A while back I thought it would be a good idea to brush of some of the dust from my thesis and submit it for a local award. While I didn’t win the award, I did receive commendation from the judges and encouragement to keep writing. This got the attention at work and soon enough I was asked to present some of the key findings of my thesis at a conference. I got a few laughs, more so in my inability to enunciate the word “Phenomenology”, but what surprised me was the number of people who wanted me to send the link to my thesis so they could read it for themselves.
I thought, that beyond my supervisors and examiners (a total of 6 people) that, well that would be that. When I went online to grab the link I noticed you could view stats on how many people had viewed/downloaded your thesis:
When I saw the numbers I was blown away – 107 downloads on a Masters Thesis! My Masters Thesis!
This got me thinking to why people would want to read my thesis in the first place. I know that a thesis potentially contains a lot of untapped resource of original research, but its humbling to think that people think that my research could be useful.
Here are some of the reasons that I had for downloading others thesis when I was writing my own:
- I needed guidance for how to structure a thesis, I mean I hadn’t written one before.
- My methodology was foreign (so I thought) to the subject, and I was curious if anyone else had used the same the same methodology in similar ways on similar subjects.
- Aside from the untapped resource of original research I could use to further my own arguments, I was usually after their references, who had they read, and if it could help me.