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OBTAINING COPIES OF DISSERTATIONS: SOME COMMON QUESTIONS
- Can I request a copy of a dissertation through Interlibrary Loan?
- Yes, although the ease of obtaining it and even its availability for Interlibrary
Loan may be determined by the answer to one or more of the following questions:
- (1) Will the institution where the dissertation was completed lend a
copy either in microform or hard copy?
- Many institutions in the United States, currently about 400, submit their
dissertations for inclusion in Dissertation Abstracts International.
There's a list of "Participating Institutions" in the front of every issue
of Dissertation Abstracts International which includes the date at
which each institution became a participant in the UMI service. Some institutions
which participate in the UMI program will not lend copies of their dissertations
completed on or after the date at which they began that participation. The
loan of a dissertation completed before that date is determined by individual
institutional policies and often depends on whether there is more than one
copy of the dissertation in existence. Some institutions, most notably Harvard,
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago,
have retained the right to reproduce and sell copies of dissertations completed
at their institutions and generally do not make them available for loan to
- (2) Has the dissertation been microfilmed by UMI and made commercially
- The availability of a dissertation through UMI increases the chance that
a copy will be available through interlibrary loan, usually from an institution
that has purchased a copy rather than from the institution granting the degree.
- (3) How do I determine if a copy of a dissertation is available through
interlibrary loan from an institution other than the one where the dissertation
- The process is the same as identifying locations where a copy of a book
may be held, since libraries purchasing copies of dissertations will catalog
them as books. Check in the National Union Catalog (SML, Reference
Room, Reference Index Cases) for holding institutions, use the Research Libraries'
Information Network (RLIN) through Eureka,
and ask at the Reference Desk to have the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC)
checked as well. If holding institutions cannot be identified through these
sources, and the institution where the dissertation was completed will not
lend, then the work isn't available through interlibrary loan.
- How do I purchase a copy of a dissertation?
- Dissertations which appear in Dissertation Abstracts International
can be purchased directly from University Microfilms International by:
- How do I request that the Library purchase a dissertation?
- Speak with or send an e-mail
request to the bibliographer responsible for building the Library's collections
in the subject area of the dissertation, or send an e-mail request using the
DISSERTATIONS COMPLETED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY
- Dissertations from many foreign universities are held by the Center for
Research Libraries in Chicago and are available through interlibrary loan.
Specific authors and titles must be known and a printed source of citation
must be provided in order for requests to be placed. The CRL catalog is also
accessible over the Internet,
but as a general rule, no individual records for dissertations held are included.
The CRL dissertations
database can be searched by subject, author, title, translated title,
country, institution, language, and year defended..
- If not available through the Center for Research Libraries, foreign dissertations
can be requested through interlibrary loan, and an attempt to secure a copy
for consultation will be made by whatever means is appropriate for the country
Back to Overview of Primary Sources at Yale
This material is based on the Web site created to support a series of colloquia
in historical research offered by the Yale University Library. The initial site
was prepared in August 1996 by Suzanne Lorimer, Susanne Roberts, Margaret Powell,
George Miles, Fred Musto, Emily Horning, Cesar Rodriguez, Nancy Godleski, Richard
Williams, Elizabeth Pauk, and Martha Brogan.
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