisfied.
Not in the record itself, but when you go through the process of ordering it for digitisation you will see a Zero charge if there’s an order already in the system – you won’t be charged again, and you’ll still be notified when the item becomes available.
You can check the status of your order by going to the Order History screen where you can see which theses are available to download and which are still being processed. The British Library has a 20 working day turnaround for the digitisation process but this is after the paper thesis is received from the institution. It takes the institution several days to retrieve and check the thesis before sending it to us by normal post – and longer if they need to contact the thesis author for any reason. Please allow at least 30 working days to pass before chasing your order. You need to allow even more time if you have ordered a printed or CD copy of the thesis.
When the thesis is digitised, it is added to EThOS. This triggers an email to you to tell you it is ready for download. Just follow the link in the email, login to EThOS and download your thesis.
No. You need to download it yourself after logging in and agreeing to the re-use Terms & Conditions. Doing it this way ensures all copyright conditions are met.
Unfortunately you cannot pay the digitisation fee for your users from your EThOS deposit account. If you would like to pay on behalf of your users, please login and order the thesis under your own name. When the thesis has been digitised and is available for download, you will be notified by email as usual. Unless you want a copy for your own purposes, do not download the thesis. Instead inform your user that the thesis is available on EThOS and ask them to download a copy for themselves. By following this procedure, you pay for digitisation of the thesis and your user agrees to the terms and conditions of supply of the thesis, so all legal requirements are met.
No. In order to ensure author rights are protected, all users downloading theses from EThOS must
agree to the terms and conditions displayed. If you download a thesis and supply it to someone else,
you break the terms and conditions of supply you agreed to. There is no limit on the number of individual
readers who can use the online copy.
The terms of supply also apply to printed copies. If, in spite of easy online availability, you particularly want to add a printed copy to your library stock, you would need to seek the permission of the copyright holder.
No, not without the express permission of the author or awarding institution.
Yes, the metadata is available for harvesting and re-use for not for profit purposes. You can harvest using the OAI-PMH protocol system; the base URL is http://simba.cs.uct.ac.za/~ethos/cgi-bin/OAI-XMLFile-2.21/XMLFile/ethos/oai.pl
Many other national services are listed here http://www.ndltd.org/resources/find-etds.
The EThOS Toolkit has lots of information for institutions, authors and users. http://ethostoolkit.cranfield.ac.uk/tiki-index.php