New graduate students have a high level of interest in finding and getting copies of dissertations – maybe so they can see what others are doing!
Searching for Dissertations
Electronic Theses and Dissertations (University of Georgia) – in GALILEO
Search for dissertations and theses completed at UGA since 1999; some are available in full text. Older UGA dissertations are generally available in GIL, the library catalog.
Dissertation Abstracts (ProQuest Dissertations and Theses) – in GALILEO
Search US dissertations back to the 19th century. Abstracts are available from about 1980 on.
Get a Copy of a Dissertation
Request a copy through Interlibrary Loan. They will try to borrow a lending copy from the school where the dissertation was written. ILL can also help you purchase a copy of a dissertation if you prefer or if it cannot be borrowed.
Some schools make .pdf files of recent dissertations available for free online – it’s worth a quick search. Try a look at the school’s library home page for a dissertations link. Example: NC State.
Wait, what’s a citation?
A citation is the information about a scholarly resource: author’s name, title, source (journal or book or whatever), page numbers, year. It’s the information you include in the bibliography when you write a paper, and it’s the information a GALILEO database will give you when you do a search.
To be able to find the resource when you have a citation, the most important part is the source. Usually it’s a journal title, but sometimes we hear from students who get confused because they are searching for a journal when the ‘article’ they want is actually a book chapter, or even an entire book. Look closely at the description of the source in the citation.
Getting to the article:
If you are already in a GALILEO Database:
- There may be a direct link to a pdf or an html page of the article.
- Look for the Find It @ UGA button next to the citation. Click it and see if a link appears offering full-text of the article.
If you aren’t in GALILEO, or the previous steps don’t work:
Still not finding it?
What is the Bindery?
Sometimes you will see “bindery” listed as a location in the online GIL catalog. This most often occurs with print journals, and most often appears in the spring. Why? A print journal may arrive at the library quarterly, monthly, or even more often than that. The individual issues are shelved in the current periodicals section (on the first floor of the Main Library for journals in the humanities and social sciences; on each floor in the Science Library for science journals). Early in 2009, library staff check to see if all the 2008 issues of a given journal have arrived. If they are all present, the issues are collected and sent out to the bindery, an off-campus bookbinding contractor, to be bound together into one volume that will hold the entire year under one cover. The newly bound journal volume will be shelved with previous years in the library stacks.
How do I get things that are at the Bindery?
If the journal article you want is in an volume that’s currently at the bindery, you have several options.
- Look to see if we have the article available online in full-text (search for the journal title in the e-journals finder.)
- Wait until the volume returns from the bindery and is available on the shelf. In the catalog the date the item was sent to the bindery will be included; materials usually come back in about 4 weeks.
- Request the article by InterLibrary Loan using ILLiad.
Need help getting something? Ask a librarian.
You are off-campus, searching in the GIL catalog, and find an e-book you want to look at. But when you click through you can’t get in!
Getting to NetLibrary e-books from off campus takes a few steps.
- First, go to NetLibrary through GALILEO.
- You’ll get asked for the GALILEO password (what’s that?) – log in here to get it.
- At the NetLibrary home page look for the “Create a Free Account” link at the top right corner of the page. Click on the link and fill in the information (make up your own username and password, and remember them – we don’t keep track of this information). After you’ve created your account, you’ll be able to browse or search all of the titles in the Netlibrary collection – remember that interesting book you saw in GIL?
Get stuck? Ask a Librarian.
An old friend who is a faculty member at another school mused to me (on Facebook!): “Actually, it has occurred to me that there really ought to be a good central place to go for scanned scholarly books that are out from under copyright…the Zygouries and Palace of Minos volumes of the world, as it were…” (My friend is an archaeologist who studies Greece.)
But there is! Google Book Search is a great place to look for scholarly books that were published in the US before 1923 (and are thus no longer covered by copyright law). The full-text is available for books in this category, and they are keyword-searchable: see, for example, Arthur Evans’ Antiquarian Researches in Illyricum (1883). Books published after 1923 are generally still under copyright, but Google Books will often have “snippets” or “previews” available (selected pages) so you can get a sneak peek at the content before looking to see if our library has the book.
The UGA Libraries also subscribe to an e-book provider, NetLibrary, that has the full-text of recent scholarly books online – about 14,000 of them. You can search our Netlibrary collection or just look in GIL – our NetLibrary books are there.
There are several other online sites that make the full text of books that are out of copyright available for free. Probably the oldest and most extensive is Project Gutenburg but there are many others – have a look and see!
In a recent chat, I was asked to look over two articles that a student had found and let the student know if they were “peer-reviewed”; the student said “review articles” were specifically not allowed for the assignment.
“Peer review” is a longstanding tradition in scholarly publishing. Scholars do a research project, write an article, and submit it to a scholarly journal. The editor of the journal then sends a copy of the article to several other researchers (the author’s “peers”) in the same field, asking for their opinion about the article, because much of scholarship is so specialized that the editor doesn’t have the expertise necessary to assess the article’s quality. The reviewers are asked to comment on the article – is it well-written? on an important question? was the research done well? are the conclusions made supported by the evidence presented? If the reviewers agree that the article is good, it is usually published.
Most research articles in scholarly journals have been through this process of peer review. But some things in scholarly journals have not – book reviews, essays or thought pieces, letters to the editor of the journal, and other scholarly writings that do not directly report original research. “Review articles” may appear in scholarly journals, but they summarize the results of multiple existing studies (i.e. all studies from the 1990s about the use of a medication for childhood asthma) as opposed to reporting on the results of a new study conducted by the authors.
Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles
Some article databases in GALILEO let you limit your search to only peer-reviewed articles – look for a checkbox as you begin your search. Any database branded EBSCO allows you to do this.
If the database doesn’t help, you’ll need to use critical thinking skills. Questions to ask yourself:
- Is the journal a scholarly one?
- Is the article reporting the results of a research study done by the authors?
- Is the article fairly long, with many footnotes or bibliographic references?
- Do the authors have an academic affiliation next to their names?
- Does the first page of the article have a little note that says something like “submitted June 1; revised July 15”? (This almost always means the article was revised and resubmitted after a peer review.)
If you aren’t sure, ask a librarian!
What is it?
The GALILEO password lets you access article databases from off campus. Our article databases (Jstor, Academic Search Complete, and hundreds of others) available through the UGA libraries are in GALILEO at http://www.libs.uga.edu/research/. We pay subscriptions to these databases, so access is limited to current UGA affiliates (students, faculty, and staff). If you are off campus, you will be asked for the GALILEO password when you try to get to a database through GALILEO. If you try to go to the database directly, bypassing GALILEO, you may be asked for a username and password – this is your signal to go back and go through GALILEO!
How do I get it?
To get the password, log in to your library account.
If you can’t get in to your library account, you may have fines due or there may be a mistake in your enrollment status. Give the Circulation Desk a call at (706) 542-3256 and they can straighten things out for you.