Full text theses

EThOS provides access to the full text of almost 100,000 theses wherever a copy exists that is freely available, either directly from the EThOS database or via a link to the repository of the awarding institution. Where an e-copy does not yet exist, some three-quarters of the remaining 200,000 theses dating back to the 1800s are available for scanning through the EThOS digitisation on demand facility. Some guidance for institutions on copyright, permissions and other legal areas to consider when adding theses to your own repository or EThOS can be found in the Legal information section.

There are a number of ways in which EThOS aggregates full text theses and makes them available for access. These include:

Harvest, ingest and hold as a PDF

Where an electronic copy is held in the institutional repository, a copy is ingested into EThOS and attached as a PDF to the record where this is agreed by the institution. Theses acquired in this way include most newly awarded theses and collections of older theses that have been digitised as a project by the institution.
The EThOS record will also provide a clickable link to the electronic copy held in the institution’s own repository wherever a copy exists. Users therefore have the option in many cases of clicking through to the repository copy or downloading the PDF direct from the EThOS database.

Digitise the paper original

The EThOS service includes a streamlined, highly efficient digitisation service which operates on a cost-recovery basis. In very many cases where no digital copy exists, the user can order a copy. There will be a delay while the digitisation is undertaken and there may be a charge. For more information on the digitisation process, please see the Digitisation section.

Other formats and FTP

If an institution holds electronic copies of theses that you wish to add to EThOS in addition to those digitised or harvested, this is entirely possible.

You may send an e-copy in response to a digitisation order, which naturally results in less work for both you and us, and a faster turnaround time. You can also send us additional e-theses if you have them and these will be attached to the existing EThOS records.

Note that we cannot receive email attachments over 10mb. Institution contacts are asked to upload the full text theses and title pages to our dedicated EThOS FTP server. The following tips may help:
  • You will need an FTP software such as Filezilla. Open the software and type the EThOS ftp server address FTP.BL.UK into the Host box
  • You will need to request the login details from uktheses-work@bl.uk. Type these into the screen.
  • You will then see two folders: one for full texts and one for e-title pages
  • If you upload your theses to the FTP server in response to a digitsation order, please ensure you also reply to the order email to let us know
  • You can also upload additional e-theses that have not been requested for digitisation if you would like EThOS to hold them. In this case please also upload a cover list or spreadsheet with all details including the EThOS ID
  • Please also make sure you include all metadata and abstracts with the thesis.

If it is easier you can continue to send your theses in response to digitisation orders as an email attachment to uktheses-work@bl.uk.

Please note that EThOS works only with the holding/awarding institutions and not with thesis authors themselves. If you are a thesis author and would like to see your thesis recorded in EThOS, please contact your own institution in the first instance. An FAQ for Authors is also available.

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