Journal article Open Access

UK theses and the British Library EThOS service: from supply on demand to repository linking

Sara Gould

This paper aims to describe the transition of EThOS, the British Library’s E-Theses Online service, from its original role as a transactional document supply service to the service seen today where it forms part of the UK’s network of institutional repositories, open access and still-developing research funder mandates. The constituent parts of the EThOS service are described, and an analysis is given of the development of open access repositories, electronic theses and the way that PhD theses have become an important resource for cutting-edge research content for researchers worldwide. The value of doctoral theses for researchers continues to grow and be recognised. Many UK institutions have moved to mandatory open deposit of electronic theses, and many are digitising their older print thesis collections. Public funders are starting to track open deposit of the theses they fund; and research organisations are analysing the full UK metadata collection to understand trends in PhD research areas.

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