Re-use by participating institutions

One benefit of having your theses recorded in EThOS is that the data is enhanced with additional information by the British Library and then made available for participating institutions to re-use in your own repositories.

Harvesting the data via OAI-PMH

In February 2014, EThOS data became available for harvesting via the OAI-PMH protocol. The base URL is http://simba.cs.uct.ac.za/~ethos/cgi-bin/OAI-XMLFile-2.21/XMLFile/ethos/oai.pl(external link).

The data provider service is hosted by the international organisation NDLTD(external link).

Anyone may access the metadata free of charge. The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes provided the OAI Identifier or a link to the original metadata record is given.

UK Institutions - Downloading your own theses

An institutional Download Tool is also available for participating institutions wishing to re-ingest the full texts of your own theses. There are two versions:
  • For low volume users, the EThOS Download Tool lets you manually search for theses
  • For high volume, a Web Service can be interrogated by an external service written by the institution to extract its theses. The EPrints user community has written such a Tool for EPrints users(external link) for EThOS Web Service interrogation for Eprints users; we are not yet aware of similar developments by other software user groups.
As the tools access EThOS data, please note that we have intentionally limited the connection speed of the Download Tool to ensure it does not impact on the EThOS service itself. Results may take a while to be displayed as a result.

To give both high and low volume users an idea of what to expect, we recommend you logon to the web EThOS Download Tool first.

EThOS Download Tool

This can be found here(external link)

An EThOS login is required, but there are some restrictions:

The EThOS email ID being used to logon must be the same as the EThOS contact address that we hold for your institution, and not the email address we request theses from. This is used to link you automatically to your institution’s content.

This ID must be set up to allow access to the Download Tool – please contact customer-services-ethos at bl.uk to request this.

When you visit https://ethosdownload.bl.uk(external link), you will see the following screen:


Log in and the following screen will be presented:


Here you can search for a specific thesis using the EThOS persistent ID (only those that belong to your institution), or by a date range (when the theses were digitised).

Alternatively you can leave the boxes blank and just click ‘Get Theses’ which will bring back a list of all theses digitised from your institution. The list may take a while to compile if there are a lot of theses.

A results page will look like this:


When you click one of the title links, you will (after a pause) get a zip file containing a pdf file (the full text thesis) and a metadata.xml file containing metadata pertaining to the thesis in UKETD DC format.


You can then add this to your repository however you prefer.

If you ticked the ‘Supply Additional content’ box when you did the search, any additional content (such as mp3 or video files) associated with that thesis will also be included in the zip file. If you don’t tick the box, only the pdf/xml files will be supplied.

Web Service Interface

For institutions with large numbers of theses, we understand that the web tool above may not be suitable for your needs. The alternative Web Service can be interrogated by your systems and return a file containing a list of EPrints objects which contain metadata and thesis links to be automatically ‘clicked’ by the interrogating service.

The Web Service is available on the server at the address:

http://ethosdownload.bl.uk/EthosDownload/EthosDownloadService?wsdl(external link)

The EPrints user community has already written an interrogation tool to access the EThOS Web Service which is available for all EPrints users here(external link). For support in using it, please contact john.salter at leeds.ac.uk.

Alternatively, the following technical details should provide the necessary information to allow you to build a service to retrieve your theses and place them in your repositories in a suitable manner.

1) Request and Response objects

Request - the Request object passed as input to the web service has the following fields:

These values will be used to determine which theses are returned

eprintId – String – A single thesis id to request details of that thesis

eprintIds – Array of Strings – An array of thesis id’s to request details of.

fromDate – long – a start date on which theses will be searched by the date they were digitised (loaded into ethos)

toDate – long – an end date on which theses will be searched by the date they were digitised (loaded into ethos)

Details requested…
These values will be used to determine what data is returned for each thesis.

provideAdditionalContent – Boolean – flag to state whether additional content is required when the thesis is downloaded (packaged in zip file)

provideUKETD – Boolean – flag to state whether UKETD xml metadata for each thesis is required.

username – String – your Ethos contact email address we have (the one that we send thesis requests to).

password – String – a valid ethos password

Response - the Response object returned by the web service has the following fields:

Code – int – a general response code which gives a status of the call

Message – String – a message to go along with the code value to determine the status of the call

Eprints – Array of Eprint objects
– An eprint object is comprised of:
eprintId – String – id of thesis
title – String – title of theses
abstractString – String – the thesis abstract
author – String - thesis author
year – String – year the thesis was awarded
thesis_name – String – The thesis name
thesis_type – String – the thesis type i.e. phd
sponsors – String - Thesis sponors
keywords – String – Thesis key words
cannotSupply – Boolean – Flag to state whether the thesis cannot be supplied
cannotSupplyReason – String – reason why a thesis cannot be supplied
embargoed – Boolean – flag to state whether a thesis has been embargoed
embargoedDate – long – date the thesis was embargoed
embargoedReason – String – reason why embargoed
institution – int – institution id within ethos
institutionName – String – institutions name
institutionReference – String – the id given to a thesis by an institution when ethos has
harvested that thesis from an institution instead of digitising it itself.
ethosDirectURL – String – URL to the thesis within EThOS as a search result ie. A link to the thesis page in EThOS
loadDate – long – the date the thesis was loaded into ethos
uketdXML – String – UKETD metadata representation of the thesis
content – An Array of EprintContent objects
– An EprintContent object contains:
downloadURL – String – the url to download the content item (zip file containing pdf/xml etc)
size – String – size of content item in bytes
name – String – name of content item
checksum – String – checksum of the content item.

Metadata example

<uketd_dc:uketddc xmlns:uketd_dc="http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/ethos-oai/2.0/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:dcterms="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" xmlns:uketdterms="http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/ethos-oai/terms/" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/ethos-oai/2.0/ http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/ethos-oai/2.0/uketd_dc.xsd">(external link)
<dc:subject xsi:type="dcterms:Ddc">624.1 624 620.118</dc:subject>
<dc:subject xsi:type="dcterms:Lcsh">Structural engineering Civil engineering Composite materials</dc:subject>
<dc:language xsi:type="dcterms:ISO639-2">eng</dc:language>
<uketdterms:institution>University of East London</uketdterms:institution>
<dc:title>Modelling of reinforced concrete beams subject to both static and dynamic loading.</dc:title>
<dc:type>Thesis (Ph.D.)</dc:type>
<dc:identifier xsi:type="dcterms:URI">http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=233507</dc:identifier>
<dc:identifier xsi:type="dcterms:URI">
http://ethosdownload.bl.uk/download/Download.action?key=CsX1Sft7hSfulgefpb82uquaMjOVfG0M2keSFySO7lk%3D%0D%0A&amp;additional=false(external link)

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