HKUTO Authors' Questions on Scanned Theses

Please note that most HKU postgraduate programs require students to now produce electronic theses. Please see Theses at HKU for a description of this procedure, and the Author's Access Declaration for the regulations concerning them.

However the great majority of postgraduate students graduated without these new requirements. The paragraphs below describe the digitization of these theses.

Most graduate programs at HKU began to require electronic theses from their students from 2001*. Usage statistics in 2004 showed that electronic theses were receiving 400 times more usage than the printed theses. In order to further unlock this hidden treasure, we searched out postal and email addresses of our post-graduate alumni, who had written theses before this new electronic requirement, and wrote to them in 2004/05 asking for their permission to digitize their printed theses. We received 1,000s of positive replies, and a handful of negative ones. Some even sent us the original source files, so that we could convert and make text-embedded PDF files. We have now (June 2011) finished retrospective digitization of all HKU theses deposited in the HKU Libraries.

Most thesis authors are very happy to find their thesis online now. Whereas printed theses were rarely found and read, the online theses are indexed in many worldwide search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, and can be found and read by anyone around the world. Potential employers and scholarly collaborators can easily find, read and cite them.

However, some thesis authors, for their own reasons do not wish to allow online access. If this is the case for you, could you please send us a copy of your HKU Library card, or a copy of some other form of identification, and we will remove access to the online thesis. Could you please send this to, or to,

  • Systems Department
  • HKU Libraries
  • Pokfulam Road
  • Hong Kong

The letter that went out to thesis authors asking their consent for digitization, wrote that, "If we don't hear anything from you we will assume that you approve. However, should you decide at a future time that you do not want your thesis included, simply notify us in writing and we will immediately remove it from the database."

* Please note that if you entered a HKU postgraduate program requiring an e-thesis, you should follow instructions in the Submission Form for your degree if you wish it to be restricted.

We celebrate the distinguished post-graduates of HKU and their work.

HKU Libraries