Wednesday, 13 May 2009

EThOS - an update

Since its beta launch in January 2009, EThOS, the open access repository for UK theses, has become one of the British Library's most popular online resources.

Over the three months that it has been available as a beta version:

• Over 100 UK universities have signed up to participate in the service;
• Traffic to the site has grown to over 550,000 hits per month;
• The number of theses available for immediate download has tripled, from 4,000 in January to over 12,500 at the end of April;
• It has become the most popular linking destination from the British Library Integrated Catalogue, generating four times more links than the next most popular resource.

EThOS has quickly been adopted by the research community and is effectively showcasing UK research to the World. However, this popularity has created some service delays.

Demand has been twice British Library's expectation, resulting in a backlog of theses waiting to be digitised. The British Library has taken steps to minimise the backlog by introducing a second digitisation shift and investing in new scanning machinery.

Details on the size of the backlog at the end of April:

1) Number of theses waiting to be digitised: c10,000;
2) Average number of new requests for theses per day (as of 6/5/09): 100;
3) Digitisation capacity (theses per day): 175;
4) Forecast date for complete digitisation of theses in backlog: October 2009.

The British Library realise that this is a frustrating time for EThOS users and they appreciate your patience while they work to overcome the short term digitisation issues.If you have any questions about EThOS, please contact the Customer Services team at

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