Skip to main content

Digital Commons@Butler University: Student Theses


Here at Butler University Libraries, we want to make sure that your hard work is not forgotten. We bind a copy to keep on hand in our print collections and offer you the opportunity to purchase a print copy of your own. But keeping a copy of your work safe on our shelves isn’t enough! We think it’s vitally important to make your work publicly available in Digital Commons@Butler University, our online archive of Butler University scholarship.

Pros and Cons

Why should you make your thesis available on Digital Commons?

  • Instant Gratification: Making a physical copy of your thesis is going to take a while! If you want to be able to show off your thesis to friends, family, and future employers, we can make it available in a matter of days after your degree has been conferred.
  • A Persistent URL: Isn’t it annoying when links break or you run into a 404 error on a website? We’re dedicated to preserving your content digitally, so the link for your thesis will be good for years to come. Include it on your resume and in your portfolio without fear.
  • An International Audience: Your work is important. The scholarship you’ve done could help shape future academic endeavors, but if it’s sitting in the basement of Irwin Library, very few people are ever going to see it. Put it online and make it discoverable by Google and you’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of people reading your thesis.
    • Fun Fact: One of the most popular items in Digital Commons is a student thesis! It has been downloaded over 7,000 times.

That being said, there are a few reasons why you might need to refrain from making your thesis available online:

  • Copyright Concerns: If you have images, sheet music, or other copyrighted materials included in your theses that you do not have permission to use from their copyright owners, you should not post your thesis in Digital Commons.
  • Privacy Concerns: If you have photographs, audio, video, or text in your thesis that may infringe on someone’s privacy, you should not post your thesis in Digital Commons. If you are uncomfortable making your thesis openly available on the web, you are not required to post your work in Digital Commons and you should think carefully before submitting.
  • Publication Concerns: If you are thinking about formally publishing your thesis, you may want to discuss with your faculty advisor whether you should post your thesis in Digital Commons.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

Like us on FacebookInstagramFollow us on Twitter