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Digitisation options for institutions

There are three different digitisation options for institutions as shown below. Please note the name changes as of August 2013:

Digitisation option 1
(institution pays)
Previously called 'Open Access Sponsor' or 'Associate Level 1'.
Users may order a digital copy of the thesis.
Institution funds the cost of the digitisation, and holds a deposit or billing account with the British Library for the purpose.
Digitisation option 2
(user pays)
Previously called 'Associate Level 2'.
Users may order a digital copy of the thesis.
Institution passes the cost on to the user - the user ordering the copy must pay the digitisation fee. Institution pays no digitisation fee.
Digitisation option 3
(No digitisation on demand)
Previously called 'Associate Level 3'. Institution does not support digitisation of its theses via EThOS. Users cannot order digital copies of the theses and are advised to approach the institution directly to find out how to view the item.

Institutions are entirely at liberty to select the digitisation option to suit their needs, and the following examples illustrate the differences:

1. Institution places a priority on making its print-based theses accessible via a free open access platform for the benefit of future researchers. Increasing the visibility of its research outputs in turn increases the visibility of the research expertise of the institution and may attract future research students. A digital collection might also allow the institution to discard – or at least outhouse – this low-use paper collection. The institution allocates budget to fund a digitisation programme.

Selects Digitisation option 1 and funds the digitisation of any theses ordered via EThOS.

2. Institution wants to open its print theses up for other researchers to access for their own research but does not have the budget to pay for digitisation of material.

Selects Digitisation option 2: researchers may order scanned copies of the print theses but will have to pay for the process themselves. Institution recognises that demand is likely to be lower than if it funded the digitisation itself. Around 80% of digitisation orders are for institution-paid copies.

3. Institution is undertaking a bulk digitisation project of its thesis collection and does not wish to receive ad hoc digitisation orders via EThOS as these would get in the way of the project workflows.

Selects Digitisation Option 3. No orders are received via EThOS, and researchers seeking access to these theses have to approach the institution direct to find out the best way to see a copy.

The default setting for institutions that do not select an option is Digitisation Option 3.

Any thesis that is digitised by EThOS is also available for the supplying institution to download and add to their own repository. Further information about this process is available here.

For more information on the different digitisation options, follow these links.
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