This will be covered in three parts; What is a Database, Using a Database, and Effective use of a database. The student must understand that these databases are a reference, and research tool, and not a free Thesis for them. The same rules of using any other resource must be followed when using these databases. Remember, that these databases are a collection of other student’s work, and should be respected in the same way as anyone elses work.
A Thesis Database is a digital collection of student Theses and Dissertations that many Colleges and Universities submit to. These are usually run by Academic Publications, Research Organizations, or Universities, and are used by researchers worldwide. These are collected and stored for use as references, and to help find other references for a thesis or dissertation. Treat these just as one would a Library, and the books within.
First of all, talk to your school librarian, and find out which one they use, and what requirements they may have. Some require special rules followed for use. Then go to the site and do a general search to see if any material is stored on the student’s subject. When some are found, then do an advanced search to fine tune the works to the student’s needs. If the School the Student is going to, has their own to use, use the database search, the same way as one would a database online. The school many want the student using only one prescribed database, or they may allow others to be used as well, be sure to find out.
When a dissertation or thesis is found that the student wants to use, it must be downloaded completely and read thoroughly. Do not copy the thesis, but use effective parts just as would be done from any resource, with proper citing and referencing.
A basic search field, for the advanced search, will require three fields filled out; Subject (1) thesis, or dissertation, subject (2) Study field, Keyword- any keywords that direct to what the student is writing about. It will then require a “Time Period”, this is always best to look at no more than the previous 5-10 years. It will then ask what form, with a selection to choose from; any version, web, electronic, print, and Microfilm. Choose which you want to look through.
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