Search help

On this page

How to search the database

Type your search term in the appropriate field and click Search.

You can search using a single field (for example, Author). You can also search multiple fields at once (for example, Any Keyword and Degree).

Advanced options

Expand the Show advanced search options dropdown menu to search by:

  • Degree
  • University
  • Degree date
  • Language

All theses versus Electronic theses only

  • Click the All theses radio button to search our entire thesis collection, including:
    • print
    • microform
    • electronic formats
  • Click the Electronic theses only radio button to only search theses available online. You can view and download copies for research and private study purposes.

Revising or creating a new search

  • To revise your search terms, use your browser's back button to return to your original search page.
  • To begin a new search, click the Search Theses Canada link

Search fields

Default search fields
Search field Description
Any Keyword Search all fields. Any keyword is the best way to search for a particular subject.
Author Search by name of author. Enter the name in any order.
Title Keyword Search the title field.
Subject Keyword Search the subject field, which contains standard subject headings and/or subject keywords. (Not all theses records include a subject field.)
Abstract Keyword Search the abstract field. (Not all theses records have abstracts.)
OCLC Number Search by OCLC number.
ISBN Number Search by ISBN number. Omit hyphens. Examples: 9780612555280 or 0612555283. (Not all theses records have an ISBN number.)
Advanced search options fields
Search field Description
Degree Search by degree name. Degree name formats are inconsistent. In general, the following search tips work:
  • Type Ph to find Ph.D. dissertations.
  • Type M* to find master's theses. The wildcard (*) will find both abbreviated and full versions of the degree name (e.g. M.A. and Master of Arts).
University Search by university name. For example:
  • Waterloo
  • Université de Montréal

Phrase searching does not work in this field. You can do a phrase search for university name in the Any keyword field.

Degree Date Limit your search by the year or decade an institution published a thesis or granted a degree. For example:
  • Search 199 for the 90s decade
  • Search 1997 for that specific year

Note that publication year and the year a university grants a degree can be different.

Language Limit your search by the language of the thesis. The drop-down list only includes languages with more than 40 examples in the collection.

Wildcard search

Use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (or truncation) symbol to find variant endings of a word.

Example: communicat* will find communication, communicate, communicating, communicator, etc.

Phrase search

To search for an exact phrase, wrap the search words in double-quotes. Without the quotes, the search will find the words anywhere in the record, but not necessarily together as a phrase.

Examples: “Lake Ontario” or “University of British Columbia”

Do not use the wildcard symbol (*) within an exact phrase search.

Combine search terms

By default, the search adds the operator 'and' between two words.

For example, a search for Atwood Munro will return records that mention both Atwood and Munro in the thesis record.

You don't need to type the word 'and'.

A search for agriculture Vietnam finds the same number of records as agriculture and Vietnam.

The logical operators 'or' and 'not' don't work in the Theses Canada search.

You can use the operators 'or' and 'not' in Aurora, our library catalogue. Aurora includes all Theses Canada records.

Results screen

The results screen presents the list of items that your search has returned, up to a maximum of 1000 items. You can choose to display 10, 25, 50 or 100 results per page. To see the full record for a particular item, click on the title.

Sort and filter results

The default sort order for the results list is based on relevance. Select a new sort order by clicking on the arrows in the table header. You can sort by Author, Title, Degree or Publication Date.

The Degree sort order is alphabetical based on the text in the degree field. Note that degree name formats are inconsistent and they often begin with the word “Thesis”.

Search within your results by typing a keyword in the Filter items box. This limits your current search to results containing the keyword in the record. The filter only applies to the first 1000 search results.

Select and email results

Click the check box beside titles that interest you to email them to yourself. Select one or more titles, then type an email address in the Email Selected Results box. The box will not accept multiple email addresses. You can select titles on multiple pages from the same search, but if you do a new search, the selection clears.

The emailed record includes the OCLC number, full text link, author name, title, and degree information.

Record display

The records vary in the information they provide. Some include abstracts, subject headings, and/or ISBN numbers, and others do not.

Use the Prev and Next buttons to move backward and forward through the records. Click Back to Search Results to return to your results list.

Click on the OCLC number to go to the thesis record in Aurora.

Click on the author's name to see other theses by the same author in the Theses Canada collection.

Find copies

If the thesis is available electronically, the Link(s) to fulltext will point to the electronic copy. Other links may be available that point to electronic copies in university repositories.

Print and microform holdings data is not included in the Theses Canada database. Use Aurora to see the holdings data and to request items from our collection. Click on the OCLC number in the record to open it in Aurora.