Library Services continues to move our legacy print theses collection off the library shelves to the online world, increasing the visibility and access to OU research.
Following our bulk digitisation of over 1,500 theses pre-pandemic, we will digitise smaller numbers of legacy print thesis over the summer. All digitised theses will be archived on Open Research Online (ORO) to increase their discoverability and use. To date, online theses on ORO have been downloaded 1,365,103 times.
We will also be working with the Library Archive to preserve and make accessible supplementary materials from legacy theses – these materials are often the research data underlying the thesis and is contained on at risk carriers (e.g., 3.5-inch floppy disks and CD-ROMs) and in proprietary formats rapidly becoming inaccessible. These materials will be assessed for format obsolescence and digitally preserved to ensure their persistence in the scholarly record. These materials will be made available in Open Research Data Online (ORDO) and linked to their related thesis in ORO.