Q&A: Searching and finding copies of Stanford PhD dissertations

How can I search for and get copies of Stanford PhD dissertations?


The first tool to use is the Stanford Libraries' catalog, SearchWorks. You can do a general subject search in SearchWorks, clicking on Thesis as a Format, on the left side of the screen, and then enter: Stanford [general subject word such as psychology] in the search box.

As of November 2009, Stanford’s new Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) program allows dissertations to be submitted directly in electronic format. Digital copies of most dissertations will be available through a direct link in SearchWorks and from Google. As with other Stanford dissertations, there is also one non-circulating paper copy in Special Collections & University Archives.

Most Stanford dissertations written between 1989-2009 are available as PDF's from Proquest. These can be accessed directly from Dissertations & Theses@Stanford, or from a link in the Searchworks record for individual dissertations.

Print copies of dissertations are available to read in Special Collections & University Archives, library use only, after placing requests for them. There is usually also a copy for check out of each dissertation prior to November 2009, listed in the catalog, and housed in the Stanford Auxiliary Library.

Non-Stanford patrons who wish to purchase copies of Stanford dissertations done before 2010 may do so via Dissertation Express from ProQuest. If a patron is doing a general subject search for dissertations, an excellent tool is OCLC WorldCat, which will list most dissertations for most colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and a great many from around the world. The general public can have access to the same information via the open version of WorldCat from OCLC.

If you would like to learn more about Stanford's new Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) program, you may read about it here.