Theses and dissertations can be valuable resources to you during your research. A thesis (theses, plural) is the completed paper of a graduate student working towards their masters degree. A dissertation is the completed paper of a graduate student working towards their PhD. The term "paper" may be somewhat misleading, as theses and dissertations tend to be much longer than a traditional academic article or conference paper, upwards of 60 pages for theses and often over 100 pages for dissertations, depending on the requirements of that graduate student's program. You may be thinking: "Hey Crazy Librarian, why in the world would I want to read someone else's paper that they wrote for school?" but there are a lot of good reasons to look at theses and dissertations.
The Hiebert Librarians will absolutely try to request copies or loans of theses or dissertations for you, if there are any libraries willing to lend or copy. We are happy to use our magical skills to try to get something for you. Please read on below for more information on finding and getting access to theses and dissertations.
The Hiebert Library does have print copies of most theses and dissertations written by FPU students here in the library. They’re searchable via our Library catalog (they can be found through our Discovery Service).
Unfortunately, although Encore will also pull up records for theses and dissertations that are indexed in its system that are written by students in other universities, we do not have full-text access to most of these records. This means you'll need to check for them online and, if not available there, request them through InterLibrary Loan. Continue on for some searching advice...
Don't get frustrated! Dissertations and theses (the plural of thesis) are arguably one of the most frustrating resources to try to obtain. There are several reasons for this. Many older dissertations still exist only in hard copy. Since there are not typically more than a couple copies of these made by universities, most libraries do not loan them out at all. Since dissertations and theses are quite long, most libraries also won't copy or scan the entire thing for you. In addition, copying or scanning that entire work could potentially be a violation of copyright law. Often, if libraries are willing to make copies of these materials, they charge a hefty fee. Often, libraries will direct you to Proquest, which has a database of theses and dissertations which are accessible...for a price. Their rarity can make it next to impossible to obtain them, but this doesn't meant that you shouldn't try. The librarians will try to help you obtain a thesis or dissertation, and, if they can't get it for you either, you can always ask them for more ideas for searching.
You can search through the Open Access Theses and Dissertations database to see if the title you are looking for is available.