Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Digital Commons: Senior Thesis

Learn about Sarah Lawrence's online institutional repository, Digital Commons.

Senior Thesis

As of 2019, all senior theses are submitted to Digital Commons with faculty approval.

Once your thesis is submitted along with the appropriate permission form (see below), it is sent over to the Library. At that point, the Library adds your thesis to the Library's online catalog as well as Digital Commons. See the Permissions box for information on access options available to you.

Please submit an abstract and keywords to be used when cataloging your thesis.

For more information on the Senior Thesis, contact the Dean of Studies Office.


Will this hurt my chance of publication?

Studies have shown that most publishers do not consider online posting to be prior publication,
and some publishers have explicitly stated that making work openly available helps students get discovered.

Why isn't my thesis in Digital Commons yet?

While you are submitting your thesis in a digital format, it still requires a person to "catalog" or complete the metadata in preparation for uploading the actual file. Theses designated as immediately Open Access as well as SLC-only, are the first to be uploaded to Digital Commons and will typically be available by the end of the summer in which they are submitted. The metadata for all others will be available within one year.


Digital Commons offers you a selection of access restrictions for submitting your senior thesis:

1. Open Access. Your thesis will be discoverable via Google and other search engines. Open Access serves the scholarly community by sharing your creative or scholarly work with others around the world; exemplifying the nature of undergraduate work done at Sarah Lawrence College.

2. Restricted for one year; then Open Access. Delay release of the entire work for one year from date of graduate for publication or other proprietary purposes. After one year, release for worldwide Internet access.

3. Restricted for two years; then Open Access. Delay release of the entire work for two years from date of graduation for publication or other proprietary purposes. After two years, release for worldwide Internet access.

4. Access restricted to SLC only. Allow access only on the Sarah Lawrence College campus and to current Sarah Lawrence College community members via DigitalCommons@SarahLawrence. Note: Consistent with past practice, the thesis will also be available to other libraries via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Permissions forms can be found here.

If you have any questions, please contact Abby Lester.

Benefits of Digital Commons

  • Makes your work available outside of academia, including to potential employers.
  • Allows prospective students to view past work by graduates of the College.
  • Provides a stable online home for your work, even after you graduate. (When you upload a work to Digital Commons, you'll receive a stable web address that you can add to your CV, résumé, or portfolio. You can log in to the Digital Commons site to see how often your works are being viewed and downloaded. Once your work is in the site, it's easy for others to find it in Google and other search engines.)

Digital Commons is indexed by Google. The best way to receive more hits on your work, is by writing a thorough abstract and providing a list of keywords for us to use when creating the metadata.