Dissertations…Empowering Researchers with Cutting-Edge Ideas & Insight

This post was originally published on the ProQuest Blog.

Dissertations often provide the only information on a particular topic, and surface primary research unavailable in other formats73% of researchers use theses and dissertations

While traditional peer-reviewed journal content remains a staple resource for researchers, a recent ProQuest survey indicates that research and teaching are informed by a diverse mix of content types.

One of the most used types of content was dissertations and theses, used by 73% of the 410 researchers across the world that responded to our survey. Not only are they popular with researchers, but those with teaching responsibilities also recommend dissertations to their students. In fact, more lecturers recommend their students use dissertations for research (86%) than use them themselves (73%).

Find out more about the changing information needs of researchers.

Why do so many researchers use dissertations?

Dissertations are an invaluable source of academically reviewed, scholarly thinking. One of the biggest worries for anyone writing an academic paper is that they have missed relevant articles or information. With deep coverage and extensive bibliographies that surface sources and ideas that would otherwise be missed, dissertations are an important tool for literature reviews.

In addition, dissertations can often provide the only information on a particular topic. And in disciplines where journals are not the primary form of scholarly communication, such as history or literature, dissertations offer access to significant primary research that is not published in any other format. They can also surface seminal ideas from notable scholars, including:

Carl Sagan, Physical Studies of Planets. The University of Chicago, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1960. 301918122.

Martin Luther King, Jr. A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman. Boston University Graduate School. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1955. 0024708.

Temple Grandin. Effect of Rearing Environment and Environmental Enrichment on Behavior and Neural Development in Young Pigs. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1989. 8924824.

With the peer review process for academic journals often taking 2 or 3 years, dissertations empower researchers with access to cutting edge scholarly research as well as a scholarly angle on global hot topics.

Some interesting and topical examples include:

Even works written many years ago continue to have relevance today. Consider this dissertation, worth a look with the recent 50th anniversary of The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

Find out more about the changing information needs of researchers.

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1 Comments

  1. Marlene Coles

    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this material in your community. Much appreciated! Marlene Coles

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