[SIGCIS-Members] Dissertations (fwd)

Allan Olley allan.olley at utoronto.ca
Thu Jul 1 14:09:22 PDT 2010

I may be telling people what they already know but to continue on James point, 
the largest repository of US and Canadian dissertations is a commercial 
database operated by ProQuest (accessible through a library subscription, but 
not open access). ProQuest also holds contracts for supplying much of the 
microfilm dissertation service in this region and so even if an electronic copy 
is not available you can often order a copy from them. When they print a copy 
from microfilm they also create an electronic copy in at least some cases. 
For example, I ordered a thesis from Columbia 1965 and after I ordered it 
an electronic copy was available).

There are many dissertations on history of computing and allied fields in 
Proquest, I'm not going to try and list any here, sorry.

A list of on-line sources of theses and dissertations is given by Networked 
Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations:

Several of these are open access including Theses Canada (unfortunately a very 
limited set of actual electronic theses available).

I just noticed, ProQuest is running a service for open access dissertations (a 
very small set compared to their subscription service) here: 

I could find two dissertations of probable interest, freely available for 
download on my own quick search of this service:

Communities of innovation: Cyborganic and the birth of networked social media 
by Cool, Jennifer Catharine, Ph.D. University of Southern California.  2008: 
420 pages; AAT 3341717.

White House computer adoption and information policy from 1969 -- 1979
by Laprise, John Paul, Ph.D. Northwestern University. 2009: 262 pages; AAT 

Yours Truly,
Allan Olley


On Wed, 30 Jun 2010, James Sumner wrote:

> A belated follow-up to Jim's message about access to Masters and PhD 
> dissertations:
> The British Library's Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) is shaping up 
> to be very effective both as a clearing-house for information about 
> dissertations available digitally, and as a direct-access repository. I'm 
> surprised it's not better publicised. See:
> <http://ethos.bl.uk>
> The database attempts to list every research thesis/dissertation completed at 
> a higher education institution in the UK. If a copy has been deposited with 
> the British Library (which is usually the case) and has no access 
> restrictions, it can be scanned and prepared for electronic download.
> The beauty of this provision is that, once any user has ordered a thesis to 
> be digitised, it becomes available to later users at *no charge*. (Users 
> requesting theses have to register, but there are no restrictions on 
> registration. Users outside the UK are welcome.)
> A quick search on obvious keywords showed the following as currently 
> available for direct free download:
> ---
> The growth of the Indian software industry : a social history
> Author:  Warrier, Meera.
> Awarding Institution:  University of East Anglia
> Awarded:  2003
> The roots and early history of the British home computer market : origins of 
> the masculine micro.
> Author:  Haddon, Leslie G.
> Awarding Institution:  Imperial College London (University of London)
> Awarded:  1988
> Technology, consumption and the future : the experience of home computing.
> Author:  Skinner, David Ian.
> Awarding Institution:  Brunel University
> Awarded:  1992
> A history of the theory of recursive functions and computability with special 
> reference to the developments initiated by Godels incompleteness theorems.
> Author:  Adams, R.G.
> Awarding Institution:  Hatfield Polytechnic
> Awarded:  1983
> Learning languages with computers : a history of computer assisted language 
> learning from 1960 to 1990 in relation to education, linguistics and applied 
> linguistics.
> Author:  Fox, Jeremy.
> Awarding Institution:  University of East Anglia
> Awarded:  1991
> The impact of e-Government in the UK
> Author:  Organ, Joseph John
> Awarding Institution:  University of Leeds
> Awarded:  2006
> ---
> Theses which have not been digitised usually attract a one-off fee of £40 for 
> digitisation. Depending on the awarding institution's access policy, however, 
> digitisation is sometimes free (though there may be a wait of up to 30 days 
> before access is available).
> The system will also try to link to full-text versions held in local 
> repositories such as <etheses.whiterose.ac.uk> where it can.
> Hope you find this useful!
> Best
> James
> On 12/06/2010 17:01, James Cortada wrote:
>> Thanks to those of you who were able to respond to this request for
>> information. Some of my favorite sigcis e-mail is of this sort as I then
>> go and look at many of the citations mentioned.
>> I particularly like it when colleagues mention their Masters and Ph.D.
>> dissertations and provide a link to where we can obtain a copy. This is
>> of extraordinary importance because it is incredibly easy not to be
>> aware of important research. Therefore, I would like to suggest that if
>> you have not shared with everyone your dissertations, that you do so
>> electronically, if you can. I for one have kept a copy of each
>> dissertation that has been made available through this sigcis so that
>> there is at least one copy that gets preserved outside of the normal
>> places, and for European and Asian dissertations, a copy in the USA. I
>> hope others do the same, particularly at such institutions as CBI and
>> universities.
>> Regards,
>> Dr. Jim (James) W. Cortada
>> IBM Institute for Business Value
>> 2917 Irvington Way
>> Madison, WI 53713 USA
>> jwcorta at us.ibm.com
>> 608-270-4462
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