Chemical Forums

Specialty Chemistry Forums => Chemical Education and Careers => Topic started by: woodbury on May 14, 2006, 07:36:40 AM

Title: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: woodbury on May 14, 2006, 07:36:40 AM
I am interested in knowing how many theses or dissertations in chemistry have been produced in countries around the world. If you have this information and would share it, I would be most grateful. Perhaps when you reply you could also tell me what the difference is in your country between "thesis" and "dissertation" - this varies from country to country. And if you have this information, how many theses or dissertations on organic synthesis originate in your country. Many thanks to all who answer!
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: eugenedakin on May 14, 2006, 10:43:47 AM
I wrote my Master's Thesis, and my Ph.D. dissertation.  To the schools which I attended, a thesis is a document which writes about a specialized area.  The theory behind writing a thesis, is that you become the specialist of an area.  Essentially, with a thesis, you are learning about an in-depth topic.

When I wrote my dissertation, this is a document in which you need to be a creator, and must create something new that the world has not seen/developed.  Here, I had to become a specialist (as in the information required for a thesis), and then applied that information to create/develop/prove something new.  This required much more support and testing data than a thesis.

Feel free to ask any other questions,



Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: woodbury on May 14, 2006, 02:33:30 PM
Thanks Eugene,
I guess you are an American (?). How many theses/dissertations in chemistry originate from the US? This would be really good to know.
Many thanks again!
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: Borek on May 14, 2006, 03:32:41 PM
I have forwarded your question to CHMINF-L discussion list, and gentle folk there replied to me directly with the following information:

ProQuest of Ann Arbor Michigan [formerly Dissertation Abstracts]
would have the best data for your questioner, but I don't think there
is an international database on this.

In many instances a Masters Degree requires a thesis and the Ph. D.
requires a more comprehensive dissertation.

Unfortunately I have asked my question in such a way that I don't know if I can reveal their identities or not.
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: eugenedakin on May 15, 2006, 12:00:50 AM
Canadian .. eh
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: Borek on May 16, 2006, 12:18:23 PM
And one more post from the source mentioned earlier, by Seymour B. Elk:

In regard to the question that you raised concerning the semantics of “thesis” vs. “dissertation”, below is some anecdotal information that was published as the preface to my thesis/dissertation.  As far as I know I am one of very few, if not the only, American who ever wrote a “thesis” as their “dissertation” — at least as far as the terms were used at the University of Zurich, where, for political reasons, I did not finish my degree and at an unaffiliated outgrowth of the University of Southampton (Eurotechnical Research University) where I did.  [Note that I did this all outside of the “traditional” system that prevails in the United States.]  My dissertation was a “summary thesis, which included several new items” PLUS seventeen previously published original research articles in peer-reviewed journals.  This was in accordance with the original premise for the doctorate — that it be a further degree award to a recognized practitioner (i.e., a Master) in the field, who continued to advance the state of knowledge in their field after they had finished their formal education “apprenticeship”.  This is in contradistinction to the present tradition, especially in American universities, that one starts in kindergarten and continues, mostly uninterrupted as far as one can go, up through the doctorate degree.
0.         PREFACE       
            The following report is the thesis of Seymour B. Elk for Eurotechnical Research University.  It is submitted, along with the referenced reports that have already been published or are publication-pending, as his doctoral dissertation in Mathematical Chemistry.  In the above the semantical distinction between the words “thesis” and “dissertation” are in accordance with definitions given in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981); namely:
thesis:   (page 1202)     1a.       “a position or proposition that a person (as a candidate for scholarly honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument”
dissertation:  (page 328)            “an extended usu. written treatment of a subject; specif: one submitted for a doctorate”
            The thesis alone was originally begun at the suggestion of Dr. Dennis Rouvray, editor of the Journal of Mathematical Chemistry, as a survey article of the field of geometrical chemistry, and is being submitted simultaneously for publication in that journal.
            The dissertation is comprised of this thesis and the seventeen research papers, which are appended thereto.
            The purpose for this thesis and dissertation is to bring together into a single document the advances suggested by the author, especially during the present decade, that he helped to fuel which put into perspective how words are defined in chemistry, and to examine what effect our conscious and unconscious choices of definition make in understanding chemical principles, especially our choices for taxonomy and nomenclature.  The output which this on-going study has produced is a clearer understanding of what underlies our perception of chemical structure from a geometrical bias, and the application of this increased understanding to:
(a)        appreciating, and consequently compensating for, the biases that have crept into the present system of subdividing and naming chemical compounds
(b)        more clearly differentiating between chemical classes
(c)        discovering new classes of chemical moieties.
            A much more recent treatise that greatly expands this original report is my monograph published by Elsevier in 2004: A New Unifying Biparametric Nomenclature that Spans all of Chemistry”.
            If there is additional information that I can supply, feel free to call on me.
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: Dude on May 16, 2006, 12:52:38 PM
Borek mentioned the company (UMI or Proquest) that buys all US university disserations.  I'm not familiar with the semantical difference between thesis and dissertation (I assumed synonyms).

On another note, I viewed the whole dissertation process as a total waste of time.  The university that you graduate from should mandate a minimum number of peer-reviewed academic papers that are published (and of a certain minimum level of significance) from a student.  When you search through literature, you will find that even Scifinder does a poor job of accurately documenting previous work if it is contained in a disseration as opposed to a journal article.  In other words, a lot of work has been needlessly (or unscrupulously) repeated because disserations are so poorly documented.
Title: Re: Chemistry Theses/Dissertations
Post by: woodbury on May 16, 2006, 01:03:18 PM
My thanks to Borek and Dude!
Looks like some really interesting information is coming out of this. What I really liked was the remark (from Dude) that much work is needlessly repeated and was already reported in a Thesis or Dissertation but never was accessible to the world. Perhaps this is also something people would like to react to?

Anyway, I hope we get more replies about the situatuon around the (chemical) world!