I assume you're referring to Proquest's Digital Dissertations, which
(as far as I know) is the most widely used online site for thesis
Although full access to the database -- containing more than 2 million
entries dating back to 1861 -- is reserved for institutional
subscribers, you can search recent dissertations at:
You can preview any dissertation of interest, and get to see the first
24 pages at no charge. If you wish to see the rest of the document,
you can purchase the file for download.
A somewhat different access point to theses dating back to 1996 is
also through Proquest's service known as "Current Research":
Here you can browse dissertations by institution, and conduct a
keyword search within a given institution. Again, the first 24 pages
are available at no cost.
By the way, the dissertations are heavily weighted to those that
originate in North America, but there are a fair number of
international offerings as well. Current Research, for instance,
includes institutions from the following countries:
There are a number of individual institutions that offer at least some
access to online theses. Virginia Tech, for instance, allows users to
search and view thesis titles and abstracts:
although access to the full document is restricted. If there is a
particular topic or institution that you would like me to explore in
terms of the availability of online theses, I'd be happy to do so.
Just let me know.
Hope this is the information you were seeking. But before rating this
answer, please let me know if there's anything further I can do for
you. Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'm at your service.
search strategy: Used bookmarked sites for access to dissertations.
Clarification of Answer by
04 Jul 2004 21:13 PDT
Here are some additional links that may prove useful:
A small number of award-winning theses can be seen here:
First presented in 1981, the CGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award
recognizes doctoral dissertations that make unusually significant and
original contributions to their academic field.
You can also search for theses here:
and preview the first 25-pages before deciding if you want to purchase
the entire thesis for download.
A similar service is offered by Diplomica:
although the site is in German, so it may of rather limited use unless
you speak the language.
An Australian site offers a good collection of dissertations and best
of all, they are available in their entirety at no cost:
Australian Digital Theses Program
The aim of the ADT project is to create a national collaborative
distributed database of digitised theses produced at Australian
Universities. The ADT database provides access to PhD and Masters by
Research theses only.
The ADT site notes that it provides access to both PhD and Masters
level theses. In general, this seems to be the case with most of the
sites I've referenced, although it can be tricky to find the master's
theses, as most of the content appears to be weighted towards PhD
I hope this additional information makes for some happy
browsing/reading as you explore the world of online dissertations.
But as always, let me know if you need any additional information.