Using A Dissertation Database For Free: Helpful Advice

Using doctoral theses by other people is a great way to learn how to structure and develop your own work. If you want to get a good sample in a specific subject area, the necessary piece can be accessed in one of the online databases for free. However, you should know how to find the best database and use it effectively.

In Search of a Free Database

  • Look into your university database.
  • All dissertations by the university students are stored not only in hard copy but also in a digital form. Look through the online library catalogue to get links to these papers. It is usually enough to provide your student ID to access the database of your university for free.

  • Browse the websites of other institutions.
  • Other universities have good databases as well. If you are not satisfied with the search results in your institution, browse the sites of other universities in search of useful links.

  • Search by keywords.
  • Enter “find a free dissertation database” in a search box of your favorite search engine and look through the results. The databases that belong to universities, libraries, and state authorities can be trusted. Therefore, make sure that their URLs end with “.gov” or “.edu”.

Tips on Using a Database

  • Read the database rules.
  • Check if you are allowed to access full dissertation texts or if only the first several pages can be viewed. These rules are commonly articulated in the terms of use section. If you cannot download a full document for free, turn to a different website. Check what kinds of texts can be uploaded on the database website. If available papers are in a .pdf format, they are likely to contain full texts.

  • Find a database in a specific discipline.
  • Pay attention to what materials are stored in the database. These may be the theses from a particular university or country. However, papers can be united by discipline as well. Therefore, if you need a doctoral project in literature, try to find the database that specializes in this particular niche.

  • Look for reviews.
  • If you are not sure which dissertation database is reliable, look for the feedback of its previous users. Ask about the challenges of using the database, hidden fees, and the quality of available theses. Undoubtedly, other people have either positive or negative experiences in downloading documents from the database, and they will agree to share them with you. If there are more positive reviews on the Web, the database is likely to be good.