ProQuest is performing a phased migration of the Digital Dissertations database to the ProQuest interface.  This move should be completed with ProQuest’s summer 2006 release.  As part of this process, the ProQuest database menu now offers a link to the “ProQuest Dissertations and Theses – A&I ” database.  ProQuest has requested that institutions licensing the full text continue to use the Digital Dissertations platform URL in the Catalog and web links until the migration is completed. However, since users can now link to the full dissertation from the PQ interface, it seemed reasonable to let it appear as an option.

The native Digital Dissertations interface currently has a number of advantages:

  1. Links to UC licensed full text are labeled as “Free Download” and the PDF size is indicated on the citation.
  2. The ability to view the first 24 pages of the dissertation online in addition to the abstract.
  3. Support for OpenURL inbound linking; i.e., linking from another database into the full text dissertation.

The ProQuest interface still has significant limitations as it is functioning right now:

  1. All full text links are labeled “Order a copy”.  There is no obvious way to tell if an item is licensed by UC until you click on the “Order a copy” link.  At that time, the system opens a new window and users are taken to the Digital Dissertations interface.  If the item is licensed by UC the user sees “Free Download”; if the item is not licensed by UC they are given a pull down menu with pricing options based on format.
  2. Only the abstract text is available.
  3. No OpenURL support for this database.

These issues should be resolved when Digital Dissertations is fully migrated to the ProQuest interface over the summer, since the updated interface should include:

  1. The ability to distinguish UC licensed content.
  2. Integration of full text downloading into the interface.
  3. Full text search capability for new titles.
  4. OpenURL inbound linking support.

The recommended path for access to Digital Dissertations remains:
http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations/search