Although all PhD candidates have had to provide a PDF of their thesis since 2014, in addition to the hard copy, we currently only have around 450 electronic theses from before that date on the School’s repository Research Online.
Depending on available funds, hopefully this will be the start of a longer-term project to digitise the remaining theses that are currently only available in print.
Obtaining electronic versions of these theses will unlock decades of research and provide an invaluable resource for researchers, healthcare professionals and students as well as historians of medicine and public health. As things stand, researchers can consult the bound version of theses, but only by ordering them in advance and coming the library in person. The British Library EThOS project can provide scanned copies of theses, but this can take some weeks and comes at a cost of just over £50 to the requestor.
As we are unable to contact every author individually we are asking our PhD alumni to contact us at if they do not want to see their thesis online as a result of this digitisation project. We will also operate a strict take-down policy in the unlikely event that an author objects after the thesis has been made available online.
Electronic theses are some of the most popular items in our repository by numbers of downloads. We hope that our former students will see this as an opportunity to bring their research to a wider audience, not only within the professional scientific community but to the wider public at large. All theses are made open access by default under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.
Did you know?
- The oldest electronic thesis in our repository is from 1938. Wei Yung-Lee, “Sensations of Comfort and Physiological Reactions to Heat and Moisture on Change in Environment.” It was undertaken within the Department of Industrial Physiology which no long exists.
- The most downloaded thesis is by Nawal Mejren Al-Hamad “Determinants and consequences of obesity in adult Kuwaiti females.” It has been downloaded over 7,400 times, which makes it the third most popular item of any type in our repository.
- Digital theses are already available by famous alumni of the school including the British entomologist Janet Hemmingway CBE. Other well-known figures who have completed PhDs at LSHTM (but are not yet available digitally) include British environmentalist James Lovelock, Sudanese women’s health rights activist Nahid Toubia, and the American parasitologist Harry Hoogstraal.