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Education Doctoral Students

Finding full text copies of dissertations

Options for finding full text copies of specific non-SPU dissertations that is not available in Dissertation Abstracts:

This is a very common question. Most dissertations are not available through InterLibrary Loan because there is only one copy and institutions don’t want to lose the only copy they have. Listed below are several ways to try to get your hands on a copy of a dissertation.

1. Search Open Dissertations is an EBSCOHost database. (thanks to Kirsten Koetje, for pointing this resource out to me)

2. Go to the University of Washington. Access their ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database and see if there is a full text copy of the dissertation available. Suzzallo usually has a few open computers which allow one to search for items. Make sure you save the PDF of the dissertation to a flash drive. Do not email the record to yourself.
3. Identify the author of a dissertation and look for contact information for them using Google.  Send them an email letting them know your interest in their tome. I have done this many times and, typically, an author is more than willing to send you a soft copy.
4. You can purchase a soft copy for about $38. Here is the link to use for purchasing. http://dissexpress.umi.com/dxweb/search.html
5. Every once in a while, searching in Google, using the title of the dissertation, will reveal a copy that is available.

VIDEO Finding Books Using Primo, the Library's Search Engine @ 6 minutes

Learning Outcomes: by the end of this screencast, you will know how to:

  • use Primo, the library's search engine, to find books
  • how to refine your results in Primo
  • request books from the Summit catalog, consortium of colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest

Online search tools for books

Dissertation Resources