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SDR Deposit of the week: Undergraduate theses in Physics and Engineering Physics

The Undergraduate Theses collections for Physics and Engineering Physics are now open for deposit. This year’s crop of top undergraduates in the Department of Physics and in the Engineering Physics program have the distinction of being the first undergrads to deposit their theses in the SDR. These two are the first of several honors theses collections opening this quarter. (The School of Education is assembling their collection together now, and two other departments may follow suit.)

Librarian Stella Ota manages the collections, working with faculty, staff, and the selected students to use the Self Deposit application. She has been collecting digital honors theses offline since 2010. When the ETD system launched in fall 2009, Stella had a vision for using a similar process to collect the Physics undergraduate theses for access and preservation in the SDR. Yet without a deposit interface, it proved to be challenging to track down each student, to have them sign a hard-copy deposit agreement, to collect the PDF files by thumbdrive or email, and to create the metadata. The Self Deposit workflow promises to make the whole process of collecting and archiving these works more systematic, more secure, and more efficient.

Stella’s small but carefully-tended and well-organized collection became an obvious first pilot for the SDR web interface. She started depositing the backlog of 2010, 2011, and 2012 papers starting in February. As the first SUL selector to use Self Deposit, Stella has given the SDR team a wealth of feedback and input to inform the application UI, workflow, and overall deposit service for students and their department stakeholders.

Some of these theses have won awards and many are likely to lead to future dissertations and journal articles. For example, check out Plasmonic metallic nanoparticles by Ana Brown (2010),  Effects of Supersonic Relative Velocity Between Baryons and Dark Matter in the Early Universe by Gregory Peairs (2012), and Internal Beam Annihilation Therapy: A Novel Approach to Radiation Therapy by Michael Liu (2011).  Soon all items in the collections will be discoverable in SearchWorks.

The Department of Physics honors theses print collection, housed in University Archives and going back to the 1970s, has been digitized but is not available online due to copyright restrictions.