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Digital Commons @ Butler University

Undergraduate Thesis Collection

When you submit your thesis, you have the option of making your thesis openly available in Digital Commons, a digital archive of the scholarly and creative output of Butler University. Student theses are some of our most popular content, receiving thousands of hits every year! If you're preparing your resume, this is a great way to share your research with your future graduate program or employer. 

Here at Butler University Libraries, we want to make sure that your hard work is not forgotten. When you submit your thesis a bound copy is kept on hand in the University's Special Collections and you have the opportunity to purchase a print copy of your thesis. However, 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 scholarly works produced at Butler University.

Pros and Cons of Including your Thesis on Digital Commons

‚ÄčWhat are the pros and cons of making your thesis available online on Digital Commons @ Butler University?

These are only a few of the reasons as to why you should choose to include your thesis 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 only available in Special Collections, very few people are ever going to see it. Put it online and make it more discoverable 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.

Whatever you decide, the decision to include your thesis online on Digital Commons is solely up to you! You'll be given the option to include your thesis on Digital Commons when you submit your thesis using the Thesis Binding and Submission Form, but even after you graduate you have the option to include you thesis on Digital Commons @ Butler University and you can always reach out to if you have any questions! 


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

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