British Library Uk Dissertations

About EThOS


EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service which aims to maximise the visibility and availability of the UK’s doctoral research theses.

It demonstrates the quality of UK research, and supports the UK Government’s open access principle that publications resulting from publicly-funded research should be made freely available for all researchers, providing opportunities for further research. EThOS helps institutions to meet the expectation of the UK Research Councils that PhDs supported by a Research Council Training Grant should be made freely available in an open access repository, as indicated in its Training Grant Terms & Conditions (Paragraph 104).

EThOS aims to provide:
  • A national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutions
  • Free access to the full text of as many theses as possible for use by all researchers to further their own research.
There are approximately 475,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Around 160,000 of these also provide access to the full text thesis, either via download from the EThOS database or via links to the institution’s own repository. Of the remaining 240,000 records dating back to at least 1800, three quarters are available to be ordered for scanning through the EThOS digitisation-on-demand facility.

Records are held for all UK PhD-awarding institutions, but we do not (yet) hold all records for all institutions. Every month around 3000 new records are added and an additional 2000 full text theses become accessible. Access routes to the full text are determined by the individual institution and may depend on:
  • Mandatory electronic deposit of newly awarded theses by its students
  • Availability of its theses in the institutional repository
  • Its level of repository development
  • Digitisation priorities for its print theses
The digitisation on demand facility is a unique feature of EThOS and brings new e-born theses and older print content together into a single place. Users ordering a copy through digitisation on demand may experience a turnaround time of up to 6 weeks. There may also be a charge for the scanning process (currently £48.60 + VAT £9.72 = Total £58.32). Details are provided within each record.

EThOS continues to be developed to benefit both participating institutions and users. In June 2015 new data started to be added: ORCID and ISNI are two international author systems which provide unique identity profiles for any researcher or author to support the visibility and re-use of their works. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are unique persistent identifiers for research works increasingly issued and required by publishers and should be used to cite or link to the work wherever possible. All three identifiers are now being embraced by universities for their students, academics, PhD theses and other works.

The EThOS Toolkit provides further information about all aspects of the service.

View a list of participating institutions

Search over 340,000 records of PhD and other doctoral theses, and select a variety of ways to access the full item:

  • Instantly download the full text of over 100,000 free open access theses
  • Follow links to a free open access copy available direct from the awarding institution
  • Order a digital copy of a paper thesis 
  • Or contact the awarding institution’s library to find out how to view a copy

EThOS aims to demonstrate the quality of UK research by making UK doctoral theses discoverable and openly available online. It supports the UK Government’s open access principle that publications resulting from publicly-funded research should be made freely available for all researchers, providing opportunities for further research.

An EThOS Toolkit  provides guidance and information about e-theses repositories, copyright and IPR issues, repository software and other areas, to help ensure a high level of visibility of UK thesis content.

Search the EThOS database.

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