Searching ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

Open http://www.library.arizona.edu/search/articles/dbDetail.php?shortname=dissabstracts_proquest in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

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What is ProQuest Dissertations and Theses?

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text (PQDT) is an excellent database for locating doctoral dissertations and master’s theses from institutions from around the world.

 

To get started, click the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text link.

 

Simple Search

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Research Scenario:

You are interested in locating dissertations that examine the death of migrants along the US/Mexico border.

Note that the PQDT search boxes default to searching Anywhere.

This is not a very effective way to search as it will return thousands of irrelevant results.

Simple Search

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Instead, try searching just the Abstract.

Your Turn:

  • Enter these key words migrant, death, Mexico, border in the search box
  • Change the Anywhere default to Abstract-AB
  • Click Search

 

Simple Search

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You should have retrieved less than 30 results, and all of these results should be related to our topic.

Most of our results are full-text. If you do not see the full text, you will see this icon:

Clicking this icon will take you to the full text of the article if it is available in another database. If is not available, you will be able to request.

Click the title of any item to view it.

Once you find a good article, there are a number of things you can do with it such as cite it or email it.

 

Search by Institute

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In addition to keyword searches, PQDT also allows you to locate dissertations and theses from different universities.

Your Turn:

  • Click the back arrow on your browser until you are on the main search page
  • Click Clear form to erase your current search

 

Search by Institute

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Let's look for dissertations on the topic of water use in Arizona.

We want to narrow our search to dissertations from the discipline of geography that were published at the UA.

Your Turn:

  • Enter the search terms water use and Arizona

Next:

  • In the search options menu, click  Look up Universities/institutions
  • Search Arizona
  • Click Find
  • Check the box next to The University of Arizona
  • Click Add to search

Search by Institute

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Great, now we are only searching at the UA.

Next, let's limit our subject to Geography.

Your Turn:

  • Click Look up Subjects
  • Search for geography
  • Select the box next to geography
  • Click Add to search

Since we are only interested in dissertations, under Manuscript type, check Doctoral dissertations

Now, click Search

 

Search by Institute

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You should have retrieved around 150 results.

You can further narrow the dissertations you get by using the Narrow Results options on the right

Geography covers many narrower subjects, and it could help your search to narrow these down.

Your Turn:

  • In the Narrow Results options, click Subject
  • Next, click urban planning

You can keep fine tuning your search by choosing narrower topics.

Search by Advisor

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PQDT also allows you to search dissertations by the dissertation advisor.

Since many names can be quite common, it is best to use the Look up Advisors option and search by last name.

Let's look for items where Tom Miller from the UA was the advisor.

Your Turn:

  • Click the back arrow on your browser until you are at the main search page
  • Click Clear form

Search by Advisor

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Next:

  • In the Search Options menu, click Look up Advisors
  • Search Miller, Thomas.
  • Click Find
  • Check both boxes next to Miller, Thomas P
  • Click Add to search
  • Click Search

Search by Advisor

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If you skim the results, you will see that all of these items are from the UA, so it looks like we found the correct Thomas Miller.

Scroll down and go the second page of results.

Note that the full text is available for almost all of the results.

If you do not see the full text, you will see this icon:

Clicking this icon will take you to the full text of the article if it is available in another database. If is not available, you will be able to request.

 

 

All Done!

You have completed this introductory tutorial to PQDT.

Feel free to explore the database and learn more about how it can help you in your research.

To leave us feedback on this tutorial, go on to the next page.

 

 

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