27 June 2007
In future it will be much easier to gain access to research material produced in the University of Oxford.
The new Oxford Research Archive (ORA), provided by Oxford University Library Services, has been created to store digital copies of research material, which includes theses, journal articles and conference papers, produced as the result of scholarly research at the University. As many items as possible will be made freely available via the internet.
As well as benefiting scholars round the world, this archive will be of help to the authors of the material and to the University, by giving increased visibility to their work and to the institutionís research activity.
In future students on the DPhil, MLitt and MSc (by research) degrees will be required to deposit with the University both a digital copy (to be held in ORA) and a hard copy of their thesis. University regulations have been changed to this effect. Students in the middle of these programmes, as well as students and alumni in certain other categories, may deposit a digital copy of their thesis voluntarily; ORA does not produce a digitization process.
Procedures for readers wishing to obtain a copy of a UK thesis currently (usually) involves using the British Libraryís Thesis Service where a microfilmed copy is made and sent to the userís library. However, for a number of reasons this service will be replaced by electronic provision of theses via EThOS, the new UK thesis service. EThOS is due to go live some time over the next year and Oxford will be contributing to the service via ORA. This is particularly important as EThOS will be the central national portal for UK theses.
ORA is a new service which is a growing steadily and is therefore not a complete record of the Universityís research activity. It can be found at http://ora.ouls.ox.ac.uk with further information available at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.