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Theses Canada

Search the Theses Collection

Search Help

Searching the database

You can perform a basic search for a bibliographic record or an advanced search of the theses collection. For either type of search, begin by indicating which part of the collection you wish to search -- All theses or Electronic theses -- by selecting one of the two radio buttons at the top of the search screen. In both the Basic and Advanced Search you have the option to search for a bibliographic record or to search the full text of the electronic theses in the collection.

Basic Search

To perform a basic search, select a search index from the drop-down list on the main search page. You may choose from the following search indexes:

Search index Description
Any keyword Search by title, name, subject , note or abstract
Name keyword Search by name of author
Title keyword Search by title
Subject keyword Search by subject heading
Notes keyword Search notes by keywords
Abstract keyword Search abstracts by keywords
AMICUS no. An AMICUS number search bypasses the results screen to go directly to the record
ISBN Search by ISBN number. Note: omit hyphens, price and qualifier (pbk). Example: 0315462914

Please note that since a large number of bibliographic records for theses do not include subject headings the best way to do a subject search is to use the Any Keyword index.

Once you have chosen a search index, type your search term in the search entry window. You can search for a word(s), phrase or number; you may use upper or lower case and most search terms do not need punctuation. Click the "Submit" button to complete your search.

From the basic search you can also search the full text of electronic theses in the collection. In the box labeled "Search the full text of electronic theses" simply input the term or terms you wish to look for then click the submit button to complete your search. Your search will retrieve all of the words you have input.

Tips:

  • Make your search more precise by using more than one word
    e.g. primary caregivers rather than caregivers
  • To search for an exact phrase, use quotes so that the search interface will search for the words together rather than as separate words
    e.g. "women in conflict".

Advanced Search

An advanced search for a bibliographic record allows you to search up to three indexes using the Boolean operators "and", "or" and "not".

Use "and" between search indexes to specify retrieval of documents that have both terms.

Use "or" between search indexes to specify retrieval of documents that have either term.

Use "not" between search indexes to specify retrieval of documents that have the first term but not the second.

In addition to the search indexes available in the basic search, you may search two additional indexes in the advanced search:

Search index Description
Dissertation Example: Ph.D.   You must include punctuation in your search however you may use upper or lower case
University Example: Waterloo.   Note that to search for the University of British Columbia you must use the Boolean operator NOT, i.e. British Columbia NOT Northern British Columbia

Limiting your search by degree date and/or language

The advanced search also allows you to limit your search results by degree date and/or language.

To limit your search by degree date, select an option from the drop-down list for Degree Date and then type the year in the box using the format YYYY (e.g. 1994) for a single year or YYY# (e.g. 199#) for a decade.

To limit your search by language, select a language from the drop-down list for Language. The default, "Any", searches all languages.

Click the "Submit" button to complete your search.

From the advanced search you can also choose the full text of electronic theses in the collection. In the box labeled "Search the full text of electronic theses" input the term or terms you wish to look for. You can select one of the radio buttons to search "all of these words", "at least one of these words" or "the exact phrase". The default search is "all of these words". Click the submit button to complete your search.

Results screen

The results screen presents the list of items that your search has returned. You can sort the results by:

  • name
  • title
  • date ascending (oldest first)
  • date descending (most recent first)

To see the full record for a particular item, click on the title. If you have only found one item, the full record will display immediately. To view the full text of an electronic thesis click on the PDF icon below the citation.

Record display

The Theses Portal displays the full record of each item, including name, title, series and publishing information, as well as abstracts where available.

Displaying selections

To see the full records for more than one thesis on your results list, click the boxes to the left of the items and then click the "Display Selections" button. If you select several items, they will display one by one. Use the "Next" and "Previous" buttons to move from one record to another.

Saving selections

To create a selections list, or bibliography, from your search results, click the boxes to the left of the items you are interested in and then click on the "Save Selections" button. You can also add items to your list by clicking the "Save" button on the record display screen.

Your Selections screen

After you have saved your selections, the Your Selections screen will display your selections list, or bibliography. You can view this list at any time by clicking on the "Your Selections" button.

From the Your Selections screen, you can print the list using your browser's print command. To email the list, enter a single email address in the box and click the "E-Mail To:" button. If the list contains accents, click the "MIME" box to retain the accents.