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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses – You can do more

We want you to get the most from our resources so this week we’ve taken the inside track! Shivendra Naidoo from ProQuest tells us all about the background and benefits of ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global (PDQT).

Have you ever wondered about what research has already been conducted in your discipline? Are you worried about incorporating past research comprehensively to avoid publication bias? Perhaps you’re struggling to find published material on a niche topic? Or maybe you’re just daunted by the question of where to start your literature search?

If any of these concerns sound familiar to you, ProQuest® Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT) is a good place to begin your journey – whether you’re a student, researcher or a member of faculty.

What is ProQuest Dissertations & Theses?

PQDT is the largest curated database of Master’s and Doctoral works in the world. With more than 5.1 million records (including in excess of 2.7 million full-text works), contributed by 4,000 of the world’s most prestigious research institutions. The database grows by nearly 200,000 works per year, with new university partners – such as The University of Salford – coming on board all the time. So, this ensures that PQDT is the place to find the most current graduate research in any given field.

It’s a well-known fact that a large amount of research never makes it into publication, either journals or as monographs – often because the author leaves academia to move into industry, or other professional roles. Thus, their dissertation or thesis might be the sole written output from the author’s research degree. ProQuest recognises the inherent value of these works to the global research community. They often contain unique methodologies and insights, much like ongoing scholarly discussion, which would otherwise be lost or overlooked. For the past 80 years, ProQuest have sought to preserve, curate and disseminate these invaluable works; culminating in the PQDT Global database, which is available to you today via your library.

How can PQDT help me?

As well as the obvious benefit of having immediate access to millions of full-text research works at your fingertips – there are many other benefits that PQDT can offer users.

Advanced Search features and filtering options can help to quickly and efficiently find works that would be of most interest. ProQuest’s editorial team carry out metadata enhancement and bibliography linking on the full-text theses and dissertations in PQDT. This ensures relevancy and accurate searching, and allows users to more smoothly navigate between sources which reference each other or share common references.

PQDT interface also suggests further reading based on shared subject/keyword themes and references. You can do this via links for Related Items, Shared References, or Cited by. These direct links can further assist with the user’s literature search and help to surface works across all ProQuest resources. This is because PQDT is a multi-disciplinary resource! Search results surface works and methodologies from outside of the core research field; providing insights into the interdisciplinary problems that impact society. Creating a ‘My Research’ account in PQDT and setting up email alerts or RSS feeds based on key searches allows users to get regular updates on newly added works which are of interest, based on language / country of origin / subjects / keywords / contributing university etc.

If you’re interested in employing Text & Data Mining (TDM) research techniques, then ProQuest are happy to offer additional support.

What notable authors/works can I find in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses?

Some notable content includes the works of Nobel Prize laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, actors, musicians, activists and more:

  • Jill Jacobs-Biden, 46th First Lady of the United States
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement
  • Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Author
  • Nnedi Okorafor, Nigerian-American Science Fiction Author
  • Brian May, Lead Guitarist of Queen
  • Mayim Chaya Bialik, Neuroscientist and Actress
  • Paul Farmer, Physician, Anthropologist, and Co-founder of Partners in Health
  • Jennifer Anne Doudna, 2020 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry for genome editing CRISPR too

Learn about the new content added in 2020

Where can I find additional help on using PQDT?

ProQuest LibGuides provide comprehensive support on getting the most out of PQDT. ProQuest have also created three new eLearning modules to assist with thesis writing and effectively using PQDT as a resource. Additionally, you may be interested in learning how other researchers have been using PQDT, or how to get ideas for your thesis or dissertation topic. The Library can also provide additional advice and support on how best to use this resource.

To access more online dissertations and theses, take a look at our database collection.

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This blog is written by library staff at the University of Salford.
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