Theses & Dissertations
Before you start you should become familiar with the following UU web
•Information for prospective research students
•Information for current research students
•Sources of funding 20010/11
•In the Regulations PDF you will get guidance on:
•The preparation of dissertations
•The presentation of dissertations
Note: Regulations is a large document and takes some time to download.
Once you have looked at the formal documentation you may also find it
useful to consult Dissertation Doctor or Writing your thesis or dissertation
These 2 websites give useful guidance on defining your subject, becoming
focused, setting yourself goals, reviewing the literature, breaking the
research proposal down into manageable parts and other helpful advice.
Also check the Library catalogue for books on writing theses and
•A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations or
•Writing a thesis : a guide to long essays and dissertations
The database usually associated with dissertations is UMI
International Dissertation Abstracts International
DAI is a comprehensive index to north American dissertations. There
is also a separate section covering non-north American material.
UU LIBRARY DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS DATABASE.
But there are other ways to search north American theses. One of
these is Dissertation Express.
“Students, faculty, staff and researchers can now order their own
Internet unbound copies of dissertations and theses with express delivery to
their home, school or office. Select from over 1.9 million graduate
works available from UMI.”
You pay for this service. You can search by author title or subject and
there is a range of fees depending on the format you prefer. Theses
for example, can be delivered directly to your desktop as PDFs.
This is a useful service because the current situation is that UU
Library applies for north American theses only in exceptional
Increasingly American university theses & dissertations are being
produced in electronic format (ETDs) and in many cases are freely
available online from these universities, obviating the need to use
either DAI or Dissertation Express.
Your own completed thesis has to be submitted in electronic format,
though as yet UU does not make theses publically available as ETDs.
Internet ETDs are being produced worldwide in preference to print. The
following slides will give some guidance on where they are and how to
•Some systems may charge for access
• others may be free but limited to certain groups
• and others are completely free and open to all researchers.
But first check the Library Catalogue to see what print theses are
available in UU.
Search in the usual way but select the Theses sub-catalogue
from the drop-down menu beside the search boxes.
You will get a list of all the theses (masters and doctoral) held in
the University of Ulster.
You can then go further afield and search for U.K and Irish theses
• UU subscription databases (free to you)
• Databases freely available on the Internet.
British Library Document Supply section has a British Library Thesis
service called Ethos.
Ethos is a repository for many UK Higher Education theses.
You must register to use the service. Once registered you are able to
search over 250,000 theses for free. Over 17,500 theses are in electronic
Internet format and available for immediate download.
BL will send an ETD directly to your Desktop free of charge.
A charge will apply if you want BL to digitise a print copy or if you want
them to send you the thesis on CD. To avoid this charge you can apply for
the thesis via the Library’s Document Delivery Service. (Inter-Library
For details of theses held by BL click here
RIAN – Ireland’s National Portal for Open Access Research
Rian is a searchable catalogue of full-text research material from DCU,
NUIG, NUIM, TCD, UCC, UCD, UL.
“Its aim is to harvest to one portal the contents of the Institutional
Repositories of the seven university libraries, in order to make Irish
research material more freely accessible, and to increase the research
profiles of individual researchers and their institutions”.
It includes all research material which may be conference addresses,
journal articles, reports, multimedia, or theses / dissertations
COPAC cross searches British Library plus the major university and
National libraries of the UK and Ireland.
•At the search page select main search
•Key in your search terms and at material type select theses and then
run your search.
•You can get to COPAC from UU Library Home page under electronic
resources and then other library catalogues
Index to theses
This is a commercial but very important database for tracking
This (and other subscription databases mentioned in following
slides) is free to UU students.
The Index contains UK and Irish theses published since 1716.
There is also a sub-catalogue of Irish theses.
There are abstracts for many of the theses and there is direction
on how to access them. Some are freely available electronically.
Otherwise apply via the Library’s Document Delivery service
which is free to you.
UK & Ireland
This is an American database with millions of records.
You can search both British and international theses here.
Subscription •Within FirstSearch select WorldCat
•Key in you search details
•Scroll down to subtype limits and under Any contents select
Thesis/dissertation and run your search.
Your search will produce a list of theses or dissertations. Some of
these will be ETDs and there will often be a link through to the full text
of the ETD.
Other subscription databases which enable you to restrict your
search to theses or dissertations are:
database ARTbibliographies Modern
Engineering Village 2
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
MLA International Bibliography
Proquest Medical Library
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
All students - especially research students – should be familiar with
these and other subscription databases. This is where a lot of current
research can be found; not just information on theses.
E-theses Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
“This is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the
adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic
analogues to the traditional paper-based theses and dissertations.”
There are 3 sections: Find ETDs, Submit ETDs and Manage ETDs
Choose Find ETDs
You can then choose the production service you wish to search with.
E-theses DART-Europe E-theses Portal
This is the European Working Group of the Networked Digital Library
of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).
“The DART-Europe partners help to provide researchers with a single
European Portal for the discovery of Electronic Theses and
Dissertations (ETDs), and they participate in advocacy to influence
future European e-theses developments.”
It is freely available to all researchers and provides access to 9
thousand records from 11 European countries.
DiVA (Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet) Scandinavian theses
This database gives access to research publications and theses.
Internet Some full text ETDs are available through this Portal
E-theses Links to more than 25,000 quality research papers.
This is a commercial database.
The expectation is that you purchase what interests you.
You can get summaries of the papers but bibliographic details are not
Internet given which makes it difficult to purchase a paper through Document
OAister is a union Catalogue of digital resources. It is maintained by
the University of Michigan and is a free resource.
ETDs are among its resources.
For example a search for Othello (restricted to text), produces 70 hits.
Some of these hits are theses or dissertations.
The Association of African Universities provides a Database of African
Theses and Dissertations (DATAD).
It was launched in 2003.
Access to brief citations is free, once you register.
Australasian Digital Theses Program (ADT)
“The aim is to establish a distributed database of digital versions of
theses produced by the postgraduate research students at Australian
universities. The theses will be available worldwide via the web. The
ideal behind the program is to provide access to, and promote
Australian research to the international community.”
The service is free.
Theses / Thèses Canada
“This is [the] central access point for Canadian theses and
Canada information about the Theses Canada program.”
E-theses From here you will be able to:
•“Search AMICUS, Canada's national online catalogue, for
bibliographic records of all theses in Library and Archives Canada's
theses collection, which was established in 1965.
•Access and search the full text electronic versions of numerous
Internet Canadian theses and dissertations.
•Find out everything you need to know about Theses Canada,
including how to find a thesis, how our program works, information on
copyright and much more.”
The aim is:
“to provide free access to as many Canadian electronic theses
and dissertations as possible…[and also] to provide access to non
digital theses in the collection.”
Asia There is no one umbrella organisation for theses produced in Asia.
However the following union collection of Hong Kong libraries offers
Dissertations and theses Collection (DTC) An online union collection
of Hong Kong postgraduate students’ doctoral and master
dissertations and theses indexed in the online catalogues of seven
Internet university libraries in Hong Kong. Thousands of them are in full text
and in English. Although cross disciplinary many focus on Hong
See also the University of Oregon
University of Oregon East Asian theses and dissertations
The Institute of Commonwealth studies listed in slide 22 might be
useful for Asian countries in the Commonwealth.
Center for Research Libraries
“The collection includes doctoral dissertations submitted to
institutions outside the U.S. and Canada. The range of years
includes mid-19th century through the present, with the greatest
concentration in the late 19th, early 20th centuries.”
NOTE: These can also be searched in Worldcat (FirstSearch).
Subjects There are subject based databases on the Web which give you information about
theses and dissertations and which sometimes give you access to the full text in
the form of ETDs.
A useful feature is that some sites may tell you if a thesis is in progress. Index to
Theses is invaluable, but nevertheless, lists only completed research.
Some will also give you links to the researcher’s email address.
There are, for example:
Internet ADIT Art & Design Index of Theses
A Bibliography of North American Theses on Traditional Drama and Related
Topics; compiled by Paul Smith, Univ. of Newfoundland
British Logic Colloquium recent theses in logic
British Society for the History of Science list of theses
Caltech Library System. ETDs
Courtauld Institute of Art Research includes PhDs & MAs
DAREnet access to academic research output in the Netherlands
Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology – online. Complete and in progress
Edinburgh Research Archive. It contains full-text digital theses and dissertations.It
is possible to sign up to receive email updates
Game Career Guide : Theses ETDs
History Online. A section of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) website.
Provides a chronological listing of theses
Institute of Commonwealth Studies Theses in progress in commonwealth
Louisiana State University : Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Collection
New voices in Translation Studies. International Association for Translation &
Intercultural Studies. Provides abstracts of recently submitted PhD theses in
Refugee Studies Centre (University of Oxford). Lists130 Ph.D and MA theses
SMI Music Theses Register Irish theses/dissertations complete & in progress
Society for Renaissance Studies links Renaissance-related doctoral theses
Theses in Progress in Commonwealth Studies annual listing of MPhil and PhD
research being carried out at UK universities. The full-text of issues from 2004
onwards may be downloaded from the website in PDF format.
University of Johannesburg Electronic Theses and Dissertations Titles generally
date from 2003 and can be downloded from the website in PDF format.
University of Melbourne Library Catalogue Asian theses collection. Searchable
University of Surrey Collection of Dance Dissertations
UR Research ESM - Sibley Music Library theses
These are a selection of websites listed at Bubl, ”a catalogue of Internet
resources”, and Intute “a free online service providing you with a database of
hand selected Web resources for education and research.”
For those students who are doing a PhD the Universal Index of
Doctoral Dissertations in Progress may be of interest.
It is a forum for those in the academic community to register their
Internet theses in progress. Access is free but only to those registering their
The aims are to:
“Avoid duplications in doctoral dissertations.
Create the ultimate meeting place for researchers.
Allow for interaction between them.”
And finally…life after research?
Check Find a PhD
This databases gives information on European research (though not
on specific researchers nor the titles of their theses or dissertations).
Internet It is a useful starting point for post doctorate work.
Want to publish?
•Submitting graduate work to UMI dissertation publishing