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I'm looking for a copy of "J Schmid, On the degree complexity of Hilbert's 17th problem and the real nullstellensatz. Habilitationsschrift, Universitat Dortmund, 1998."

Articles referring to this work mention the effective bounds on the complexity, but don't have the explicit expression.

PS a question in general: how do I look for Habilitationsschrift and people's thesis in general? especially if they are unpublished?

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    $\begingroup$ Consider asking your school's librarians for assistance - after all, it's what they're being paid for. I've certainly gotten quite a bit of help from mine for various requests. $\endgroup$
    – j.c.
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they can usually request them via interlibrary loan. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 16:08

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Here is a copy:

http://math.usask.ca/fvk/schmid.ps

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I think the common place to look for copies of dissertations are the resources "ProQuest Dissertations and Theses" and "WorldCat Dissertations and Theses" if your library subscribes to them.

In addition, often a university will keep a digital archive of its own dissertations, so sometimes you can get a copy directly from the university it was done at (links to some of these can be found through http://roar.eprints.org/).

Also, some countries have national libraries that keep copies of dissertations (for example, the British Library has created something like this: http://ethos.bl.uk; for Australia and New Zealand: http://adt.caul.edu.au/).

Finally, if the dissertation is recent, just try to find the author on the Internet and see if they can email you a copy.

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(Started out as a comment on Beren's answer, but this is rapidly getting out of hand...)

Some American universities have deals with professional printers-of-theses, which means that anyone wanting to get a copy would have to buy one through their services; the university cannot distribute them, although inter-library loan ought to be still possible. Very annoying...

On the other hand, European universities would be a lot more likely to take pains to make their work available. I know for a fact that French ones do, there is even a central on-line repository, but honestly you have to know where it is and even then it can be quite daunting to navigate.

Indeed, even though I had a fair idea where to look, it took me several attempts and dead-ends to find this link for France:

Given how tricky this can get, I'm leaving this CW so that anyone who feels like it can add in links for other countries.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it can be hard to track down these dissertation archives, especially for those who don't speak the language. It would be nice to collate a list of such resources so that people don't have to go hunting. Maybe someone should open a new MO question for this specific purpose where we can write down all the links for each country. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ yes, i second Beren on opening another MO question $\endgroup$
    – user2529
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I guess I'll have to take the plunge... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 13:12

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