Resources by format
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.
Search for these or dissertations in Discovery Search
Discovery Search includes all Virginia Tech theses and dissertations (print and electronic), all of NDLTD and other open access repositories, and all the international dissertations from CRL. It does not include content from ProQuest Theses and Dissertations Global, so you must search that in addition to Discovery Search (you'll find a button on Discovery Search result pages to repeat your search in PQTDG).
To limit searches to just Virginia Tech published theses or dissertations, include the phrase "Virginia Polytechnic Institute" with quotes in your search. To limit to documents from particular departments, include the department name in quotes. Note that many departments have changed their names over the years, so you will need to search each variation of name.
Databases that index theses and dissertations
International theses and dissertations
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:
- Center for Research Libraries
- The Center for Research Libraries holds more than 800,000 doctoral dissertations from universities outside of the U.S. and Canada. The collection was built by deposits from member libraries and current exchange or depository arrangements with almost 100 universities. Interlibrary loan can borrow from CLR; CRL will also attempt to purchase dissertations not in their collection from foreign institutions. Be aware that purchasing dissertations takes time.
- Theses Canada Portal
- Allows searing of AMICUS, Canada's national online catalogue, for bibliographic records of all theses in Library and Archives Canada's theses collection, which was established in 1965 and access to and search of the full text electronic versions of numerous Canadian theses and dissertations.
- EThOS from the British Library
- Includes theses from over 120 UK institutions, including many that have been digitized and allow open access. If you need non-digitized or restricted access theses, order them via Login to ILLiad which will obtain them through the Center for Research Libraries.
- Trove from the National Library of Australia
- Trove is a free repository of Australian material, including almost a million Australian theses.
- An online catalog to holdings at French academic libraries, SUDOC covers theses completed in France since 1972 (for Humanities and Social Sciences). Can be searched by author, title, and abstract, but since this is a comprehensive catalog to resources at French academic libraries, limit your search to theses by clicking on Options on the right hand corner of the page and limiting your search to Theses. Click on Appliquer to save your selection and proceed with the search.
- Serveur de Thèses Multidisciplinaire / Multidisciplinary Theses Server
- Still limited in content, but provides access to the full text of mostly French dissertations.
Purchase dissertations through Dissertation Express
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.
- Last Updated: Jan 12, 2023 3:59 PM
- URL: https://guides.lib.vt.edu/find/byformat
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