EThOS is a new British Library service aimed at providing digital copies of UK PhD theses direct to the researcher, over the web. It is a database containing over 250,000 UK theses with the added functionality to enable the requesting of digital copies of selected theses.
Researchers do not need to be registered with the system to search the database, but will need to register if they wish to request a digital copy of a thesis.
Many of the participating UK institutions support Open Access to their theses, so downloads of these digital and digitised theses are free to the researcher. UCL is an Open Access sponsor.
Where a thesis must be digitised before supply, there will be a short delay before it is accessible. However, the requester will be informed when the thesis is available and can then log on to the system and download the thesis. The theses are supplied as zipped pdfs. Alternative formats (CD or paper) are also available for purchase.
EThOS can only offer the theses of participating institutions. Whilst it is expected that a large number of institutions will participate, the British Library cannot supply from an institution which chooses not to. In this case, it may be possible to obtain a copy via UCL Library Services' Inter Library Loan Service. A list of participating institutions is available at http://ethos.bl.uk/HEIList.do
There is an FAQs page and if you have any other queries about the service, contact the ILDS office at firstname.lastname@example.org
EThOS was launched in January 2009 and is currently in Beta phase. Over the coming months you will see enhancements to the service.