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uk theses digitisation project

Digitising at least 20,000 paper-borne UK theses will 'kick start' the EThOS service, which will allow open access to theses in electronic form. The project will deliver a fully operational, easily scaleable and financially viable prototype of an UK e-theses online service that will enable users, via one single web interface, to access the full text of electronically stored theses after selection from a database of UK theses. UK postgraduate theses are a very important source of primary research output but, says Colin Galloway, project director of EthOs, "There are currently thousands of theses sitting on the shelves of UK academic libraries, many of which will never have been read by anyone other than the author and supervisor. Even in those cases where there is knowledge of their existence there is no easy access to their content, with the result that potentially useful information is disregarded purely because of logistic/bureaucratic impediments." Under this project, 20,000 digitised theses will be freely supplied as open access, enabling all researchers regardless of location or time to search for, identify and order digitised UK theses, a resource which has had limited exposure via the British Library catalogue (metadata only minus abstract) and the commercial subscription Index To Thesis product. The theses will be supplied to researchers as pdfs. The researcher will be able to read the thesis image on his/her computer screen but, by printing the pdf, he or she will get an exact surrogate of the original thesis. By sourcing surrogates from the electronically stored copies, the original paper theses will be accessed less frequently and so will be better preserved. There are around 500,000 paper theses originating from UK Higher Education Institutions and dating from 1730. Although the project is digitising only 1% of the overall total, it will target the most 'popular' - those that are most likely to be requested and supplied to researchers - so the greater impact will be to release EThOS digitisation resources to digitise further theses. Project start date: 2007-01-01. Project end date: 2008-07-01. (Excerpt from this source)

Percentage of Ariadne articles tagged with this term: 0.2%.
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