Can a student expect their completed thesis – undergraduate or master’s – to be used by the supervisor once in a while after its completion? Or are they mostly just stored on some thesis shelf?

  • 4
    Well, one of my students turned in a copy of a chapter from my master's thesis with his name on it to meet a term paper requirement.
    – Bob Brown
    Jul 2 '16 at 22:49
  • used by 'whom'? If it's of high academic quality, it will become part of the scientific discipline and cited. If it is of value to industry, it will be used commercially. And of course, the author will use his knowledge and skills gained (and possibly the thesis itself) in his or her academic and professional career. Jul 2 '16 at 23:08
  • Another reason this question can not be answered: Whether or not a particular thesis is used by the supervisor is entirely dependent upon whether or not the thesis is useful. For example, a piece of software might be used every day by a professor for research purposes. Jul 3 '16 at 0:53

The fate of a thesis is much the same as any other scientific publication: many will never be used again and will lie forgotten where they are published. Some will be useful to somebody and will be cited or built upon. And a few of those will actually be truly significant.

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