UK: Loss of access to EThOS archive of 600,000 doctoral dissertations causes major disruption for PhD students

“PhD students have described “stumbling through” their research after losing access to the UK’s national database of doctoral theses, as disruption to the British Library’s digital archive following a devastating cyberattack enters its third month. […]

Concern among many researchers focuses on the loss of the EThOS archive of 600,000 doctoral dissertations. About half of this site’s users are postgraduates. […]

Academic librarians have also expressed hope that the service will be restored soon. With EThOS now regarded as one of the UK’s great open access resources, its loss would be “a harsh blow to research communities both in the UK and globally”, said Caroline Ball, academic librarian (business, law and social sciences) at the University of Derby.

“EThOS is the only free, open access, large-scale, aggregated source of UK dissertations available to researchers,” explained Ms Ball. “There are institutional repositories and subscription databases, but nothing else that does both for UK theses and researchers.”

EThOS is “also often the only place to find details of many pre-digital era, print-only theses – many of which are in fact digitised on behalf of universities by the British Library as a result of requests via EThOS,” added Ms Ball. “While much of the research itself is archived and duplicated elsewhere, there is no comparable source to bring together, promote and highlight open access to the crucial and innovative PhD research taking place within UK higher education institutions.””

OAPEN and CLOCKSS have developed a strategic relationship for the long-term preservation of Open Access books


DOAB Check is a collaboration between the Free Ebook Foundation and the Directory of Open Access Books. It checks each the links in DOAB about once a month, looking for any links that are broken or misconfigured.

Digitizing books can spur demand for physical copies

“Their paper, “Digitization and the Market for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project,” published Oct. 31 in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy [Paywall! KG].

Their main findings: Digitization can boost sales of physical books by up to 8% by stimulating demand through online discovery. The increase in sales was found to be stronger for less popular books and even spilled over to a digitized author’s nondigitized works.”

American Chemical Society (ACS) charges authors $2,500 US for the right to deposit their accepted manuscript into a repository without an embargo period

“COAR joins a growing chorus of voices […] denouncing a new authors’ fee introduced by the American Chemical Society (ACS), which charges authors $2,500 US for the right to deposit their accepted manuscript into a repository without an embargo period.”


“No solution other than diamond can make Open Access fair to all”

See also


Recordings Available: THE FUTURE IS NOW symposium

“The Future is Now: A Symposium on Collaborating for Sustainability in Digital Research

Virtual Online Event on Friday, September 29, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm (EST)

YouTube playlist (contains the links to all 6 presentations)

Hans Brandhorst, Editor in Chief at Iconclass, “DIY Sustainability: The Iconclass Consortium”

Arianna Ciula, King’s College, England, “Overview on King’s Digital Lab Approach to Archiving and Sustainability: Context, Practices and Challenges”

Jörg Wettlaufer, Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Lower Saxony, Germany, “Sustainability in the Digital Humanities: Some Insights from a German Research and Cultural Heritage Institution”

Christian Steiner, University of Graz, Austria, “A Roadmap for Accessibility, Stability, and Preservation Using Linked Open Data and Institutional Repositories”

Susan Brown, University of Guelph, “Standards and Interoperability for Sustainability: The CWRC and LINCS Infrastructure Projects”

James Cummings, Newcastle, England, “Building for Failure: Embracing Sustainability and Principles for Digital Longevity in Digital Humanities”

British Library bans scanning of manuscripts

“Unfortunately our Conservation/Preservation Team have now banned the Scanning of any Manuscript Material held in the British Library Collection and we do not have a Microfilm Surrogate of this Manuscript.

If you wish to proceed with this order we will need to amend it to Photography (Digital Image for Reproduction) the cost will be £26.04 plus vat for the first Image then £6.89 plus vat for each subsequent image, can you please confirm if you wish to proceed with Photography or if you would prefer to cancel your order?”

Degree in magic to be offered at University of Exeter

“A degree in magic being offered in 2024 will be one of the first in the UK, the University of Exeter has said.

The “innovative” MA in Magic and Occult Science has been created following a “recent surge in interest in magic”, the course leader said.

It would offering an opportunity to study the history and impact of witchcraft and magic around the world on society and science, bosses said.

The one-year programme starts in September 2024.”

Manuscript about British cheese (saec. XVIex) has been acquired by the University of Leeds (Thanks to FE)


The Library of the Late Christopher Foyle of Beeleigh Abbey

“Covering eight centuries of manuscripts and book printing history, from a fine Latin bible c. 1240 (lot 1) to an original drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet by E. H. Shepard (lot 400), we are delighted to announce that our latest catalogue is now available in various viewing formats:

#7 Cartulary of Garendon Abbey in Leicestershire. Manuscript on vellum, circa 1450


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