May 25, 2022

Milestones: “Stanford’s Treasure Trove of Electronic Theses and Dissertations Tops 5,000 Mark”

From Stanford University:

When Yusi Chen decided to submit his dissertation electronically, he helped Stanford achieve a milestone by becoming the 5,000th student to upload his treatise through the university’s innovative Electronic Thesis and Dissertation service.

“I’m so glad that I’m the lucky one,” said Chen, responding to the news from Shanghai, where he is working as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. Chen, who earned a doctorate in electrical engineering at Stanford in January 2017, is the author of the dissertation, Thin-Film Crystalline Solar Cells for Low Capex Manufacturing.

Chen said he chose an electronic dissertation over a paper version because it would be much easier for people to access his work online.


The program, which Stanford launched in late 2009, is a partnership of Stanford University Libraries and the Office of the University Registrar. Teams from both organizations developed the program, including supporting policies, workflows and software to enable the submission, processing, online availability and preservation of Stanford theses and dissertations in digital form.

Tom Cramer, assistant university librarian at Stanford, said handling dissertations and theses digitally is faster and cheaper than handling a paper version. With digital submission, students no longer have to print and collate multiple copies, so they save several hundred dollars in printing and binding costs.

“Submitting digital theses and dissertations is also better because they are accessible on the web, are discoverable via Google and other search engines, and maximize the visibility and impact of student research,” Cramer said. “Stanford theses and dissertations are one of the most often searched resources in Stanford University Libraries. With a digital approach, they become an instant part of the global scholarly record.”


Stanford catalogs electronic theses and dissertations in its online library catalog and archives the files in the Stanford Digital Repository. The university’s digital library service ensures that the work is always accessible to users, regardless of inevitable technology changes over time.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.