Index to Theses FAQ

For Index to Theses licensing conditions and terms, please click here

What must I do in order to be able to access the site?

Access to the Index to Theses site is available to all legitimate members (students, employees, etc.) of organisations subscribing either to the 'combined' (ie print and online) subscription option, or the 'online only' option.

If you are a subscriber you can access the site by registering your IP addresses on the special form on our web site. The form can be found by clicking on the Register button at the bottom of the Index to Theses home page: Or by going directly to:

Please have your subscriber number handy which you will find on any renewal notice you have received from us, or on the mailing label for the printed publication. If you have difficulty finding your number, contact us ( with your full address and the name of your subscription agent if any.

Expert Information Ltd, publishers of Index to Theses™ and, is now part of the ProQuest family. Proquest looks forward to continuing to expand the quality publishing programme behind Expert Information’s products. This change does not impact on how current customers access or pay for their subscriptions. Existing customers should continue to direct their enquiries to or Portland Press. Enquiries for new subscriptions can be directed to

How do I subscribe to the printed version?

Existing subscribers should contact Enquiries for new subscriptions should be directed to

My organisation subscribes. Can I access the index from another site - for example, from my home?

Access to Index to Theses is restricted to IP addresses at the subscribing institution. Some Universities may allow you access by dialling into one of their computers which, in turn, has access to our service. Alternatively, your university can arrange for you to have access via another university that might allow you to use their machines.

If you wish to subscribe and pay for the service we can give you individual dial-up or password access.

I do not belong to a subscriber organisation, but want to search the index. What should I do?

For access to the website to search the index you must subscribe to Index to Theses.

Can I pay for a one-off search?

Some subscribing libraries will perform one-off searches for a fee. Contact your library to see if they subscribe to Index to Theses.

How can I read the full text of a thesis?

In all Index to Theses entries, clicking on the university name will take you to a page describing how to obtain full text from that particular university. In general terms, a thesis may be: online at the university; online with EThOS, requestable from EThOS; or obtainable via Inter-library loan.

University online repositories: Many institutions now operate digital repositories into which the full text of research theses are deposited. Any embargo period having passed, they may then be freely viewed and downloaded over the Internet. Primarily this applies to recent, `born digital’ texts, but some older ones may also be available.

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online System): The post-2008 successor to the British Library Thesis Service, this takes a radically different approach. Instead of supplying hard copy from microfilm holdings (now out of commission), it will instead digitise bound volumes on request, after which they become available online.

The EThOS catalogue indicates if a thesis is referenced by the system, is already available online, or if it may be requested for digitisation, either directly or via the university in question. The catalogue includes a list of participating universities.

Inter-library loan: You may be able to borrow a copy of the thesis from the library of the awarding institution. This would be via your own library, to which you should apply in the first place.

Where does the information come from?

The information is sent to us by UK and Irish universities, in some cases directly, in others via EThOS, with whom we co-operate to provide their catalogue identifier. In general, the main libraries at these institutions originate the information. Most is received in paper form, but there is a slow trend towards electronic means.

What years does the site cover?

Progressive enhancements have meant that the editorial scope of Index to Theses is nowadays research theses from all UK and Irish universities since 1716. As well as the modern flow of information, as just described, content in Index to Theses is based on the following print publications:

1716 - 1950
The Retrospective Index to Theses

Published by ABC CLIO, edited by Bilboul and Kent and reproduced with their kind permission. Content for this period comprises bibliographic listings only.

1950 to date
Index to Theses

Published by Expert Information. Content for the period 1950 – 1986 comprises bibliographic listings only. From 1986 onwards the publishers introduced abstracts into the printed publication. From 1970 to 1985 abstracts were collected on microfiche, which have since been converted to 44,000 PDF files.

In summary, this expanded coverage means Index to Theses users now have access to:

How can I find details of a thesis that is not included on the site?

If a thesis is not on the site, then it will either be in the print version prior to Volume 21 (prior to 1970) or it was never sent to us by the institution in question. If you cannot find a particular thesis in the print version then you might try contacting the originating university directly.

What is the time lag between a thesis being submitted and its appearing on the web site?

While an `Advisory' record may appear in advance, containing some basic data as yet unedited, publication of a full entry is on average three months after we receive the information. However, when we receive it is down to the policy at the submitting organisation - on rare occasions there can even be a delay of several years. Individual items may also be under a particular publication embargo.

Why is a particular thesis not included in the site?

No thesis is knowingly excluded unless it is subject to a publication embargo. If you cannot find a thesis on the site it is usually because the information on that particular thesis was not sent to us. Again, you could try contacting the originating university directly.

If I provide you with details of a thesis, will you add it to the site?

We can only include theses that have been sent to us through a university directly. Contact your university to see if they can submit your thesis to us.

There used to be a database on current post-graduate research in the UK. Does your company still offer this service?

We are not the publishers of the directory of current postgraduate research in the UK.

Can you provide links to similar services for theses from universities in other countries?

We do not have a list of other sites that supply theses information outside the UK and Ireland. If you have such information, please email it to and we will list the URLs accordingly.

Can I still access material on Index to Theses once my subscription lapses?

If you cancel your subscription at any time you will have no more access to the Index to Theses web-based service.

However you will be entitled to a copy of the Index to Theses data from the time you started your subscription, or from the 1st of January 2006 - whichever is the later date - to the time of your cancellation. (Prior to 2006 all subscribers received print issues of Index to Theses).

So, for example, if your subscription ran from January 2005 until December 2008, your ‘entitlement period’ would be from 1 January 2006 until 31 December 2008.