Finding theses

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will know how to find:

  • University of New England theses.
  • world-wide digital theses collections
  • national collections of digital theses.
  • theses in progress.
UNE theses

Recent UNE theses

Many recent UNE theses are available from e-publications@UNE.To browse the theses in this collection:

  • Click on the by form of material link under Browse at the home page.
  • Choose thesis doctoral, thesis masters research or thesis professional doctorate.

The advanced search allows you to find theses on your topic by entering your keywords and using thesis as one of your search terms. Many of the resulting hits are available in PDF for immediate download.

Older UNE theses

The University Library keeps copies of most Masters and PhD theses and some Honours theses. If you know the author's name or the exact title you can locate the item with a simple search in the Search just like any other item.

Many older theses have been microfilmed and have a call number beginning with MF000. These are in the Microform collection on Level 1.

If the thesis you require is not in Search, it is possible that it is held elsewhere on campus. Schools keep copies of fourth year, Honours and M.Litt theses. Contact the relevant School if you need to read these theses.

International collections
Australian theses
Trove

Trove provides links to Australian digital theses and details of theses in paper form.

Libraries Australia

Libraries Australia provides you another means of searching for theses and dissertations held in Australian university libraries. Note that a search of Libraries Australia will also find theses from other countries held in Australian libraries.

  • Go to the Libraries Australia search screen.
  • Click on the Advanced Search tab.
  • Choose your search type and keywords.
  • Click in the check box next to the word Theses.
  • Click on the Search button.

Many Australian universities now post the full-text of recent theses in their institutional repositories. Links to such repositories are usually found on the Library site for each university. The names of these repositories can vary greatly, so you will sometimes have to search around.

New Zealand theses

Theses at New Zealand Universities can be found using a number of sources. These include the following:

You may also like to search the library catalogues of individual higher education institutions in New Zealand or the New Zealand Libraries' Catalogue.

UK and Irish theses

ProQuest Dissertations Theses: UK & Ireland is an online database which lists all UK and Irish theses from 1716 to the present. PQDT UK & Ireland provides both abstracts and preview for more recent theses, along with an increasing number of links to full text.

Many UK theses are also available in full-text through Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS).

For information on using EThOS, see the page on the Reading University site.

US theses

The most complete source on information about theses from North American universities is ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT). This database includes over 3 million PhD and Masters theses, mostly from universities in United States and Canada. PQDT can be searched through ProQuest Dissertation Express. Using the Dissertation Express, you can can search for theses by title and keyword for free. With a credit card, you can order copies of a thesis in PDF format or paper. Theses can also be ordered through interlibrary loan.

Another ProQuest product is PQDT Open, which provides open access theses and dissertations from the ProQuest collection. PQDT Open allows anyone to download free full-text dissertations and theses. You can search PQDT Open by date, author, title, school and keyword.

Canadian theses

The Theses Canada portal allows you to retrieve the full-text of many Canadian theses and dissertations. To find digital theses from Canada follow these steps:

  • Go to Theses Canada.
  • Enter your keywords in the Search the full text of electronic theses box.
  • Click on the Submit button.
Dutch theses

NARCIS provides access to the full-text of theses from Dutch universities. Many of these theses are in English. All are available for immediate download. To search for a Dutch thesis:

  • Go to the English-language version of the NARCIS main page.
  • Enter your search terms.
  • Click on Search.
French theses

The Système universitaire de documentation (SUDOC) provides an online catalog for theses holdings at French academic libraries. Coverage goes back to 1972 for theses in the humanities and social sciences. SUDOC theses are not generally available in full-text.

  • Go to the SUDOC Advanced Search page.
  • Choose your search limiter from the pull-down menus to the right, eg Mots sujet (Subject words), Mots du titre (Title words), Mots auteur(s) (Author words).
  • Enter your keywords.
  • Uncheck everything except Thèses (version de soutenance) under Type de Publication.
  • Click on Recherche.
German theses

The online catalogue of the Deutsche National Bibliothek (DNB) allows you to search for dissertations and theses written at universities across Germany.

Theses from 1998 onwards are often available for immediate download. To find German theses:

  • Go to the DNB Advanced Search page.
  • Choose Alle Begriffe from the first pull-down menu.
  • Enter your keywords in the search box to the right.
  • Choose Hochschulscriftenvermerk from the second pull-down menu.
  • Enter diss or habil in the second search box to the right
  • Click on the Finden button.
Finnish theses

The University of Helsinki's e-Thesis site provides the full-text of recent theses. Many of these theses are in English. To search the University's database:

  • Go to the e-Thesis Search page.
  • Enter your keywords in the search box.
  • Click on the Search button.
Italian theses

Tesionline allows you to search Italian theses.

  • Go to the Tesionline search page.
  • Enter your keywords.
  • Click on Cerca.
Indian theses

Indian digital theses are available in full-text through the Shodhganga Indian ETD Repository.  To find the full-text of Indian theses, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Shodhganga Repository.
  • Enter your keywords in the Search Shodhganga search box.
  • Click on the Go button.
Japanese theses

Japanese theses and dissertations are available in full-text through Japanese Institutional Repositories Online (JAIRO). To find relevant theses, follow these steps:

  • Go to JAIRO.
  • Enter your search terms in the Simple Search box.
  • Click on Search.
Pakistani theses

Many theses and dissertation are available in full text through the Pakistan Research Repository. To retrieve digital theses from Pakistan, follow these steps:

Scandinavian theses

The DiVA portal allows you to search for theses at 34 universities and colleges of higher education in Sweden and Norway.  

To search for Swedish and Norwegian theses:

  • Go to DiVa.
  • Click on the Student theses radio button.
  • Enter your search terms.
  • Click on Search.
Spanish theses

An excellent starting point is Bases de Datos de Tesis Doctorales (TESEO). This source includes details of theses completed at Spanish universities since 1976. It can be searched by author, title, keyword, abstract, and university. To find Spanish theses:

  • Go to the TESEO search page.
  • Enter your keywords in the box next to the words con todas las palabras.
  • Click on Buscar en Teseo.
South African theses

South African theses and dissertations are available in full-text through the National ETD Portal. To find relevant theses, follow these steps:

Stanford University has a page on Dissertations and Theses on Africa. This page contains a set of relevant links on finding theses on African subjects.

Swiss theses

Helveticat is the online catalogue of the Swiss National Library. To find Swiss theses:

  • Go to Helveticat's English-language interface.
  • Enter your keywords in the Search boxes.
  • Click on Set Session Filters.
  • Click on Theses under the Nature of Contents filters.
  • Click on Save.
  • Click on Search.

Summary

This module has shown you how to find theses from:

  • the University of New England.
  • world-wide collections
  • universities in different countries and parts of the world.

Mastering the literature