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Electronic theses: the turning point

Susan Copeland (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)
Andrew Penman (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)
Richard Milne (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 1 September 2005




To describe the key findings of the UK JISC‐funded Electronic Theses project that was led by The Robert Gordon University, as well as the results of associated projects that formed part of the JISC‐funded “FAIR” programme, and the way in which the recommendations will be taken forward.


The research involved: an assessment of existing best practice relating to the production, management and use of e‐theses; the use of questionnaires to obtain feedback from potential users; the identification and testing of potentially useful software; consideration of the elements required in a metadata core set, and discussions with representative bodies to ensure that the model recommended for use in the UK had support from the key stakeholders.


Information is provided about the value of the NDLTD web site, the suitability of DSpace and EPrints software for institutional e‐theses repositories, and the recommended infrastructure for the operation of an e‐theses service at national level. Details are included about the agreed metadata core set for UK e‐theses, and advice is provided about administrative, legal and cultural issues.

Practical implications

The JISC‐funded EThOS project is taking forward many of the recommendations from the Electronic Theses project.


The research results described in this paper will be of use to institutions, which are aiming to establish their own e‐theses collections. The details provided about the UK approach towards the management of e‐theses may be of use in countries, which have not yet made their theses available in electronic format.



Copeland, S., Penman, A. and Milne, R. (2005), "Electronic theses: the turning point", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 185-197.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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