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For Your Repository Viewing Pleasure: U Nairobi Digital Repository

Winchester, MA In 1986 it was estimated that only 1/3-1/2 of all theses and dissertations (ETDs) were published for a variety of reasons–institutional access policies, outdated collection methods and systems, and idiosyncratic revision requirements1–to name a few. This meant that many original contributions to scholarship, the traditional academic goal for PhD research, were missing from the world corpus of knowledge.

Some institutions such as the University of Nairobi have addressed this issue by establishing an open access policy2 and an institutional DSpace repository to make it simple to deposit ETDs. More than 6,000 electronic theses and dissertations are now openly available from The University of Nairobi DSpace Digital Repository ( that unique scholarly outputs are accessible and will be preserved for future scholars. 

The University of Nairobi College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) collection alone contains 4,749 ETDs. A look at recent ETD submissions reads like a guide to improving public health and commerce: The University of Nairobi's forward-thinking open access policy combined with establishing a DSpace3 repository to facilitate deposits is a step towards support of open knowledge.


[1] J. K. Vijayakumar and Manju Vijayakumar Importance of doctoral theses and its access: a literature analysis

[2] EIFL starts an OA project in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

[3] Jones, Richard D. DSpace and ETD-db Comparative Evaluation.