Your thesis: what can Utrecht University Library do for you?

The start of the second semester means for some of the bachelor and master students that they’ll start working on their thesis or graduation work. The Utrecht University Library has various services to help you do research, write and share your thesis.

Of course, the university library offers access to resources and the library locations of are ideal places to write your thesis, but did you know that the library and, for example, the Skills Lab more than that? From help with systematically searching for literature to the publication of your thesis.


At the start of you thesis, you may get overwhelmed by the task at hand. At the Skills Lab, you can participate in a Thesis kick-off to make a good start. But it can also help to look at other people's theses to get an idea of what is expected of you.

Searching for literature

Good sources are indispensable for good research. But how do you find the right sources? The university library has several online training courses to strengthen your information literacy skills. For your thesis, it can be useful to go through module 2 (setting up a research) and module 3 (evaluating sources) of the training course Compass. In addition, there are the in-depth (English) training modules Compass+: Systematically searching for literature and Compass+: Historical sources. The library also offers several Libguides with more information. 

In addition, it is important to set up a strategy before searching for literature, otherwise you might not find all the sources you need. When searching, make sure to use the right search methods and techniques for the best results. 

Need help? Our subject specialists can help with searching our collection and the use of search systems. 

Do you need special material for your research? The experts of Special Collections advise and support you in this. For example, by thinking along with you about the subject you have chosen and with advice on other special material that is also worth studying.

Assess and evaluate

The reliability of your text is partly determined by the sources you use. You should therefore evaluate the sources you have found on relevance and scientific character. You can read how to do that here

Processing and referring 

It's important to properly process your sources and make sure your referrals are accurate. It is better to work in a structured way from the start than to have retrace your steps. How you can do that in the most efficient way depends on the type of sources you use and also on your personal way of working and preferences. A reference management programme is a useful tool to keep an overview.

Write your thesis

Maybe it's something that you can do quite easily, or something that you keep putting off, but in the end you will actually have to write your thesis. You can go to the Skills Lab for writing tips, but also for coaching if you get stuck.  

And the locations of the University Library offer an inspiring environment to work on your text. Don't forget to book your study place.

Publishing your thesis

Utrecht University aims for broad and open knowledge sharing, which is why students can indicate, when uploading their thesis to OSIRIS, whether they agree to making it public. If you opt for public publication, the university library will take care of this and your thesis can eventually be found in search systems such as Google (Scholar) and WorldCat.  

Good luck with writing your thesis!