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EDUC970: Dissertation Literature Review: Finding Dissertations

This guide contains information about databases, citation management tools, and search tips for the literature review.

Searching for Dissertations?

There are numerous places to search for dissertations. Why should you consider looking at dissertations?

  • They may be a source of inspiration!
  • You can see what types of research methods have been utilized. A dissertation would include a more complete description of the research methodology as compared to a journal article.
  • The literature review section of a dissertation may be a useful starting point.

Bryan College of Health Sciences Digital Archives

Finding Dissertations

Open Access Theses & Dissertations (

  • Includes: Covers over 1100 institutions, over 4.6 million theses and dissertations
  • Access: Open access, no login required
  • Best use: Locating full-text, open access theses and dissertations
  • Note: Includes American universities not participating in ProQuest

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (

  • Includes: Over 5.2 million dissertations from around the world
  • Access: Open access, no login required
  • Best use: Searching the largest number of dissertations and theses
  • Note: Not all dissertations and theses are available full-text

Google Scholar (

You may find links to dissertations in search results. Links may lead to: a record in the Proquest Dissertations & Theses database; a record and link to a PDF in an institutional repository, a record in the Virginia Henderson repository, or somewhere else! NOTE: The BCHS Library subscription to Proquest Dissertations & Theses is only a subset of the dissertations that are available from the databases. It is quite possible that a search via Google Scholar would retrieve Proquest citations in which the library doesn't have full-text access.

Search tip: Use "Advanced Search". Use broad search terms and try limiting the search to "in the title of the article." You can also limit by date range. For this topic, limiting to the latest 2 years retrieves a number of citations to dissertations/final projects. 


The following screenshot shows examples of items that are found in organizational or academic repositories. The first item is in the Virginia Henderson repository. The other items are in repositories at universities; note the domain, .edu, is included in the URL and shown directly below the title of the work. You will need to examine the items carefully. In the example below, only the first and second citations are for doctoral projects. The 3rd item is a journal article, and the last item is an undergraduate honors project.