EThOS as a data provider

EThOS as a data provider

The EThOS metadata is available for re-use by participating institutions, discovery services and research projects. UK institutions can also securely download their own full text theses.

Metadata describing almost all doctoral theses ever awarded in the UK is made available for re-use for discovery services and research projects for data analysis. UK institutions can also access their own digitised theses from EThOS to add to their repository.

Re-use of the metadata

A CSV file of the EThOS metadata – over half a million titles – is available to download from the British Library research repository. This is a static snapshot refreshed every six months, available under a CC BY open licence. It contains almost all metadata held in EThOS and is consistently praised for its accurate and trusted quality data. We’re keen to hear how the data is used so do get in touch to tell us how you make use of it in your research.

The data is also available for harvesting via the OAI-PMH harvesting protocol. The base URL is http://simba.cs.uct.ac.za/~ethos/cgi-bin/OAI-XMLFile-2.21/XMLFile/ethos/oai.pl.

The OAI-PMH data provider service is hosted by the international thesis organisation NDLTD. This data is updated almost daily. Anyone may access the metadata free of charge. It may be re-used without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes provided the OAI Identifier or a link to the original metadata record is given. We ask that external discovery services route the researcher back to the relevant EThOS record or the original institutional record.

While the EThOS dataset lists all known titles, the data is inconsistent. Older theses often have minimal descriptions, and institutions vary in their approach to describing theses in today’s repositories. For example, roughly 60% of EThOS titles have an abstract and less than 20% have supervisor names or funder data; almost all thesis authors have an ISNI name identifier and 50% of the records have a link to the equivalent record in the institution’s repository.

We will never provide the full text theses to third parties for sale or re-supply to others. We would expect that our supplied metadata would also not be used to support the commercial sale of UK theses.

UK Institutions - downloading your own theses

An institutional Download Tool is available for participating institutions wishing to re-ingest the full texts of your own theses. There are two versions:

For low volume users, the EThOS Download Tool lets you manually search for theses.

An EThOS login is required, but there are some restrictions and your usual EThOS user login may not be valid. The EThOS email ID used for the EThOS Download Tool must be the same as the EThOS contact address that we hold for your institution, and not the email address we request theses from. This is then used to link you automatically to your institution’s content. Authorisation must be given to allow access to the Download Tool for your institution – please contact Customer-Services-EThOS@bl.uk to request this. A Help document is also available on request.

For high volume, a Web Service can be interrogated by an external service written by the institution to extract its theses. The EPrints user community has written such a Tool for EPrints users; we are not yet aware of similar developments by other software user groups.

 

Managing theses

Find out how EThOS collects theses records and full texts

Managing the data in each field

Detailed information about the different elements of thesis metadata used by EThOS.