E-Theses Online Service

E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) is a bibliographic database and union catalogue of electronic theses provided by the British Library, the National Library of the United Kingdom.[1][2][3][4] As of March 2018 EThOS provides access to approximately 480,000 doctoral theses awarded by over 140 UK higher education institutions,[5] with around 3000 new thesis records added every month.[6][7][8][9][10]

E-Theses Online Service: EThOS
Type of site
Bibliographic database
Available inEnglish
OwnerBritish Library
Launched2009 (2009)[1]
Current statusActive

EThOS services

EThOS records thesis data and metadata which can then be searched with basic[4] and advanced search terms.[17]

Data recorded in EThOS

Theses indexed by EThOS have a minimum of a thesis title, author, awarding body and date, for example Brian Cox[16] and Elizabeth Blackburn's PhD theses.[18] Optional additional metadata may be included such as the thesis abstract, doctoral advisor, sponsor, cross links to other databases and the full text of the thesis itself.[17]

As of September 2017 the EThOS website gives open access to the full text of around 160,000 UK doctoral theses that have been digitised, for example the full text of David Beerling[19] and Yadvinder Malhi's[20] theses can be accessed by freely registering for then logging into EThOS. Open access is also provided by links to the Institutional repository of the awarding body, for example the full text of John Sulston's PhD thesis[21] is available by following links in EThOS to the Apollo repository of the University of Cambridge. Since 2015,[7] EThOS has integrated authority control and other unique identifiers including:

Some thesis records include the name of the doctoral advisor, for example:

Doctoral advisor metadata can be used in academic genealogies like academictree.org,[29][30] Wikidata[31][32] and the Mathematics Genealogy Project. Academic genealogies in Wikidata are built using the doctoral advisor relation (Property:P184).[31]

Searching EThOS metadata

Where present, metadata can be used as search criteria. So for example, in addition to a basic search,[4] an advanced search facility allows users to search for theses by publication year, awarding body, author's given name, surname, thesis title, doctoral advisor and various other metadata.[17] Data in EThOS can also be accessed programmatically (by machines) using the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (PMH) from the Open Archives Initiative (OAI),[33] DataCite[34] and its Application Programming Interface (API).[35]

Types of thesis included

As well as indexing Doctor of Philosophy theses, EThOS holds records of other kinds of doctorates including:

Master's degree theses such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Research (MRes), Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Arts (MA) theses are not indexed by EThoS. Honorary degrees are also not included as there is usually no actual written thesis.

Development and contact

EThOS was developed in partnership with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around the UK with funding from Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and Jisc (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) and was launched in January 2009[1][44]. EThOS staff at the British Library can be contacted during office hours on email, Twitter[45] and in person at the British Library.


  1. Troman, Anthony; Jacobs, Neil; Copeland, Susan (2007). "A new electronic service for UK theses: access transformed by EThOS". Interlending & Document Supply. 35 (3): 157–163. doi:10.1108/02641610710780836. ISSN 0264-1615.
  2. Gould, Sara (2016). "UK theses and the British Library EThOS service: from supply on demand to repository linking". Interlending & Document Supply. 44 (1): 7–13. doi:10.1108/ILDS-10-2015-0033. ISSN 0264-1615.
  3. Gould, Sara (6 June 2017). "UK theses and the British Library EThOS service: from supply on demand to repository linking". Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.803351.
  4. Anon (2009). "British Library EThOS e-theses online service". ethos.bl.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-01-24.
  5. Anon (2017). "Higher Education Institutions Participating in EThOS". bl.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24.
  6. Anon (2014). Using PhD theses in research: EThOS on YouTube
  7. Anon (2017). "About EThOS". bl.uk. Archived from the original on 2016-03-21.
  8. Anon (2017). "EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service)". le.ac.uk. University of Leicester.
  9. Anon (2017). "Requesting UK Doctoral Theses". bbk.ac.uk. Birkbeck, University of London.
  10. Anon (2017). "EThOS Toolkit: A guide to using and participating in EThOS". ethostoolkit.cranfield.ac.uk. Cranfield University. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23.
  11. Anon (2017). "Professor Stephen Hawking's PhD viewed two million times". bbc.co.uk. London: BBC News.
  12. Hawking, Stephen William (1966). Properties of Expanding Universes. repository.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. doi:10.17863/CAM.11283. OCLC 62793673. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.601153.
  13. Hodgkin, Dorothy Mary Crowfoot (1937). X-ray crystallography and the chemistry of the sterols. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.727110.
  14. May, Brian Harold (2008). A survey of radial velocities in the zodiacal dust cloud. imperial.ac.uk (PhD thesis). Imperial College London. Bibcode:2008srvz.book.....M. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-77706-1. hdl:10044/1/1333. ISBN 9780387777054. OCLC 754716941. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.443586.
  15. Greer, Germaine (1968). The Ethic of Love and Marriage in Shakespeare's Early Comedies. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. doi:10.17863/CAM.567. OCLC 221288543. Copac 34899608.
  16. Cox, Brian Edward (1998). Double diffraction dissociation at large momentum transfer (PDF). desy.de (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. OCLC 644443338. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.675409.
  17. Anon (2017). "British Library EThOS: Advanced Search". ethos.bl.uk.
  18. Blackburn, Elizabeth Helen (1974). Sequence studies on bacteriophage ØX174 DNA by transcription. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  19. Beerling, David John (1990). The ecology and control of two introduced invasive plants Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica Houtt.) and Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera Royle.) on river banks in South Wales (PhD thesis). University of Wales. OCLC 557284857.
  20. Malhi, Yadvinder Singh (1993). Sensible heat flux from heterogeneous surfaces. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of Reading. OCLC 59851222.
  21. Sulston, John Edward (1966). Aspects of oligoribonucleotide synthesis. repository.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.648083.
  22. "Brian May ISNI record". isni.org.
  23. Bird, Adrian (1971). The cytology and biochemistry of DNA amplification in the ovary of Xenopus laevis. lib.ed.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/11977. OCLC 606104514. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.641632.
  24. McMurry, Julie A.; Juty, Nick; Blomberg, Niklas; Burdett, Tony; Conlin, Tom; Conte, Nathalie; Courtot, Mélanie; Deck, John; Dumontier, Michel; Fellows, Donal K.; Gonzalez-Beltran, Alejandra; Gormanns, Philipp; Grethe, Jeffrey; Hastings, Janna; Hériché, Jean-Karim; Hermjakob, Henning; Ison, Jon C.; Jimenez, Rafael C.; Jupp, Simon; Kunze, John; Laibe, Camille; Le Novère, Nicolas; Malone, James; Martin, Maria Jesus; McEntyre, Johanna R.; Morris, Chris; Muilu, Juha; Müller, Wolfgang; Rocca-Serra, Philippe; Sansone, Susanna-Assunta; Sariyar, Murat; Snoep, Jacky L.; Soiland-Reyes, Stian; Stanford, Natalie J.; Swainston, Neil; Washington, Nicole; Williams, Alan R.; Wimalaratne, Sarala M.; Winfree, Lilly M.; Wolstencroft, Katherine; Goble, Carole; Mungall, Christopher J.; Haendel, Melissa A.; Parkinson, Helen (2017). "Identifiers for the 21st century: How to design, provision, and reuse persistent identifiers to maximize utility and impact of life science data". PLOS Biology. 15 (6): e2001414. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2001414. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 5490878. PMID 28662064.
  25. Cleaveland, Sarah (1996). The epidemiology of rabies and canine distemper in the Serengeti, Tanzania (PhD thesis). London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. doi:10.17037/PUBS.00682291. OCLC 557370493.
  26. Monteiro, Ricardo (2010). Classical and thermodynamic stability of black holes. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. arXiv:1006.5358. OCLC 879378276.
  27. Bishop, Dorothy Vera Margaret (1977). Comprehension of grammar : normal and abnormal development. ethos.bl.uk (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 500385325.
  28. Bagci, Hakan (2014). Epigenetic reprogramming and DNA demethylation. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). Imperial College London. hdl:10044/1/45352.
  29. Anon (2017). "The Academic Family Tree". academictree.org. Archived from the original on 2017-06-08.
  30. Amaral, Luís A. Nunes; David, Stephen V.; Hayden, Benjamin Y. (2012). "Neurotree: A Collaborative, Graphical Database of the Academic Genealogy of Neuroscience". PLoS ONE. 7 (10): e46608. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046608. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3465338. PMID 23071595.
  31. Poulter, Martin (2017). "A step forward in the sharing of open data about theses". bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Oxford: Bodleian Library. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13.
  32. Vrandečić, Denny; Krötzsch, Markus (2014). "Wikidata: a free collaborative knowledgebase". Communications of the ACM. 57 (10): 78–85. doi:10.1145/2629489. ISSN 0001-0782.
  33. Anon (2017). "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about EThOS". bl.uk. Archived from the original on 2017-02-26.
  34. Anon (2017). "DataCite search: British Library PhD theses". datacite.org.
  35. Anon (2017). "DataCite REST API: A common API to get all metadata from DataCite". api.datacite.org.
  36. Wu, Pensée (2009). Muscular dystrophy cell therapy : an in utero approach using human fetal mesenchymal stem cells. ethos.bl.uk (MD thesis). Imperial College London. hdl:10044/1/4726. OCLC 930655636.
  37. Bartels, Else Marie (1990). Studies of the physiological states of cross-striated muscle with the aim of understanding the underlying processes of the changes from one state to another. ethos.bl.uk (DSc thesis). Open University. OCLC 53556783.
  38. Fowler, Chris (2009). Integrated product development - application to virtual working in the aerospace sector. ethos.bl.uk (EngD thesis). University of Warwick.
  39. Georgiou, Andreas K. (2010). Corporate governance and its effect on the performance on family and non-family companies listed on the Cyprus stock exchange. ethos.bl.uk (DProf thesis). Middlesex University. OCLC 840721110.
  40. Aguilar Lopez, Evaristo (2006). DMA Portfolio 'Rhythms of the Huasteca'. ethos.bl.uk (Doctor of Musical Arts thesis). University of Salford.
  41. Greaves, Mary (2011). Practitioner research : a journey in optimistic disappointment?. ethos.bl.uk (DEd thesis). Manchester Metropolitan University. OCLC 757137107.
  42. Steward, Jill (2008). The development of tourist culture and the formation of social and cultural identities 1800-1914, with particular reference to Central Europe. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). Northumbria University. OCLC 757146249.
  43. O'Reilly, Sally Anne (2012). Dark Aemilia and inventing Shakespeare. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). Brunel University London.
  44. "JISCMail". www.jiscmail.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  45. E-Theses Online Service on Twitter
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