How to Find... Theses, Dissertations, and Applied Research Projects

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Theses & Dissertations - Databases

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)

• See how to "Create an Account to Store and Manage Items" and "Get the Citation of an Item" (PDF)
Other ORU databases, such as those listed below, include selective citations and abstracts of dissertations, theses and research projects. Full text of some works may also be available.
WorldCat Dissertations
± A database of all dissertations and theses available in WorldCat. Over 8 million records. Includes citations; few abstracts available; NO full text.
WorldCatDissertationsTo view a list of libraries that own the dissertation, from your list of results, select a title to access the record, and then click the "Libraries that own this item" link (shown right). If it is not available locally, you will need to order it through interlibrary loan or purchase
± Includes citations and abstracts of more than 13,500 dissertations related to the fields of education with 4,600+ available in full text.
Use the ERIC Thesaurus (from or in the database) to identify terms that are narrower, broader and related to your topic. The Thesaurus Includes more than 10,700 vocabulary terms for education. (Available in print: Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors, call number Z695.1.E3.E34, LRC-R)

SEARCH: On the Refine Search tab, limit your results to "Publication Type" Dissertations/Theses (all) or other appropriate option as shown below.
ERIC Dissertation Abstracts
± Includes 357,000+ dissertation abstracts. NO full text.
Limited to Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences.
SEARCH: Under "Limit your results" for "Publication Type" choose "Dissertation Abstract" and (or) for "Document Type" choose Dissertations.
PsychInfo Dissertation Abstracts

Free on the Web
Ethos (Electronic Theses Online Service)
Theses produced by UK Higher Education. The British Library has made available 250,000+ open access full-text theses/dissertations free for downloading in PDF format. (Some may need to be purchased.) Registration required.
OATD (Open Access Theses and Dissertations)
An index of 1.5 million+ electronic theses and dissertations. Search limiters include date, university, language, department and degree. Sort results by relevance, author, date or university. Offers search history and search builder features. More
Open Thesis
A "free repository of theses, dissertations, and other academic documents..."
Searches and provides access to abstracts and full text of open access (free) dissertations and theses. More…
RIM® (Research in Ministry) (Theology)
± D.Min. and D.Miss. projects from schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. NO full text.
  • "Indexing began in 1981... an abstract for each project is included when one has been provided by the author."
  • SEARCH: Author, title, project advisor, institution, and subject.
Once you find a title, theological works can sometimes be purchased from Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN) for a low price.
Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN)
An index of nearly 10,000 theological thesis/dissertation and conference paper titles representing research from 70 institutions; free searching or browsing; full text available for purchase in PDF (e-doc), paper, and microfiche. More...
UnisaETD (University of South Africa: Electronic Theses and Dissertations)
SEARCH: titles, authors, subjects or by date. In the item record, click the "theses_....pdf" link. Full text.

Theses & Dissertations - Works by ORU Students

Dissertations & Theses@Oral Roberts University A Subset of PQDT.
Includes citations and abstracts, and free access to 24 page previews. If you are from ORU, you can view and download works "by" ORU students free online from 1996 forward. More | ProQuest Search Tips
Free full text in PDF format for:
• Theses and dissertations published after 1996.
• ORU D.Min. Research Projects only (not any theses) prior to 1996.
Note: Older works, such as those from the 1980's, have not been digitized and are only accessible in print format.
Print Copies in the Library
Theses, dissertations and applied research projects by ORU students are shelved in call number order on a side wall in the Library Information Commons, LRC-4th floor. These are reference materials and cannot be checked out of the library.
To locate a work, browse the shelves or search the library catalog by keyword, title or author, and then find it on the shelves.
± Click here to see how to search the Library catalog for applied research projects.
  1. applied research projects search in Library CatalogAccess the ORU Library Catalog. 
  2. Choose Advanced Keyword Search. 
  3. Select Author; type Oral Roberts University. 
  4. Type applied research project on the next line or select APPLIED RES PR for Material Type. (Click Submit to view the list of more than 450 titles.) To narrow your results type other search terms, such as author or title keywords, then click Search or Submit. 
  5. From the list of results, click a title then record the call number to locate the print copy in the reference area. Inquire at the reference desk if you need assistance.
    If available, click the full text link (shown below) for free online full text access.
    full text link

Theses & Dissertations - Document Delivery (To Order a Full Text Copy)

If the title you need is not available in the library or free online, to get the full text once you have identified a title you will need to take steps which may be ordering through interlibrary loan or purchasing the work.

If you are unable to get a dissertation through interlibrary loan, you may need to purchase it. The commercial document delivery sites listed below allow you to search for and purchase documents. In addition, some sites include abstracts and/or allow you to preview dissertations.

Dissertation Express Dissertation Express by ProQuest
Purchase unbound print copies or PDFs of graduate works published by ProQuest.
Order options: $44.00 - Unbound Paper Copy (courier mail); $37.00 - PDF (web download)
Covers 2.1+ million titles. Basic bibliographic information; no abstracts available.
SEARCH: Allows a title, author or UMI order number search.
Order options: Paperback and entire ebook (buy a password then download) or PDF download. Prices vary. Abstracts available.
SEARCH: Use keyword or browse available theses or dissertations
Special Feature: Free download of the first 25 pages (pdf).

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
A global digital library of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Title links go to TREN, where they can be purchased.
SEARCH: Select "For researchers: Find ETD's," "NDLTD sites," or use the "Federated Searcher" feature to perform parallel queries across several dozen NDLTD search sites. Offers simple keyword search fields such as author, title and subject in addition to Expert Search functionality. 

Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN)
Over 19.500 theological thesis/dissertation titles representing research from as many as 131 different institutions. No abstracts available. See NEW search functionality. (pdf)
Order options: Digital downloadable e-docs, prices vary; Paper copies, 15 cents per page; Microfiche, $3.00-$5.00 per title.
SEARCH: Choose "Search & Order." Searches title, author, school, subject and degree.

Theses & Dissertations - Print and Microform Indexes

Older print and microform indexes may be appropriate for some topics.

Comprehensive Dissertation Index
Print index to every North American doctoral dissertations. 1861 - 1990
Choose the index that covers your subject. For example, if you are looking for education dissertations, see the "Education" section.
View library catalog record.

Dissertation Abstracts & Dissertation Abstracts International
COVERAGE: 1938 - 1991/1992. Includes abstracts.
Do a title search in the ORU library catalog to identify format, location and dates.
See library catalog record for:
    • Microfilm Abstracts, 1938-1951
    • Dissertation Abstracts, 1952-1966
    • Dissertation Abstracts, 1966-1969
    • Dissertation Abstracts International. A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 1969-1992
    • Dissertation Abstracts International. B: Sciences and Engineering, 1969-1992

Theses & Dissertations - Distance Learners

If you need a pre-1997 dissertation or you are unable to find the full text online in one of ORU's databases consider the following options:

If you have a local public library—
Can they do Interlibrary Loan requests for you? If so, they may be able to borrow the dissertations you need from the library that owns them. Some public libraries do not provide this service, or they only do it for regular books, not dissertations (since many academic libraries will not loan dissertations to public libraries).

If your local library cannot do an ILL for you—
WorldCat Dissertation ILL linkThe ORU library can try to borrow the dissertation for you. Make a request by finding the dissertation in the WorldCat Dissertations database and using the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) link, shown right, to submit a request.

It is not always possible to borrow dissertations through ILL because they are usually only owned by one library, which may or may not participate in our ILL lending network. If the library is not one of our free lenders, they may agree to loan it for a fee (usually $10.00—$20.00).

If you are unable to borrow the item—
Many dissertations are available for purchase through, for example, Dissertation Express. (use the "Get" tab to see more ordering options)

If you need assistance—
Contact Distance at, or 918-495-7495.