Message from Mr Peter Sidorko, University Librarian
07 April 2017

Dear Alumni,

Further to my emails of 15, 17 and 21 March 2017, I write to provide you with a further update on the issue of online sales of HKU theses.

Theses takedowns

In his 22 March 2017 email addressed to me, Mr Jason Youmans, CEO, Creative Media Partners, LLC (parent company of Open Dissertations Press) vowed “to remove from distribution and manufacturing ALL HKU dissertations”. Most theses now appear as “unavailable” or “out of stock”, yet the majority remain visible on websites. Currently, as of 7 April 2017, the situation for the Amazon U.S site shows that 63 titles are “In stock” while 22,654 are “Out of stock”.

We are continuing to work with Creative Media Partners to expedite the full take down of these theses. We will continue to monitor this progress and take any alternative actions deemed necessary to ensure this will be done as swiftly as possible. This remains our key priority for now.

Access to theses on the Scholars Hub

To secure access to HKU theses, direct full text downloading was disabled on 3 March 2017. An online form was introduced on 10 March to meet requests for full text theses. On 3 April 2017, an auto-response form was launched that generates a link to a requested thesis enabling a requester to have immediate access. Included in this process is a mechanism that prevents automated access by computer programs. We hope this arrangement enables the University’s pursuit of knowledge exchange to continue while exercising due diligence in the secure access to HKU theses.

As I mentioned in a previous email, there are various and complicated legal, technical, and data access issues which we have been reviewing and investigating and which still persist. As the initial primary purpose of developing a website dedicated to this issue has changed (i.e. we now have the publisher’s commitment to remove the theses), the website has not yet been created but you may continue to send your enquiries to

Your patience and support during this process is gratefully appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Peter Sidorko
University Librarian