1-14 Ordering Theses and Dissertations

Ordering guidelines for acquiring Theses and Dissertations.

The library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database, which has full text of most works from most schools in the U.S. at the doctoral level, and some at the masters level. It includes full texts of most University of Maine doctoral dissertations; it does not contain listings for any UMaine or USM masters theses.

Sometimes orders for dissertations and theses come from other sources: records found in MaineCat or WorldCat/OCLC, from citations found in other publications, or from web page mentions.

General guidelines on library collection and acquisitions policy for theses and dissertations:

  • If it’s a University of Maine work, we should already have older theses in print format in Special Collections, and most more recent theses in electronic format in Digital Commons – do not purchase.
  • If it’s accessible in PQDTG, do not purchase
  • If it is listed in PQDTG, but is not accessible, and is for sale by ProQuest, OK to purchase if we get an order (PDF for restricted access only is preferred – download to digital2catalog folder on our shared drive and notify Cataloging; or paperback)
  • If listed in PQDTG, but not accessible, and NOT for sale by ProQuest:
    • Search OCLC WorldCat, and web. The work may be freely readable and/or downloadable online on the institution’s own web site. This is often true of major universities, e.g. MIT. If found open access online, follow 1-13 procedure to add to URSUS.
    • If not found open access online, but you find a web site that clearly indicates you can purchase the desired work, purchase. This will be an option only at some institutions, usually large or well-known universities, and usually for doctoral works.
  • If not listed in PQDTG it may be an honors, masters, or foreign thesis. (You may be able to tell this if the order was generated from an OCLC search, since the bibliographic record usually states the type of work.) Generally the only OCLC library holding a copy of these non-PQDTG-listed works is the institution where it was written, and the work is considered manuscript material and is not available for purchase. Acquisitions staff do not pursue various libraries or institutions or individuals to try to purchase copies of these manuscript materials, based on past lack of success. Do not initiate email contacts to try to purchase. Acquisitions staff or head of collections can respond to requester. Patrons could try to request a copy via Interlibrary Loan.