Searching ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

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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 or theses 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. If is not available, you will be able to request it.

Simple Search

4 of 4Once you find a good article, there are a number of things you can do with it such as cite it or email it.


Cited References

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

Your Turn:

  • From the results page, locate the article "When Arrest Becomes Rescue: Border Enforcement and the Politics..."
  • Click on References (218)

PQDT provides links to any records that are available in other ProQuest databases.

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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Research Scenario:

You are looking for dissertations that have been published at NAU or ASU on the subject of water use in Arizona.

 Your Turn:

  • In the search options menu, click  Look up Universities/institutions
  • Search Arizona
  • Click Find
  • Check the boxes next to Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University
  • Click Add to search

Search by Institute

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  • Since we are only interested in dissertations, under Manuscript type, check Doctoral dissertations
  • In the main search boxes enter the search string water use AND Arizona
  • Now, click Search


Search by Institute

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You should have retrieved less than 40 results.

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

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

Your Turn:

  • In the Narrow Results options, click Subject
  • Next, click civic engineering

Now skim your results.

Search by Institute

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


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.

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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  • 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.

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.