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FAQ for authors

1. How does EThOS work?
2. What are the benefits of EThOS?
3. Can I deposit my thesis directly into EThOS?
4. Who will be able to access my thesis on EThOS?
5. How does EThOS protect authors' rights?
6. What does EThOS do to prevent plagiarism?
7. How does EThOS handle embargoes?
8. What if I do not want my thesis to be made available on EThOS?
9. Will availability of a thesis via EThOS affect the possibility of future publication?
10. Can I update or correct my thesis?
11. Will EThOS preserve my thesis?
12. I still have a question. Where can I find more information?

1. How does EThOS work?
EThOS provides a single, searchable interface to enable global access to UK doctoral theses. Users are able to search the database for theses from over 120 institutions, regardless where the user is or when the thesis was awarded. Where possible EThOS also enables users to access to the full text either by immediate download or by providing a link to the institutional repository.

The downloadable PDFs of full texts are added either upon receipt of an order from a user or as part of an institution’s retrospective digitisation project. More than 70 institutional repositories are being regularly harvested by EThOS with new links being added following each round of harvesting. For more information please refer to the Managing the content and Digitising paper theses sections.

Each institution has its own procedures to obtain retrospective permissions from authors’ for digitising their theses. If, however, your thesis is available and you want it to be taken down, please see the Thesis takedown policy and workflow for more information.

2. What are the benefits of EThOS?
EThOS increases the visibility of your thesis and your research. This in turn raises your profile, other researchers can see your work, make connections and build on your research, ultimately directing more interest and funding to your department, institution and research field.

3. Can I deposit my thesis directly into EThOS?
EThOS acquires new content solely through Higher Education institutions. Individual students cannot submit their thesis directly to EThOS. If you are unable to locate your thesis in the database and would like it to be added, please contact your university for more information about their relationship with EThOS. Please note there are a number of institutions which opt to display metadata only. Full text theses from these institutions are not available for digitisation.

4. Who will be able to access my thesis on EThOS?
There are no restrictions as to who can search the database or access links to institutional repositories, but any user who wishes to order or download a digital copy directly from EThOS must register an account with EThOS and log in before they are able to do so.

Researchers accessing EThOS are from a variety of professions and are by no means restricted to higher education. While this is considered an advantage of the service, under no circumstances is commercial exploitation permitted under the terms of use that registered users agree to.

5. How does EThOS protect authors’ rights?
The copyright for your thesis normally belongs to you, the author or jointly with your institution. All copyright and author permissions are agreed locally between author and institution.

Each thesis within EThOS has an End User Licence Agreement to remind users that the work is copyright of the author or third parties. The Licence reminds users that they must credit the original author in any use they make of the thesis.

Users must register and login before downloading a thesis. This means that the system can track usage in the unlikely event of your rights as an author being abused. EThOS also operates a strict takedown process which allows for the quick removal of any thesis about which the author or other researchers has concerns. Concerned users should contact EThOS immediately with details of the item, specifying the URL of the relevant page.

6. What does EThOS do to prevent plagiarism?
EThOS requires that a researcher is registered before an order can be made for a thesis (see above). This means that the service can track who the thesis has been supplied to in the event of your work being plagiarised.

Each thesis in EThOS has an End User Licence Agreement attached to remind users of the restrictions placed on the item. Users must agree to these terms and conditions for every thesis supplied before they are able to download it.

7. How does EThOS handle embargoes?
EThOS only makes available theses which have been deposited into an institutional repository or supplied for digitisation at the discretion of the awarding institution. It is imperative, therefore, that you contact your institution as soon as possible if you want to request an embargo.

Details of any embargo for a thesis in EThOS are clearly visible on the thesis record. Under no circumstances will EThOS permit the digitisation and distribution of an embargoed thesis. An embargo’s expiry date is supplied on the record and upon its expiry the thesis becomes available in the same way as other theses.

8. What if I do not want my thesis to be made available on EThOS?
EThOS operates an strict takedown process facilitating the removal of any thesis. Details of the service’s take down policy can be found here. If you wish for your thesis to be removed from EThOS, please contact Customer Services with the details of your work, your own contact details and the reason for removal.

9. Will availability of a thesis via EThOS affect the possibility of future publication?
As theses become available electronically they are more widely available and accessible to a wider range of readers than could access the paper original. This increased availability has many benefits, but you should also keep in mind that this may be relevant to the decision that a book or journal publisher might later make about publishing or not publishing your work.

No evidence has been found of e-theses affecting publication in the sciences, where the unit of publication is a shorter, more focused article. In humanities and social sciences, books based on thesis work generally undergo extensive revision to allow for a more general readership. If you are involved in developing processes or products that might be patentable then you may need to get specialist advice to prevent the loss of any rights to patents through “prior publication”. Please check with your own institution for further clarification.

In 2010 UCL Library services conducted a survey into e-theses in the HE sector of the UK. The results showed no reported incidences of refusal to publish, largely due to the embargo process. The embargo is set as part of the submission process to your institution and it is a decision you take in consultation with your supervisor. Please check with your institution should you have any concerns.

10. Can I update or correct my thesis?
Any amendments or corrections would need to be received via the awarding institution, as it is the awarding institution which supplies the copy of the thesis to be made available in EThOS. Many institutions will not accept alterations to the text, but some may accept additional errata or corrigenda.

11. Will EThOS preserve my thesis?
Yes. Theses are currently securely held on the British Library server and there are plans to ingest them into the Digital Library Store for long term preservation.

12. I still have a question. Where can I find more information?
If you have any additional queries please contact Customer Services.