Hunting down grey literature: finding theses

I was talking to a student recently about locating other peoples’ theses.

Yesterday, I was looking at the OpenDOAR website. Some electronic theses (often more recent ones) can be found in repositories. There is a list of UK repositories mainly from Universities including the City University London one City Research Online (CRO)
There is a Google search box and I searched for a specific item in CRO and it did find it. Searching in CRO itself, there is an option to limit the search by theses.

Another option is the Ethos service from the British Library
This works well when someone has already requested the dissertation and it is available for immediate download.

Index to Theses should indicate where a thesis is held and it may be available in a university repository or via Ethos. Sometimes, it may be necessary to visit the Library concerned.

Proquest Dissertations & Theses
is a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world offering full text for graduate works added since 1997, along with selected full text for works written prior to 1997.


What to do with your search results ?

I had an enquiry recently about what can be done with results obtained from a database search on Proquest.

There are quite a lot of options, especially if you create a personalised My Research account:

Create an alert – Create and schedule alerts to deliver new documents matching your search as they become available in ProQuest. Create a My Research account to modify, delete, or view all of your alerts. This is good for current awareness when new articles are published and the alerts can appear monthly etc.

Create an RSS feed for newly added documents.

Save searches, tag, organise and share your research in the My Research area.

Email your results to yourself with links to articles included.

Print off or save useful articles.

Save the results in HTML, PDF.

Export the results to a reference management package such as RefWorks.