In the past, researchers obtained copies of UK doctoral theses (PhDs) in paper and microform format from the British Library.
In January 2009 the British Library introduced its online repository, EThOS. EThOS allows researchers to search for theses, as well as, acts as the route to obtaining the full text. The long term goal is to include the bibliographic details for all UK theses. The full text is being built up gradually. The first person to request a copy of a thesis is the trigger for the full text to be added. Subsequent researchers will find the full text already available. When a request is first made for a thesis the British Library arrange for a copy to be scanned. In some cases, the costs of this are met by the university where the thesis originated, so the thesis is free to the requester. In other cases, the requester has to pay.
Aston University Library and Information Services will provide copies of Aston theses to the British Library when they are requested. In addition, the Library has commenced uploading of PhD theses onto the University Repository (AURA) - http://www1.aston.ac.uk/research/aura/.
If you are concerned about your thesis being on the EThOS database please contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, you may choose to contact the British Library under their ‘Notice and Takedown Policy’ on the EThOS Web Site - www.bl.uk/aboutus/terms/index.html#notice.
Words by Winsome Kaba
15 April 2011