The 1966 doctoral thesis by the world’s most recognizable scientist is the most requested item in Apollo with the catalog record alone attracting hundreds of views per month. In just the past few months, the University has received hundreds of requests from readers wishing to download Professor Hawking’s thesis in full.
To celebrate Open Access Week 2017, Cambridge University Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication has today announced Professor Hawking’s permission to make his thesis freely available and Open Access in Apollo. By making his PhD thesis Open Access, anyone can now freely download and read this historic and compelling research by the then little-known 24-year-old Cambridge postgraduate.
Professor Hawking said: “By making my PhD thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos. Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and enquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.
“Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. It’s wonderful to hear how many people have already shown an interest in downloading my thesis – hopefully they won’t be disappointed now that they finally have access to it!”
Apollo is home to over 200,000 digital objects including 15,000 research articles, 10,000 images, 2,400 theses and 1,000 datasets. The items made available in Apollo have been accessed from nearly every country in the world and in 2017 have collectively received over one million downloads.