Electronic thesis: viewing statistics from Sussex and The British Library

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The full text of Sussex doctoral theses submitted after October 2009 are published electronically (as a PDF, with metadata), through EThOS (the British Library online thesis repository), and also through Sussex Research Online (SRO), the university’s research repository.  But how often is the electronic version of a thesis viewed in Sussex Research Online, or requested through EThOS?

Thesis viewing statistics from Sussex Research Online

Thesis statistics from the Sussex Research Online repository
Thesis statistics from the Sussex Research Online repository

I’m possibly a bit strange.  I have a penchant for poring over maps for fun, and derive great pleasure from browsing dictionaries.  So for me, the SRO thesis statistics are a delight, reporting (among other things):

  • aggregated stats on total thesis requests
  • requested theses by popularity
  • number of requests x month
  • requests x domain
  • requests x country
  • report of referrers (Google Scholar ranks high)
  • keywords users entered to search for theses

SRO statistics are live, so you’ll always be getting the most current picture of thesis usage.

Download the EThOS report: Sussex theses by popularity, August 2010 [PDF]
EThOS report

Thesis viewing statistics from EThOS

Now we come to usage statistics for theses from EThOS.  Bear in mind that downloading an item in EThOS is a little more complex here than it is with SRO (which requires on ly a single click).  This means that the stats from EThOS are likely to be more representative of the serious reader / researcher, which is good news.

EThOS doesn’t have a live reporting mechanism, but the folks at the British Library very kindly sent us a spreadsheet, detailing the number of requests for Sussex theses, by thesis title (author information is unfortunately absent from this report).  It’s a rather long spreadsheet, so I’ve converted it to a PDF.

But some theses in the SRO are not in EThOS – why?

Chris Keene, Technical Developments Manager for the Library, provides us with the answer:

EThOS holds metadata for all submitted theses, and potentially shows the full text, where it has been requested. For theses before Oct 2009 at Sussex this is via scanning in the paper version.

EThOS used to take additions to their database from paperwork sent to them by the Library at Sussex.  The new system (to be unveiled in the Autumn, with the relaunch of SRO) will be up and running by the end of the year 2010.  It will allow EThOS to automatically harvest data and PDFs from SRO, and the two repositories should be synchronised by the New year.

For further information on Sussex Research Online, email lib-research-online@sussex.ac.uk (note: you must use your Sussex email address when sending to this account, emails sent from other email systems will not get through and should be sent to the email addresses below).


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