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Power Researcher Challenge

Welcome to Day 3 of the Power Researcher Challenge!

Theses and dissertations represent the culmination of scholarly and creative work undertaken by many students at their college or university. They can serve multiple purposes:

  • as model approaches to layout, methodology, and theoretical underpinnings of an issue/topic/problem
  • as insights into recent scholarship that may not yet be published as books, book chapters, or journal articles (helping you stay apprised of trending or cutting edge research!)
  • as rich bibliographical sources to explore and/or mine, given their lengthy list of references

Did you know?
Just like the myriad streaming services you might use to watch your favorite shows, there's no one-stop shop for all theses and dissertations. There are many places you can search for this type of research, depending on what you're looking for. Let's explore some together!

Let's Get Started!

1. Go to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

2. Search for dissertations and theses in your field or discipline, or in a field/discipline that interests you. Consider limiting your results to a timeframe of interest.

3. Look at the abstract of one of the items in your results list, to get a sense of the work.

Note: In addition to the abstract, most theses or dissertations published after 1997 will be available full text. 

4. Find and save the permanent link to a dissertation of relevance to your work.

Pro tip: you can save a link to a thesis or dissertation, in order to return to them at a later time, by using the permanent link available on the Abstract/Details page. The permanent link is called "Document URL." 

Here is an example of a permanent link to a dissertation in the ProQuest database: Effect of Internet and Conventional Advertisement Exposure on Electronic Cigarette Use among Adolescents: Findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey.

Did You Know? University of Maine Thesis Repositories

Beyond ProQuest, there are many places to find dissertations and theses, including those that are freely accessible and do not require a subscription to access. Open access theses and dissertations may be of particular interest to those of you who leave the university setting at some point, and/or those of you who work with community partners who may not have access to the library's subscription resources. ​

For example, below is a list of University of Maine theses and dissertations.  To access a thesis or dissertation that is not available electronically, see your options here

Bonus Challenge: Exploring Outside Databases

Take a moment to explore one or more of the databases listed below from outside the University of Maine, particularly those that will provide international lenses on issues of interest to you. Consider what other scholars are studying, and how they're approaching their research, in ways that may inform your own scholarly practice.  To access the full text of some of these resources, you may need to place an Interlibrary Loan request .

Preparing for Your Next Challenge

You now know how to find a wide range of theses and dissertations, which will help you stay current in your discipline and explore important but unpublished works. In Day 4, we'll look at how to find retracted information and how it can inform your research process.

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