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The entry point for around 80% of users remained constant, with Google dominant in directing traffic.
The decline in traffic share from the LSE’s own website suggests that the LSE could probably do more to promote the thesis collection on its website.
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The mandate of the group was to draw up a report for …
illustrates the key sources of traffic to LSETO from January 2011 to February 2016 (on the left) and from January 2015 to February 2016 (on the right).
This shows that the expansion of the repository did not substantially change access methods.There was no real correlation between the numbers of downloads and the citations.Even some of the older theses (more than five years old), which had had a reasonable timeframe in which to make an impact, had only achieved one or two citations.The top searches via Google landed on the LSETO home page, which shows that many users were carrying out general searches for LSE theses, perhaps just to view an example of a thesis in their own area of research.However, many searches also led to specific theses, which both demonstrated Google’s strong indexing capabilities and that the LSE was able to contribute scholarly research that is being sought after from its thesis collection.Many LSE referrals come from the past Ph D students’ page (e.g.for the the Department of Statistics) or the research students’ profiles (e.g. Others come from clicks on collection profiles on the library pages.Findings included: a higher volume of theses attracts more traffic; Google’s strong indexing capabilities make it the most frequentlyused tool for discovery of digital theses; primary conclusions are that there is little correlation between downloads and citations of digitized theses; having a digital thesis collection enhances the reputation of the institution; although they recognize that digital theses are a valuable research tool, postgraduates and academics widely believe that making them available affects future publication opportunities; building and maintaining a digital thesis collection makes considerable ‘hidden’ work for librarians in terms of training about copyright and permissions.Some conclusions: better statistics are needed, especially of citations; institutions need to promote digital thesis collections better; more work needs to be done on whether digitizing theses impairs authors’ chances of traditional publication and on how digital theses affect and are affected by the open access movement.The year-long study combined primary and secondary research and was undertaken with the London School of Economics, based on its programme of theses digitization.The paper outlines the types of metrics an institution may use to measure the impact of its corpus of digitized dissertations and examines how these metrics may be generated.