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Dissertations and Theses

Why Use Dissertations from Others in Your Own Research?

There are many reasons to consult dissertations from others in the pursuit of your own research.

  1. In-Depth Research: Dissertations are often extensive research projects that delve deeply into specific topics. They provide comprehensive analyses and can serve as valuable sources for gaining in-depth insights into a particular subject.

  2. Methodology and Data: Dissertations typically detail the methodology used and the data collected during the research process. Researchers can learn from these approaches and adapt or replicate them for their own studies.

  3. Literature Reviews: Dissertations usually include thorough literature reviews that summarize and analyze existing research on the topic. These reviews can save researchers time and effort in identifying relevant sources and understanding the state of the field.

  4. Exploring Lesser-Known Topics: Dissertations often cover niche or specialized topics that may not be extensively discussed in published academic journals. Researchers can find valuable information and data on less commonly studied areas.

  5. Examining Theoretical Frameworks: Dissertations often present and apply various theoretical frameworks relevant to the research topic. This can aid researchers in understanding different theoretical approaches and their applications.

  6. Validation of Findings: When conducting research, researchers might find dissertations with findings that support or contradict their own. Referencing these dissertations can strengthen the validity of their own research by showing similar results in different contexts.

  7. Historical Research: Dissertations from the past can be valuable for historical research or to understand how research in a particular field has evolved over time.

  8. Access to Grey Literature: Some dissertations might contain unpublished or grey literature, including conference papers or reports, which can offer valuable insights not found in peer-reviewed publications.


While using dissertations as a source can be beneficial, researchers should exercise caution and critically evaluate the quality and credibility of each dissertation. Dissertations are not peer-reviewed in the same way as academic journal articles, so it is essential to consider the rigor of the research and the expertise of the author. If possible, researchers should supplement their findings with peer-reviewed articles and other reputable sources to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their research.

Institutional Repositories

Many academic institutions maintain their collection of dissertations and theses in their institutional or digital repositories.  If you know where the dissertation was written, you can search the website of that university for a repository.  Some examples are as follows:

OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center

Michigan State University Digital Repository


LSU Digital Commons

At this time, CGI does not maintain its own institutional repository.

Open Access to Dissertations Published in the US

Open Access to Dissertations Published Internationally