A dissertation (also called thesis or disquisition) is a document that presents the author's research and findings and is submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification. Theses have been published at Virginia Tech since 1903. Theses and dissertations have been submitted electronically since 1996, with most of these freely available online. The Virginia Tech Libraries owns few theses or dissertations published at other colleges and universities; expect to obtain most of these documents via interlibrary loan. In addition to the search tools referenced below, most subject specific databases (like PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, and Engineering Village) will provide citations for theses and dissertations in their covered fields.
Summon includes all Virginia Tech theses and dissertations (print and electronic), the full text of all ProQuest Theses and Dissertations, all of NDLTD and other open access repositories, and all the international dissertations from CRL. It is the best source for finding theses and dissertations.
Includes more than 2.7 million citations to dissertation and theses from around the world along with more than 1.2 million full-text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. More than 70,000 new full-text dissertations and theses are added yearly. Use ILLiad to request non-full-text theses or dissertations. 1861-present.
The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations indexes citations, abstracts, and full-text theses and dissertations from around the world. Many are available in full text through this database (otherwise you may be able to request a copy through interlibrary loan). Early 1900s-present.
American Doctoral Dissertations indexes citation for dissertations that were listed in the print index, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities. Linked PDFs are scans of the print index's pages; use Summon or WorldCat to locate full-text version elsewhere.
Theses and dissertations published outside the United States will be more difficult to obtain. Interlibrary Loan will not borrow from libraries outside North America. Recently published documents may be available online. Use these tools to search for international theses and dissertations:
If you need to obtain a thesis or dissertation from an institution that will not lend through interlibrary loan, you can purchase an unbound copy from ProQuest's Dissertation Express using a credit card or by faxing payment information. Look up theses or dissertations by title, author, or UMI publication number. Orders are shipped directly to you. Since you will bear the cost of this order, verify using the tools listed above that the document is not otherwise available to you free before ordering.