Honors student scholarship reaches around the world in ways you may not know.  For example, readers around the world are connecting with Honors student research through published Honors theses – and the number and locations of these readers just might surprise you.  In 2019 alone, readers downloaded BYU Honors theses 5,270 times in over 115 countries! The image above shows where these downloads are happening, and how many.  
 
As the culminating experience of the Honors Program, an Honors thesis represents original scholarship in each student’s respective field of study.  Typically, students work on independent, faculty-mentored research during their junior and senior years, culminating in new knowledge and a unique contribution to their discipline.  Each Honors thesis represents research of excellent quality that merits publication, presentation, or distribution beyond the campus community.  Digital readership is literally expanding that distribution across the globe.
 
For many years, BYU has published Honors theses and housed the physical copies in the Harold B. Lee library.  While this tradition continues, in 2018, the Honors Program also began uploading and publishing the theses digitally through ScholarsArchive – the institutional repository for the scholarly and creative content produced by BYU faculty and students. ScholarsArchive makes research, publications, data, and journals available to a global research audience.  Thanks to this on-line digital archive, people and institutions anywhere can access, download, and cite Honors student work. 
 
2019 marked the first calendar year that every graduating senior’s Honors thesis was uploaded. So far, 105 BYU undergraduate Honors theses have been uploaded to ScholarsArchive, and we are looking forward to nearly doubling that number this year.
 
In 2019, there were 5,270 downloads of BYU Honors theses. All except for 8 were downloads of our 2018 and 2019 Honors theses.  November 2019 was the month with the highest number of downloads at 971 downloads. As of February 27 this year, there have already been 1,685 downloads in 2020.
 
Most people find our undergraduate Honors theses from a Google or Google Scholar search. While the largest entity that downloads our Honors theses is BYU, the US’s Northeast megalopolis region that extends from New York to Washington D.C. has the most Honors theses downloads in the world.
 
Worldwide, our Honors theses have been downloaded in 115 countries. For 2019, the top five countries with the most Honors theses downloads were:
 

  1. United States              2,032
  2. India                            350
  3. UK                                307
  4. China                           300
  5. Germany                     180

 
The most northern location was University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, the “official” hometown of Santa Claus, while the most southern location was at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. From the Seychelles Islands to Iceland, people all over the world are literally making unexpected connections with our students’ work!  
 
As reported by the individuals who downloaded the Honors theses, they have been used in these four sectors:
67% for Education
23% for Commercial
4% for Organization
4% for Government
 
By now you may be wondering what all of these readers are looking at.  Below we list the ten most downloaded undergraduate Honors theses as of the end of February 2020:
 

  Undergraduate Honors Thesis Title Student Name Year Published Total Views
1 Steering System for SAE Baja Dallin Colgrove 2019 904
2 The Digital Global Supply Chain: The Growing Case for Blockchain Technology Expansion withing Global Supply Chain Jonathan Chichoni 2018 791
3 Strategic Implications of Blockchain William R. Adams 2018 589
4 Predictive Power? Textual Analysis in Mergers and Acquisitions Philip Morgan 2018 446
5 Sacred Time in the Work of Makoto Shinkai Kassandra Schreiber 2018 416
6 Understanding Biracial Women’s Identity Formation Tinesha Zandamela 2018 344
7 Uncertainty in Optical Particulate Counting Sensors Jared Todd Blanchard 2018 261
8 On the Persecution of the Salvadoran People Jacob Newman 2019 214
9 Waste Vegetable Oil Properties with Usage and Its Impact on Artisan Soap Making Jenalyn Thorpe 2018 164
10 Lydia Dunford Alder: The Life of the Mormon Poet, Suffragist, and Missionary Sarah Kate Johnson Stanley 2018 162

 
We are proud of the academic work created by our Honors students, and are excited to see the impact of their Honors theses reaching well beyond the walls of the Maeser Building and the BYU campus.  Browse the collection yourself, and look for ways you can connect with Honors scholarship at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/.