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Theses and dissertations: Where to look

Using SOLO to find theses

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) is a search and discovery tool for the Oxford Libraries' collections of resources. A simple search box will bring back results from a number of different sources: Oxford's union catalogue of printed and electronic books and journals, Oxford University Research Archive (ORA), the Bodleian Library Allegro Chinese and Allegro Japanese catalogues, and a title link to A-Z Databases.

In SOLO you can limit your search to a specific field (Title, Author/Creator, Subject, Creation Date etc.) or a resource type (Books, Journals, or Theses) using the drop-down menus offered.

If the actual title or author of a thesis is known, it may be easy to use a standard keyword search using combined title/author details.
However, if the author has a common name, has written many works, the full details of the thesis are not known, or you are looking for theses on a particular subject, other keyword searches may be useful.

Go to SOLO - Search Oxford Libraries Online LibGuide to find out more.

Oxford theses
Oxford theses have the word “thesis” in the author field, and therefore can be found using an author keyword search in SOLO.

Example: smith thesis

Additional details of theses are also given, usually in the notes field, most importantly the type of degree, and supervisor’s name (post-2000) and these details can also therefore be used in keyword searching.

Example: d.phil smith

These can be combined with normal author, title or subject keywords as required in an anywhere in the record keyword search.

Example: thesis smith Constantinople d.phil

The name of the Oxford faculty, division, faculty/sub-faculty/department, or college (for post-2000 theses) can also be used.

Theses from other universities
Adding the word thesis as a keyword in SOLO may help; not all theses from other universities held in Oxford may be catalogued in a uniform way and may not be found by such a search, and this search may well find published works based upon theses, not just unpublished theses.

Searching other catalogues

Foreign Dissertations Catalogue card index
Many continental European theses accepted for higher degrees and published before 1973 are held in the Bodleian Library but are not yet catalogued on SOLO. These holdings are listed in the Foreign Dissertations Catalogue card index. Please ask library staff to order and search the catalogue for you, either in person at the Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodeian Library or by email: Reader Services or by phone: 01865 277162.
Dissertations from universities outside the U.S. and Canada with holdings including materials from all world regions. While these shared collections are largely paper and microform, CRL provides online access to a continually expanding body of digital materials.

It is also useful to check Library Hub Discover, which gives access to the online catalogues of some of the largest university and research libraries in the UK and Ireland, to see if the thesis has been purchased by one of these libraries.

Such theses may be obtained by current members of Oxford University by inter-library loan for a the standard subsidised fee.
Readers who are not current members of Oxford University will be charged differently; we recommend that such readers use the facilities provided by their own institution or their local public library.

PQDT Global

Proquest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global

The world's most comprehensive collection of full-text dissertations and theses from around the world that includes millions of searchable citations with coverage dating back to 1637. Full-text coverage spans from 1743 to the present, and over a million full-text dissertations are available for download in PDF format. Over 2.1 million titles are available for purchase as printed copies.
Also includes UK & Ireland content.
Subjects covered:

Arts, Behavioural Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Health and Medical Sciences, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences.

To learn more search the online help, browse answers to common questions at ProQuest's Product Support Center, or contact Support if you need further assistance.

Finding full text digital theses


Links to full or partial digital copies of a growing number of more recent Oxford theses are given on SOLO. These digital theses and some others can also be found in the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA). Please consult the Terms and Conditions of use on the record for each thesis.
Oxford eTheses pages give more information about this resource.

This free electronic theses and dissertations database provides a single search interface to locate open-access theses and dissertations from hundreds of universities, mostly in the UK and US. The full-text of theses may be downloaded by following the link to the institutional repository where the thesis is held. It includes T&Ds previously available in American Doctoral Dissertations™.

EThOS service from the British Library

Many theses from UK universities are available to be downloaded for free.

An international organisation that promotes an open access to electronic dissertations and theses. It provides a searching facility across many Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) collections.

A union catalogue of digital resources from universities and other institutions from all over the world, and includes many recent theses.

An open access index of over 3.5 million electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). To the extent possible, the index is limited to records of graduate-level theses that are freely available online.

Free repository of theses, dissertations, and other academic documents.

Searching ORA

Searching the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)

Browse collections in ORA for a list of Oxford Theses.
Use Detailed Search
Search by author, title, subject, supervisor, in other record fields, and in the abstract.
Example: all theses with a supervisor with the surname Houlsby may be found with the search "supervisor:houlsby"
Sort the search
Sort the search by Collection (tick the box) for a link to search results from the theses collection.
Link to this search

Obtain the URL to re-run your search in future and RSS feed feature.