British Dissertations Access

Monday, March 15, 2010
Kevin Wilks -

With the recent introduction of the British Library’s Electronic Thesis Online Service program (EThOS,, we at CRL want you to know about a change in our efforts to provide dissertations from British libraries as part of our Demand Purchase Program.

EThOS offers a “single point of access” to theses produced by participating UK higher education institutions. Most British libraries participate in the service and support Open Access to their dissertations, and more are expected to join.

EThOS enables any registered patron to access digital copies of dissertations. EThOS does not permit CRL to download and pass on a copy to the patron or download and retain copies in its collection. However, we are permitted to place orders and to alert patrons when a dissertation is available for personal download.

CRL will review all ILL requests made for loan or demand purchase of UK theses. If CRL finds that the title is accessible through EThOS or can be digitized by them free of charge, CRL will notify the requesting institution of its availability via this venue. If EThOS requires a fee for digitization of the requested thesis, CRL will place the order on behalf of the requesting institution and make payment for digitization. The current fulfillment time is approximately 30 days.

Despite vigorous efforts by the British Library, not all UK dissertations are accessible through this service. (See the EThOS site for a list of participating institutions). As requests for dissertations from institutions not participating in EThOS are received, CRL will continue to use the appropriate library service from those institutions to obtain a copy for our patrons.

We have implemented workflows to deal with the variety of complex scenarios and will adjust CRL services as we become aware of additional situations. We will continue to work with CRL libraries to obtain dissertations from EThOS or any British institution not participating in EThOS. Please let us know how we can be of service to you.

As with material we digitize on demand in-house, we will lend dissertations held in our collection if patrons indicate that they prefer the hard copy over the digitized version from EThOS. For more information, visit our Interlibrary Loan Policies and Procedures page.