You may not need to request the dissertation or thesis through interlibrary loan!

On this page, we'll explain

How to see if a dissertation or thesis is freely available online

  1. If you've found a thesis or dissertation that you'd like to get, you likely found it in a library database. It's also likely the database says to request it via interlibrary loan, like in this example from the ERIC database.

    Before you do anything else, click on the dissertation title to see the full record. In many cases, there is a link that will take you directly to the full text of the dissertation.

    For example, when we look at the record for the dissertation pictured above, we see a link to the full text of the dissertation.

    On the next page, make sure it says "Full Text" in the upper left-hand corner. If it does, click on "Download PDF."

    If it says "Preview Available," move on to step #2.

  2. If it says "Preview Available," look for the name of the university or college beneath the dissertation title. In the example pictured above, it's North Carolina State University.

    Search Google for the name of the university and the word "dissertations." If the college or university has a site for dissertations, it should come up in the first few results.

  3. Once you're into their site, search for the dissertation title (or part of the title). Depending on how old the dissertation is, it may be available on their site. In this example, we successfully found the dissertation on the NC State University Theses & Dissertations site.

If this technique didn't work for you, you can go ahead and request the item through interlibrary loan. Instructions for that are below.

How to request a dissertation or thesis through interlibrary loan

To request a thesis or dissertation, you'll need to login to a system called ILLiad. If you're not already logged in, you'll be prompted to login with your Oswego username & password.

If you've never used ILLiad before, you'll need to provide your contact information by completing the form that appears.

  1. Click "Thesis/Dissertation" under the New Request heading.

  2. Enter the information you have about the thesis or dissertation, and scroll down to Submit Request.