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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Research E-mail Challenge

This guide structures and supports the music research skills e-mail challenge

Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of the Music Research Challenge!

Theses and dissertations represent the culmination of scholarly and creative work undertaken by many students at their college or university. They can serve multiple purposes:

  • as model approaches to layout, methodology, and theoretical underpinnings of an issue/topic/problem
  • as insights into recent scholarship that may not yet be published as books, book chapters, or journal articles (helping you stay apprised of trending or cutting edge research!)
  • as rich bibliographical sources to explore and/or mine, given their lengthy list of references

Did you know?
Just like the myriad streaming services you might use to watch your favorite shows, there's no one-stop shop for all theses and dissertations. There are many places you can search for this type of research, depending on what you're looking for. Let's explore some together!

Let's get started!

1. Go to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

2. Search for dissertations and theses in your field or discipline, or in a field/discipline that interests you. Consider limiting your results to a timeframe of interest.

3. Look at the abstract of one of the items in your results list, to get a sense of the work.

Note: In addition to the abstract, most theses or dissertations published after 1997 will be available full text. 

4. Find and save the permanent link to a dissertation of relevance to your work.

5. For Concert Credit send this link to Amanda DuBose

Pro Tip: you can save a link to a thesis or dissertation, in order to return to them at a later time, by using the permanent link available on the Abstract/Details page. The permanent link is called "Document URL." Here's what it will look like:

Document URL

Here is an example of a permanent link to a dissertation in the ProQuest database: A content analysis of the use of music on "Barney & Friends": Implications for music education practice and research

Did you know?
Beyond ProQuest, there are many places to find dissertations and theses, including those that are freely accessible and do not require a subscription to access. Open access theses and dissertations may be of particular interest to those of you who leave the university setting at some point, and/or those of you who work with community partners who may not have access to the library's subscription resources. ​Several options are included in the lists below.

For example, there are Syracuse University theses and dissertations in:

  • SURFACE: SURFACE, the Syracuse University repository, has full text dissertations and theses from 2009 to the present.

  • Theses in Print or Microfilm When looking for a thesis in print or microfilm first try to locate it in the Catalog using an author or title search. A thesis at the Facility may be requested. The University stopped accepting print theses in 2011, so for theses completed from 2012 to the present, use the online resources above.
  • If a thesis is not in the Catalog: If a thesis is not in the Catalog you may contact the University Archives.  The University Archives has the copy of record of most dissertations and theses produced at Syracuse University. Paper copies of student works are housed off-campus, but can be transported to campus if Archives is given 48-hours' notice. They can be viewed in the Special Collections Research Center Reading Room (600 Bird Library).

And, theses and dissertations produced outside Syracuse University:

  • DART-Europe E-theses Portal: Access to over 700,000 European theses and dissertations.
  • Global ETD Search: Search approximately 6 million theses and dissertations via the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations database.
  • Open Access Theses and Dissertations: Resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions. OATD currently indexes over 5 million theses and dissertations.
  • EBSCO Open Dissertations: Created from a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs, Open Dissertations is a free electronic theses and dissertations database offering access to more than 800,000 ETDs. Includes electronic access to records of dissertations accepted by American universities from 1933-1955. There is no full text. For full text, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request.
  • PQDT Open: Full text of ProQuest's open access dissertations and theses, from 1951-present.
  • Theses Canada Portal: The collection contains both microfiche and electronic theses and dissertations that are for personal or academic research purposes, from participating Canadian universities.
  • WorldCat: This online catalog includes materials held by over 72,000 libraries worldwide, and includes citations to dissertations and theses primarily outside of Syracuse University (although Syracuse University theses are cataloged here, too). To find dissertations or theses, go to Advanced Search, enter relevant keywords in one field. In the format drop down menu select --Thesis, Dissertation. You can place an Interlibrary Loan request for a thesis or dissertation within your WorldCat results that Syracuse University Libraries does not own.

BONUS Challenge: Explore one of the databases in the "Did you know?" section above! Take a moment to explore one or more of the databases outside Syracuse University, particularly those that will provide international lenses on issues of interest to you. Consider what other scholars are studying, and how they're approaching their research, in ways that may inform your own scholarly practice.

Preparing for your next challenge

Great job! You now know how to find a wide range of theses and dissertations, which will help you stay current in your discipline and explore important but unpublished works. In Day 4, we'll look at how to find scores, recordings, and digital projects.