5 March 2012

St Andrews supports e-theses online service

We are very encouraged by the recent news from EThOS, highlighting positive comments about the availability of UK PhD theses for a global audience.

EThOS is a British Library national UK service for delivering electronic theses. Almost all UK universities participate in EThOS. St Andrews is part of this broad membership and contributes content regularly. At the end of 2011 there were 642 records of St Andrews e-theses in EThOS, of which 349 have full text available for immediate download.

EThOS provides an excellent showcase for our research and great visibility for our researchers, with 50,000 users registered with the service. Demand is researcher-driven and the request process means that theses only need to be digitized once for further reuse. EThOS reports over 4000 new e-theses being added in the second half of 2011, and around 10,000 downloads every month. Visibility will be further improved with plans to open up the metadata held in EThOS for use by discovery services.

Statistics for St Andrews e-theses show the 'long tail' effect, with usage reported on e-theses dating back to the 1950s, eg Augier, F. 1954. Crown colony government in Jamaica (4 downloads in 2011).

It is interesting to see the subject coverage, with the majority becoming available due to researcher requests. Divinity and Scottish History are well represented, for example:

Gombis, T.G. 2005. The Triumph of God in Christ: Divine Warfare in the Argument of Ephesians (18 downloads)
Hall, B.E. 1971. The Earls of Orkney-Caithness and their relations with Norway and Scotland, 1158-1470 (8 downloads)
Boardman, S.I. 1989 Politics and the feud in late mediaeval Scotland (4 downloads) Also available from Research@StAndrews:FullText

Usage data also reflects specific projects such as Digital Islam which brought over 900 Islamic Studies theses to EThOS. You can narrow your search to find the 47 Digi-Islam theses from St Andrews, for example

Bakar, M.D. 1993. Conflict of law and the Methodology of Tarjih: A study in Islamic legal theory (20 downloads)
O'Sullivan, S. 2002. Early Umayyad Syria: A study of its origins and early development (10 downloads)

St Andrews is an Open Access sponsor of EThOS, showing our financial support and commitment to the service.

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