Thesis digitisation project at the Library

The Library at Queen’s is delighted to announce that it is undertaking an exciting new initiative of retrospectively digitising theses of the university.

One hundred of the most heavily used theses will be digitised and, thereafter, uploaded to Pure, in this way making them available online, free of charge through Queen’s Research Portal.

Currently, it is only the most recent theses which are available on the Portal: since September 2016 all Postgraduate research students and UKRI funded students are required to upload an electronic version of their thesis (in addition to print copies) once they submit. There is, however, a back catalogue of theses, available in print format only, dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

The purpose of this special project is to widen access to the most heavily used theses, which are a vital source of research. This digitisation endeavour consequently will be of great interest to researchers across a wide array of disciplines. This includes Arts and Humanities, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Management, Education and Social Sciences.

The digitised theses will be available to anyone with an internet connection. There are no subscriptions. No paywalls. No need for authentication logins. Like existing theses in the Research Portal, the newly digitised theses will be freely available for anyone to peruse, access and download. This is part of a greater push to make academic research open access.

Each thesis is a significant achievement and the culmination of originality, hard work, dedication, critical thinking, and a considerable amount of self-questioning and sleepless nights! It is right to celebrate some of the most heavily used theses by making these easier to access.

Once the theses are digitised they will reach a wider audience and will be used by a diverse range of users. It is anticipated that the digitised theses will be able to be accessed online by late summer 2019.

The Library considers each thesis to have intrinsic research merit and would encourage all its former graduates (Postgraduate research students) who have submitted a thesis (pre-September 2016) to support us in our digitisation project. We operate a take-down policy so if you do not wish for your thesis to be involved in the project, please contact us.

This is the first phase of an envisaged long-term project that will see further print theses digitised in the future.

Did you know?

  • Some of the earliest theses were typed.

  • The Library is fortunate in holding approximately 14,000 Queen’s theses. This includes notable luminaries such as Rev. Robert Allen, 1904-1968 (Presbyterian minister and historian), Sir David Bates, 1916-1994 (mathematician and physicist), Kathleen Cuthbert (nee Ferguson), 1920-2016 (translator at Bletchley Park during WW2), Eileen McCracken 1920-1988, (botanist and historian of Botany), Professor Mary (Mollie) McGeown, 1923-2004 (specialist in the treatment of kidney disease) and Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, 1950-2018 (musician and composer).

  • There are theses also of current Queen’s staff, including Leontia Flynn (Creative Writing and multiple award winning poet), Professor David Livingstone (School of Natural and Built Environment), Professor Tony Gallagher (School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work) and Professor James McElnay (School of Pharmacy).

If you require further information about the thesis digitisation project, contact the Institutional Repository Officer, Dr. Michael O’Connor:

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