EThOS and the British Library’s strategy for (shared) repository services
Any day now the British Library will create the half-millionth EThOS record for a UK thesis. This heavily-used resource leads to around 70,000 individual downloads of UK theses every month and we are also seeing many requests to re-use the combined EThOS metadata to support content analysis and new forms of big data research. Recent work by Wikimedians to auto-generate thesis references for scientists listed in Wikipedia is one such project that has vast potential.
EThOS also forms part of plans for a new British Library shared access repository. When it is launched the repository will provide access to the Library’s own research outputs as well as other British Library content and services such as EThOS. But it will also offer an open access repository – and preservation – solution for the research outputs of other organisations. This development reflects a shift for the Library beyond core content services towards a role in adding value to open content and helping to sustain a robust global knowledge infrastructure. We expect some of our first partners in this exciting venture will be some of the world’s leading major cultural organisations.