Answered By: Priscilla Coulter
Last Updated: Aug 30, 2017     Views: 1226

Dissertations and theses can be valuable sources of information.  However, they are not published  in the same way that books are, so can be difficult to obtain:

  • Only a few print copies will be made of each thesis or dissertation, and those will be kept by the author and the author's university.
  • Online publication of theses and dissertations is a relatively recent trend, meaning older ones will only be available in print.

Our library does provide access to some theses and dissertations.  Click here to learn how to search for them.


If the paper that you need is not in our library, then try these suggestions:
  • Try ProQuest's Dissertation Express.  If you find one that you need, you can return to the sites mentioned above to see if it's available freely online or in a library near you.  If not, you have the option to purchase it from ProQuest. 
  • See if the author wrote an article, book chapter (or entire book!) based on his/her thesis or dissertation.  Also search for publications written by the author's dissertation chair, if you can find that name (often listed on the title page).  Click here to learn how to search by author.

Note about interlibrary loan for theses and dissertations:  While our library does offer an interlibrary loan (ILL) service, many libraries do not lend theses and dissertations outside of their own institutions, simply because so few print copies of each one are made.  It may be possible to have a limited number of pages scanned and emailed or copied and mailed via ILL.  But, we encourage you to try the suggestions above before resorting to ILL.

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