Digital scholarship blog

01 September 2016

Digital Conversation @ British Library: EThOS & Multimedia PhD Theses

Are you conducting or do you have an interest in academic research? Are you aware of the growing trend towards non-text and multimedia research outputs being submitted with digital theses? If so, you might be interested in coming to the British Library for a free evening event, hosted by the Library's Digital Research Team and EThOS the national database of UK doctoral theses. This event will take place on Thursday 29 September 2016, from 18.00 to 20.00. To book go to, but hurry places are limited and in high demand.

Almost all theses are produced as text-based documents but universities are gradually allowing new forms of thesis to be submitted for the research degree, which might include research outputs such as websites, software, film, creative performance and databases. It would seem that while students often wish to include multimedia research outputs with their thesis, the technical, cultural and logistical challenges of doing so are rife.

This Digital Conversation event explores the issues faced by PhD researchers producing innovative work but struggling to get that work into the thesis format. Speakers will share their experiences working in cutting edge research practices. 

We are delighted that Coral Manton is chairing the evening.

Coral Manton is PhD candidate, part of the i-DAT research and design collective at Plymouth University. Her research is funded by AHRC through the 3D3 Consortium. Coral's research brings together her professional background in museums and immersive digital arts practice. She is currently developing an immersive museum collection database, producing data visualisations from the collection in storage for enhanced curatorial and visitor understanding, working with Birmingham Museums Trust. Coral has been employed on a research placement by the British Library investigating multimedia and non-text PhD research outputs and how EThOS might develop to meet the challenge of evolving digital theses. 

We also have a wonderful panel of speakers, which include:

Craig Hamilton: Craig is an AHRC Midland3Cities-funded PhD research candidate at the School of Media, Birmingham City University in the UK. His research looks at the experience of contemporary Popular Music listeners, with a particular focus on digital technologies. He is exploring this through the development of The Harkive Project, an online, crowd-sourced method of gathering data from people about the detail of their music listening experience.

Tara Copplestone: Tara is a PhD student at the universities of York and Aarhus. Her research into “archaeogaming” interrogates how creating and communicating through the video-game media form might provide novel methods of constructing arguments about archaeology. Part of her thesis is being produced as a video-game so that the arguments can be played rather than read, and the construction behind them interrogated within the framework of the video-game medium itself. Her research into archaeology sits at the intersection of code, art and narrative and has a particular focus on challenging how academic and creative practices can interpolate with each other through the video-game medium.

Imogen Lesser: Imogen is a PhD candidate at the University of Kent. Imogen’s doctoral research examines Mervyn Peake’s literary language in The Gormenghast Trilogy as a potential spatial design tool. She has created a series of digital and hand-drawn architectural drawings and plaster cast models of a selected number of Peake’s spaces as an integral aspect of her research. This work beyond the written thesis enables Peake’s spaces to be analysed as architecture in potentia and so provides a recognisable architectural foundation from which the analysis of space and language can take place

A4DrawingsWhite2 edit
Gormenghast architectural section drawing, by Imogen Lesser


Hope to see you there for another fascinating Digital Conversation.

Stella Wisdom, Digital Curator