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News from the open access movement

Monday, August 27, 2007

More on EThOS

Anthony Troman, Neil Jacobs, and Susan Copeland, A new electronic service for UK theses: access transformed by EThOS, Interlending & Document Supply, 35, 3 (2007) pp. 157–163.  Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:

Purpose – The paper aims to describe recent moves to establish a UK electronic thesis service. The existing arrangements for access to UK doctoral theses are not seen as ideal or sustainable. A range of stakeholders have come together in recent years to invest in an alternative. The resulting service model is one that is relevant to higher education across the UK and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach – The EThOS service model is a partnership between the British Library as the service provider and UK universities, and includes technical, legal, business and operational aspects. It has been achieved by a series of development projects undertaken since 2002, culminating now in the impending transition from prototype to live service.

Findings – The EThOS service model includes a range of partnership options to suit the varied requirements of UK higher education institutions. The main ambition of the model is to make electronic theses available open access via a financially viable and sustainable model. The core of the model is a “central hub”, offering discovery, digitisation and preservation functions, working with institutions, in part via their institutional repositories.

Practical implications – It is hoped that most UK higher education institutions will sign up for EThOS and benefit from this shift to both electronic theses and open access. Many have already indicated that they will do so.

Originality/value – The value of the EThOS service is likely to be considerable. Where theses are available open access, their use escalates. EThOS will enable UK theses to be more widely accessed, read, used and cited worldwide. Authors, institutions and the UK all benefit from this.