Friday, 11 May 2012

EThOS Update!

Guest Post by EThOS Service Manager, Sara Gould:

I’ve been following the recent posts here with interest. The open access discussions are fundamental to EThOS of course although theses generally make up only a small portion of your repository content and are unlikely to be anywhere near the most challenging content to manage.


In many ways EThOS is in a privileged position: it simply needs to reflect your own policies and practice in making thesis metadata and full-text content open to the world. If you want it in EThOS, we’ll do what we can to get it in there. We’re so close to 60,000 theses and 300,000 records now – watch out for that mini celebration.


Interestingly OpenDOAR considers EThOS out of scope because of its requirement for users to log in to access full-text theses. True, the login process is a bit of a deterrent but it does provide some reassurance for authors that we could track users if we ever needed to, and it does give us a chance to look at user demographics.


We’re about to send out a summary of usage stats to all member institutions, and here’s an example. This is a JISC Band C member institution that we’ve been harvesting from for some months now. I’m watching the balance between clickthroughs to the repository-held copy and downloads from EThOS with interest. We might expect clickthroughs to quickly overtake, especially as the proportion of harvested content that includes a link URL v. older digitised content in EThOS rises steadily.







Date
Theses Harvested
Digitisation Requests
Records Created
Referrals to Organisation Repositories
Theses downloaded
Sep-11
40
0
1
0
58
Oct-11
15
1
0
0
63
Nov-11
55
3
1
0
58
Dec-11
55
3
1
14
38
Jan-12
0
1
7
20
58
Feb-12
0
5
0
25
83
Mar-12
55
7
1
30
67
Total
220
20
11
89
425

This institution also supports digitisation of its own older theses. 20 in-demand theses digitised in the last 6 months: not bad at all. I love this part of the EThOS service – creating a critical mass of digitised theses was one of its original aims and it’s still a really neat function.

Harvest and interoperability – the subject of Nick Shepherd’s post here – has been a little more challenging. But we’re getting there. Last month we harvested 2600 theses from 33 institutions. Within the BL, we’ve transferred the metadata harvest over to the metadata experts – seems logical – and Heather Rosie will be in touch with everyone waiting to be harvested over the next couple of months. She’s also overseeing the upgrade of records by the cataloguing team and trying to keep EThOS and the BL Primo catalogue consistent in their display of EThOS content. She’s desperate to eliminate the many duplicate records on EThOS, and we have a plan for that too.


What about flows of records and theses in the other direction? Heather’s responding to requests from resource discovery services to share the metadata, and we’re expecting Primo Central to announce that EThOS data is available via their services any day now. And a reminder that the rather clunky EThOS Download Tool can be used to pull back your own digitised theses from EThOS. Contact Customer Services for more info on that.
But what we all want is full OAI-PMH interoperability. The tech guys at the BL are aiming to crack that challenge soon so everyone would be able to easily harvest the metadata without intervention from us. We ask you to be OAI-PMH compliant so we can harvest from you so it seems only fair we do what we can in the other direction.


Finally, a quick trailer for our EThOS workshop at Open Repositories 2012 in July. Hope to see you in Edinburgh.

Sara Gould
11/5/12

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