Information for Honors Thesis Writers: 2014

One copy of every Wesleyan honors thesis is preserved in the University Archives in Olin Library. Each thesis will be cataloged and will appear in the Wesleyan Library online catalog. These theses cannot be checked out of the library, but are available for public use in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. Since 2007, students have been offered the option of placing their thesis in Wesleyan's collection of digital scholarship, WesScholar (http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu). This repository is open to the public.

When you submit your honors thesis to the registrar electronically, you will be asked to grant permission for the archives to make copies of your thesis when requested by a researcher. You will also be asked to place your thesis in WesScholar. There will be options for those who prefer to restrict access to their theses for a period of time or indefinitely. Please note: you retain the copyright to your honors thesis in all cases.

The benefits of including your honors thesis in WesScholar are:

  1. Your thesis will be accessible 24/7, in any part of the world. This means that you can easily show your scholarly work to potential employers and graduate schools.
  2. With increased access to your scholarship, more researchers will find your work and cite it. Some online theses have even resulted in publishing opportunities when noticed by other researchers and publishers.
  3. The physical copy of your thesis will be handled less in the library and better preserved.

You may be concerned about other people finding your work and using it without attribution. In fact, placing your thesis online serves as a record of your work, which can prove that you were the first to document your discovery or findings. There may be cases when you want to make your work inaccessible for a certain amount of time, such as a pending publishing deal or patent application. In these cases, your honors thesis can be embargoed and made inaccessible for a period of time.

Please note: faculty advisors may request an embargo of your thesis if it contains research shared between you and the faculty member. We suggest talking with your faculty advisor about any concerns about revealing research outcomes, and to find a mutually agreeable restriction if necessary.

Questions? Contact Special Collections & Archives.