[University of South Alabama]


Selected Resources

Library Homepage: http://library.southalabama.edu

October 2008
University Library Reference Services:(251) 460-7025

Identifying Theses and Dissertations

For citations and abstracts of dissertations and theses from 1861 to the present use the Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations database under “Articles, Indexes, Databases” on the University Library homepage. (Available on campus and remotely with USA ID). Dissertations from 1980 forward include an abstract. Citations and abstracts for Masters theses have been included since 1988.

WorldCat, one of the FirstSearch databases on Library Homepage, “Articles, Indexes, Databases,” contains millions of records for items cataloged in libraries around the world. Cataloged theses and dissertations are searchable in this database and you can also identity libraries owning them.

Many specialized indexes, such as MLA Bibliography, PsycINFO, SocINDEX Full Text, ERIC, and SciFinder Scholar include citations to dissertations.

Obtaining Theses and Dissertations

It is sometimes possible to request needed dissertations through Interlibrary Loan. Some libraries will loan their dissertations if they have a circulating copy.  Their loan charges vary from free to $30.00.  Delivery could take several weeks. Use the USA Library’s online Interlibrary Loan Service to request a thesis.

Most U.S. dissertations are kept as a microfilm copy by UMI, a company in Michigan.  The Interlibrary Loan staff can place a purchase order for an unbound paper copy of a dissertation through UMI’s document delivery service, Dissertation Express, for approximately $29.00 with a four day delivery date.

You can purchase it yourself from UMI for approximately $41.00 (unbound paper copy) or for approximately $48.00 (microfilm copy) with a charge card using their toll-free number, 1-800-521-3042.  You will need the UMI publication number from the Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations database.

Another way to get recent dissertations is by searching, paying by credit card (approximately $34.00) and downloading as a PDF file directly from the Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations database. UMI assigns a PIN number that identifies your order.  This PIN is not restricted to an IP address, so you can order from a library computer and then go home or to your office and download the dissertation.  The price of a dissertation in this format is calculated when you add the dissertation to your shopping cart.  The item can be removed from the cart if you decide you do not want the dissertation or want another one instead.

If submitted to UMI in digital format, dissertations produced at the University of South Alabama since 1996 and indexed in Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations are free for USA faculty, students, and staff.  Just click on the FREE DOWNLOAD button.  Download is not immediate.  UMI will notify you by e-mail when your request is ready to download.

Locating Theses and/or Dissertations Owned by the University Library

Theses and dissertations written at USA in non-medical fields are shelved in the Reference area located on Second Floor North of the University Library. All of these bound items carry a classification number of LD 9 and are organized by the College and date they were produced. Theses and dissertations from the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health are housed in the Baugh Biomedical Library. For theses and dissertations written at other schools, check the USA Libraries’ Catalog to see if the Library owns a copy.

Subject Searches:
            dissertations, academic university of south Alabama

Keyword and Advanced Boolean Searches:
            dissertations “south alabama”
            (dissertation? or thesis) and “south alabama”

Department or Topic Searches use Advanced Boolean Keyword Search:
            (thesis or dissertation?) and “instructional design” and “south alabama”
            (thesis or dissertation?) and chemistry and “south alabama”
            (thesis or dissertation?) and “south alabama” and tennis
            (thesis or dissertation?) and “south alabama” and “line segments”

Writing a Thesis and/or Dissertation at USA

For books that might help you write you thesis or dissertation, try this Advanced Boolean Keyword search:
            (thesis or dissertation?) and (guide or manual or handbook or “report writing”)

University of South Alabama. Graduate School. Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations.   
PDF online: www.southalabama.edu/graduateprograms/ThesisDissertationGuide.pdf
Authoring a PhD: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation.
Bookstacks LB 2369 .D85 2003
Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations and Books. Circulation Desk on 7-Day
Reserve PN 145 .Z47 1997
Complete your Dissertation or Thesis in Two Semesters or Less. Bookstacks LB 2369 .O33 2007
Destination Dissertation: a Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation. Bookstacks LB 2369 .F59 2007
Dissertation Journey: a Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Writing and Defending Your Dissertation. 
Bookstacks LB 1742 .R63 2004
Getting What You Came For.  Bookstacks LB 2371.4 .P48 1997
Guide to the Successful Thesis and Dissertation. Bookstacks LB 2369 .M377 1998
Portable Dissertation Advisor/Advice for Non-Traditional Graduate Students. Bookstacks LB1742.B79 2004
Qualitative Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty.  Bookstacks LB 2369 .P64 1999
Secrets For a Successful Dissertation.  Bookstacks LB 2369 .F547 1998
Surviving Your Dissertation.  Bookstacks and Reference LB 2369 .R83 2001
Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing. Bookstacks LB 2369.T458 2008
Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach. Bookstacks LB 2369 .D357 1997
Writing the Qualitative Dissertation:  Understanding by Doing.  Bookstacks LB 2369 .M38 2002

Style Manuals for Writers

ACS Style Guide.  Ready Reference QD 8.5 .A25 2006
Chicago Manual of Style.  Circulation Desk on 7-Day Reserve and Ready Reference Z 253 .U69 2003
Form and Style: Research Papers, Reports, Theses.  Ready Reference LB 2359 .C3 2003
Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. 
Circulation Desk on 7-Day Reserve, Ready Reference, Bookstacks and MCOB LB 2369 .T8 1996
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 
Circulation Desk on 7-Day Reserve, Ready Reference, Bookstacks and MCOB LB 2369 .G53 2003
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). 
Circulation Desk on 7-Day Reserve, Ready Reference and MCOB BF 76.7 .P82 2001
Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual… Ready Reference QH 304 .C68 1994
UPI Stylebook.  Reference PN 4783 .M47 1992
Wadsworth Handbook.  MCOB PE 1408 .K6758 2008

Web Sites for Style Manuals

Library Homepage: Electronic Reference Books: Free Internet Reference Sources: Style Guides for Writers.


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