Are you looking for dissertations online that you can use to get ideas from? Then locating a database that has a whole horde of them is your best bet. What’s more with the number of options available online you can get access to these databases for free – all that’s left is figuring out where to look. For some suggestions of the best places to look for free dissertation databases read on.
To search for dissertations around the world, you’ll need to use WorldCat. In the past, getting to Dissertation Abstracts Online meant linking directly to OCLC’s Dissertation Abstracts database from the library Databases page. That database no longer exists in OCLC, so read on for instructions to search for dissertations in OCLC/WorldCat.
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Instructions for obtaining PDF Files from ProQuest: When displaying a citation for a dissertation, the Digital Dissertations database will indicate via a "Free Download" button that the dissertation is available for full text download. UC dissertations since 1997 are available in full-text format. Users accessing the database from a UC Davis computer will be able to issue a download request for UC full-text dissertations. You will receive a URL by e-mail, and may retrieve and view the requested text from any computer, including off campus.
Searching by subject: theses and dissertations do not receive standard "subject" headings. Dissertation titles are required to be descriptive, so title word searches are often effective. Another strategy, applicable for dissertations only, is to search in the Digital Dissertations database (limiting to UC Davis if desired), where one can search titles, abstracts and subject descriptors. Students who are conducting research for their own dissertations can search a dissertation database for the titles and abstracts of existing dissertations and theses on similar topics. It is crucial when working on a dissertation that a student be deeply knowledgeable about prior research in the field, and locating any relevant dissertation through a dissertation database is one key to accomplishing this.