At a glance

Swain Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library

Dissertations and theses

Online format

Stanford to Accept Digital Dissertations
As of November 9, 2009, Stanford graduate students can submit their dissertations digitally. This program means less effort and expense for students and better access to the documents' content.

Full-text PDF files of Stanford dissertations from 1989 to October 2009 are available to Stanford users from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses @ Stanford University, a Digital Library of Dissertations and Theses, hosted by UMI. For online access to theses published after October 2009, please search the author's name in SearchWorks, the Stanford Libraries Catalog. Catalog records for online theses are added quarterly. Theses may be embargoed up to two years. Embargoed theses are available only to users with a SUNet ID.

Copyright and intellectual property rights issues: "Faculty need to be aware that the Office of Technology Licensing has determined that publication of a dissertation qualifies as a public disclosure per article 35 U.S.C. 102 of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (ie for purposes of patent filings).  This is true for both print and electronic dissertations, and is true even when the dissertation is embargoed so that access is limited to the Stanford community.  It is critical that faculty and doctoral candidates work together well in advance of the candidate’s dissertation filing to ensure that timing concerns regarding publication of data are resolved. Similarly, faculty and doctoral candidates need to coordinate to ensure publication of the dissertation does not conflict with other publication agreements related to material included in the dissertation."  Source: Copyright Reminder: Highlights for 2013

Print format

Theses and dissertations for the Chemistry and the Chemical Engineering Departments that were published from the mid-1950’s are located in the Swain Library. Earlier theses are located in the Stanford Auxiliary Library.

Theses are searchable by author, title, primary faculty advisor, department, and year in SearchWorks. Although theses are assigned the call number 3781, they are shelved alphabetically — first by primary faculty advisor and then by author — in the back reading room of the Swain Library. Theses in other libraries on campus are shelved by author.

For example, to locate theses from the Chemistry Department:

  • Go to SearchWorks
  • On the Simple Search form, enter “stanford chemistry department” and click on Search button
  • Refine search by clicking on Thesis under format
  • Sorting Results: default is by relevance. Other sorting options include: Year (new to old), Year (old to new), Author, Title.

To see theses for a primary faculty advisor:

  • Go to SearchWorks
  • Enter “last name, first name middle initial” of faculty member, e.g.
    • Waymouth, Robert M
  • Search by Author (use arrow to right of Search button)
  • Refine search by clicking on Thesis under format
  • Sorting Results: default is by relevance. Other sorting options include: Year (new to old), Year (old to new), Author, Title.

Search Tips: To find all theses for a primary faculty advisor, view detailed display for a thesis’s record retrieved in search above and then click on link for advisor’s name. Or, search by department name, limit to format Thesis, and then click on Author choice to view names (both thesis author’s name and faculty advisor’s name are listed in the Author refine option).

Note: Swain has added advisor information for virtually all theses from the Stanford Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Departments, regardless of where they are shelved. Faculty advisor name is available for other Stanford departments from 1999 to present. Advisor information was added to Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) (see below) beginning in 1989.

Dissertations and theses from other institutions

Dissertation Abstracts International indexes virtually all doctoral dissertations accepted by United States and Canadian institutions since 1861. Selected masters theses are represented after 1962 with abstracts available after 1988. Some dissertations granted by universities outside of North America may be included. The file is updated monthly, though lag time from when a dissertation is accepted until its inclusion in DAI may be up to a year.  DAI is available online to Stanford users through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Abstracts for earlier years are sometimes available in the print version Dissertation Abstracts International.