Searching ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

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What is ProQuest Dissertations & Theses?

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

                

Simple Search

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Research Scenario:

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

                 

Simple Search

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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.

Instead, try searching just the Abstract.

Simple Search

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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. You can view the entire text or see a preview of it.

 

Simple Search

5 of 5Once you find a good document, there are a number of things you can do with it such as cite it or email it.

 

Cited References

1 of 2PQDT is a great tool to help you with a literature review because it provides a list of all references cited in a document.

Your Turn:

  • From the results page, locate the article "When Arrest Becomes Rescue: Border Enforcement and the Politics..."
  • Click on References (219)

              

Cited References

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Your Turn:

  • Scroll through the references

PQDT provides links to any references this dissertation cites that are available in other ProQuest databases.

Using Limiters

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PQDT also allows you to limit your search to one university, just dissertations, and to subject area.

Your Turn:

  • Click the Advanced Search link at the top

  • Click Clear form to erase your current search

    

Using Limiters

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Research Scenario:

You are looking for dissertations that have been published at universities in Arizona on the subject of water use in the state.

Using Limiters

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We will use the More search options menu to limit our search.

Your Turn:

  • Scroll down to the  More search options menu
  • Click  Look up Universities/institutions
  • Search Arizona and click Find
  • Check the boxes next to all three universities
  • Click Add to search

             

Limit by Manuscript Type

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Next we will limit to the type of document since we are only interested in dissertations.

Your Turn:

  • Under Manuscript type, check Doctoral dissertations
  • Scroll back up to the search box
  • In the search box enter water use AND Arizona
  • Change the search from Anywhere to Abstract
  • Now, click Search

 

Limit by Manuscript Type

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Use the Narrow results by menu to answer this question:

In which year was the oldest dissertation on this list published?

Limit by Manuscript Type

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Notice that you can further narrow by subject, location, and publication.

Your Turn:

  • In the Narrow results options, click Subject
  • Next, click civil engineering

Limit by Manuscript Type

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How many results did you get now that you narrowed by subject?

 

Search by Advisor

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PQDT also allows you to search dissertations by advisor.

Since names can be 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.

         

Search by Advisor

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Your Turn:

  • Click the Advanced Search link towards the top of the page
  • Click Clear form

Next:

  • In the More Search options menu, click Look up Advisors
  • Search Miller, Thomas.
  • Click Find
  • Check the box next to Miller, Thomas P
  • Click Add to search
  • Click Search

Search by Advisor

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Skim the results.

Where are all these dissertations from?

 

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.