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Why Use Dissertations?

Why read dissertations?

  • Just entered a research group? Read work done by recent graduates.
  • Getting ready to write your own? Read examples of theses or dissertations to help you get started.
  • Writing a comprehensive literature review?
    • Dissertations may have new findings or techniques not yet published in journals
    • Mine the extensive bibliographies for additional relevant sources

Dissertations by OU Students

Dissertations written by OU students can be found through:

  • The library catalog ⇒ Discover Local (Catalog)
    • Search by author name or title.
    • There will be a link for full text access to doctoral dissertations (note: masters' theses are not available electronically).
    • Print copies can be checked out (generally shelved by author's last name in the Great Reading Room, with overflow into the nearby Decks).
  • SHAREOK Repository
    • Joint repository of digital items for OU and OSU
    • Since 2014, OU dissertations have been deposited there so that they are freely available
    • Items can be found through a Google (or other search engine) search.
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database
    • Dissertations from U.S. institutions are mostly available full text from 1997 to the present
    • Since 2014, OU dissertations are no longer deposited in this database; instead they are deposited in the SHAREOK Repository at
  • Use SHAREOK or a general search engine to find OU dissertations published 2014-present.

Finding Dissertations from Other Universities

  • Many universities, including OU, no longer submit the full text of their dissertations in this database. Instead they post their dissertations in an institutional repository (at OU, this is called SHAREOK)
  • Dissertations are indexed from 1861 to the present, so even if full text is not available, you can get an abstract and information about the author, year, advisors, etc.
  • If the dissertation is not available electronically, you can order through interlibrary loan.

Science Librarian

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Amanda Schilling
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