What is Digital Dissertations?
Digital Dissertations by ProQuest/UMI is a tool to help you find references to dissertations written in all subject areas. Locate the Digital Dissertations online database on the Libraries' home page (http://www.lib.umn.edu) by clicking Article Indexes, then General Indexes (or D in Alphabetical Listings), then Digital Dissertations. This is the online equivalent to an index the library no longer receives, Dissertation Abstracts International (Wilson Reference Z5053 .D57, ended 1999).
What's in Digital Dissertations?
The Digital Dissertations index has citations to dissertations and theses from over 1,000 universities. Doctoral dissertations are included from almost all North American graduate schools and many European universities. Masters theses represented are selective.
Coverage: 1861 - present (it usually takes about one term from submission to inclusion in the database).
Abstracts (short synopses) are available for
*doctoral theses beginning in 1980
Some dissertations, beginning with 1997 publication dates, are available digitally. If the dissertation is by a University of Minnesota author or an author from a CIC University, current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff can download it at no charge (see below). If you want an immediate copy of a non-University of Minnesota or non-CIC dissertation, you may have to purchase it. Otherwise, you can borrow it via interlibrary loan (ILL).
*masters theses beginning in 1988
Searching Digital Dissertations, Some Hints
The default search is a keyword search of both title and abstract in both masters and doctoral theses.
- In the Advanced Search - Build Query box:,
To search just masters theses, search disdb(mai) and your search term
To search just doctoral theses, search disdb(dai) and your search term
End a word with ? to search all possible endings
Use parentheses for exact phrases and complex searches
(cross country skiing)
In the Advanced Search Build Query box:
- title (anatomy) and not school (university of minnesota) This search will result in papers with the term anatomy in the title which were written at places other than the University of Minnesota.
- keyword ((cross country or nordic) and skiing)
- intelligent w/10 buildings will find 'intelligent buildings' and 'buildings that are intelligent'
- military pre/1 weapons will only find 'military weapons'
This database is searchable by fields. To search this way, type in the field tag (either fully spelled out or abbreviated as shown in Digital Dissertation's online help) followed by the search term in parentheses.
- Some Useful Fields
||da(1990:1995), da(>1970); da(<1985)||This is the date of the degree.
|degree||dg ||dg(PHD) ||Schools may have different names and acronyms for their degrees.|
|language ||la ||la(french) ||For dissertations in foreign languages prior to 1988, see online help.
||sc ||sc(University of Minnesota) or by school code |
|[see online help for list] 0130=UMN|
|subject|| su|| su(Speech Communication)
or by subject code su (0459) ||[see online help for lists]|
|title ||ti ||ti(norwegian and art)||--|
|year ||year|| year(1998)
Combining sets in searches (In the Advanced Search - Build Query box)
- CIC School Codes
||School Code||Total Dissertations
as of 1/27/04
|Total Available Online 1997-2003
|University of Minnesota
|University of Michigan
see also School of Public Health sc(0766)
|Michigan State University
|University of Iowa
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||sc(0262) ||37,143 ||4,412|
|University of Illinois ||sc(0090) ||33,067 ||4,160|
see also U of I at Chicago sc(0799)
see also U of I Health Sciences Center sc(0806)
||sc(0093) ||19,188 ||2,357|
|Ohio State University|| sc(0168)||28,960 ||3,827|
|Northwestern University ||sc(0163) ||15,768|| 2,085|
|Purdue University ||sc(0183)||20,097
|Pennsylvania State University ||sc(0176)||19,521
|University of Chicago ||sc(0330)||35,198
Results for each search are displayed as sets, which can be combined for further searching (see Refine Search at the bottom of a search results page and click on search history).
- Search terms can be put into the Build Query box by clicking on the ADD button to the left of the set number column
- Use the number sign (#) before each set if you type the set number in, e.g., #3 and #4
You can combine a set and a new term, e.g., #3 and title(education)
The search history tab automatically combines searches with ï¿½and. ï¿½ To use ï¿½orï¿½ or ï¿½and not,ï¿½ instead, type one of these in or use the pull-down menu near the top of the Search History tab (located above the set # column).
To Print, E-mail, or Download, Make A Marked List
- Some sample searches
|#1||educational administration||= 1382|
|#2||school(university of minnesota)||= 27656|
|#3||#1 and #2||= 21|
The subject code 0514 is for education administration
|#5||#4 and #2||= 849|
|#6||#5 and da(>1990)||= 335|
|#7||#6 and secondary||= 42|
To mark a thesis, put a check mark in the box next to folder icon on the left side
To see your marked list, click on MARKED LIST near the very top of the page.
From the marked list page, click on print, e-mail or download for output. Citation is the default output format. Use the pull-down menu on the print, e-mail or download page to get to citation + abstract.
Print (e.g., via UniPrinter in the library)
E-mail-will send your list of marked titles, including abstract if you have specified
Download-only on home computers; most theses are larger than one floppy
Some theses are available in Preview. You can view the first twenty-four pages, which include the title page and table of contents.
What you need to have on your home computer to download a thesis PDF file
For current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff, free downloading is available for University of Minnesota and CIC institution theses only, from 1997 onward. (Not all theses from this time may be available for downloading.)
Windows 95/98/NT/etc. or Mac (no indication it supports Windows 3.1)
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Web Browser (Netscape or MS Internet Explorer)
Enough space on your hard drive to accommodate the file. Each thesis could be up to 15 megabytes or more!
Downloading a thesis
Request via e-mail
You immediately are assigned a PIN (personal identification number) on the web page appearing next. The PIN is valid for 72 hours
You immediately get a web address (PDF download area) where you can point your browser when the thesis is ready for downloading
E-mail is sent to you when the thesis is ready for downloading
These files are too large to download onto floppies. The machine you are using must have enough hard drive space to accommodate the thesis you're downloading
The download web site has instructions for both Windows 95/98/NT/etc. and Macintosh users
For additional information on purchasing and borrowing theses via ILL:
See "Connect to Digital Dissertations" at http://www.lib.umn.edu/index/proquest.html
For information on library locations of University of Minnesota dissertations, see the library guide:
'How to Find University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertations and Masters Theses',
Page Coordinator: Mary E. Schoenborn firstname.lastname@example.org
This URL: http://www.lib.umn.edu/libdata/page_print.phtml?page_id=1051