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Dec. 12, 2012

Vol. 113, No. 5

Campus Notebook

Senior thesis moves into the digital era

By Fran Hulette
Published in the December 12, 2012, issue


No additional bound volumes of senior theses will join the 63,000-plus that are stored in Mudd Library’s basement. In a leap into the ­digital age, Mudd will save only PDFs of senior ­theses beginning with the Class of 2013; they will be searchable from any computer within the ­University network through Princeton’s digital repository, DataSpace. Theses  from prior years will continue to be available  in paper format; the library said there are no plans to systematically convert those to a ­digital format. 

Doctoral dissertations have been available online since the last academic year, though students can choose to restrict access. The Senior Thesis Collection is Mudd’s most frequently used ­collection.

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5 Responses to Senior thesis moves into the digital era

Tim O'Neil '76 Says:

2012-12-11 11:18:19

R.I.P. Student Thesis Binding Agency ...

Sev Onyshkevych '83 Says:

2012-12-11 14:37:38

There is a visceral feeling to a bound, paper thesis that is impossible to replicate digitally. Even though I was a computer science/electrical engineering major so my thesis was optional and submitted electronically, I think it is grossly unacceptable to stop storing paper theses. At worst, the paper format should be optional; those who submit a thesis on paper should have this paper format preserved for posterity. Clearly, the fact that paper theses are the most-requested items from Mudd Library indicates that there is demand for such. Why not let the free market decide - there is demand, we should continue the supply and not make the decision based on some ukase from some petty central-planning bureaucrat.

Kristin Epstein '97 Says:

2012-12-12 11:20:42

Why not digitally archive the old ones to make room for the new?

Steve Bohrer '88 Says:

2012-12-17 09:27:14

I assume this means that theses are now submitted as PDFs as well, but the article does not actually say that. It is possible that students still need to print and bind a copy to hand in, and also submit a PDF for the library. More details, please.

Jennifer Altmann Says:

2012-12-17 11:36:14

The new policy at Mudd Library means students now will be required to hand in a PDF of the thesis to their department, according to Pascale Poussart, the director of undergraduate research. But the change doesn’t affect other departmental requirements for the thesis, so students will continue to hand in bound theses if required by their department.
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