Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Care for some dissert with that?

For grad students, finding an original research topic can be a great deal of work. One database that can make the literature review process a little easier is "Digital Dissertations" which allows you to search through full text of virtually all North American universities dissertations published from 1997 and onward. You can also access abstracts of dissertations before that time as well. Just to test an old standby, I searched for "basket weaving" (putting the search in quotes forces the database to look for that phrase instead of separate keywords). The results were fantastic: you get the dissertation text (in a huge .pdf file), illustrations (which weren't scanned with the greatest of care -your results may vary), and even a scan of the faculty who signed off on the research -wonderful! The key feature for any literature search, however, is the lengthy list of references at the end. Pure gold!

See this database at: > article databases & more > D > digital dissertations

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