Thesis Commons : a free, cloud-based, open-source platform

The Center for Open Science (COS)* is pleased to announce the release of Thesis Commons, a free, cloud-based, open-source platform for the submission, dissemination, and discovery of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations from any discipline. As a shared, public good, the OSF dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for communities to introduce and operate services across the research lifecycle such as preprints, ETD repositories, and data or materials archives.  

Thesis Commons is

part of  a rapidly growing community of open scholarly communication services built on an open-source infrastructure called the Open Science Framework (OSF)

With a planned integration of a peer review service layer, communities will be able to moderate these services directly and operate discipline-specific repositories or journals with a common integrated infrastructure.  

With Thesis Commons :

  • AUTHORScan share their electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) with a quick and easy submission workflow;
  • READERS can search, discover, and download with a clean and simple interface;
  • INSTITUTIONS can sign-up for a branded version of the service for their institutional community for hosting ETDs, preprints, or other scholarship.  

COS aims to facilitate open and accessible scholarly communication services that promote community-driven innovation and customization in the scholarly workflow

“Thousands of researchers at hundreds of institutions are using the OSF to organize, collaborate, and improve discovery of active research projects,” - said Matt Spitzer, COS Community Manager. 

“The OSF also enables open, community-led interfaces for sharing preprints and papers. Institutions are looking for more integrated, open-source services to host their community’s research outputs. By bringing Thesis Commons and institutionally-branded repositories together, we will dramatically improve discovery and reduce preservation costs.”

Thesis Commons has a steering committee

of experts and advocates for open scholarship representing institution, library, and researcher stakeholder communities.  Members include Bradly Alicea from the OpenWorm Foundation, Gail Clement from the California Institute of Technology, John Finnell from Los Alamos Laboratory, Amanda French from GWU, Jon Grahe from Pacific Lutheran University, Sridhar Gutam from Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Chris Hartgerink from Tilburg University, Thea Lindquist from University of Colorado, Boulder, Gail McMillan from Virginia Tech, Gustav Nilsonne from Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, and Fred Smyth from the University of Virginia.

Thesis Commons is also backed by COS’s preservation fund, which ensures that all data stored on its services would be preserved and accessible for 50+ years in the event of COS curtailing or closing its services. Moreover, because all COS-built software is open-source, other groups could maintain and operate the service in COS’s absence.

For more information on Thesis Commons or to discuss implementation at your institution, please reach out to to the project team here or contact Matt Spitzer at [email protected].

* About Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology startup founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools. The Open Science Framework (OSF), COS’s flagship product, is a web application that connects and supports the research workflow, enabling scientists to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their research. Researchers use the OSF to collaborate, document, archive, share, and register research projects, materials, and data. Learn more at and

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