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Selected tools for identifying dissertations on Africa
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Fulltext
The basic tool for identifying dissertations.
Incorporates Dissertation Abstracts International and American Doctoral Dissertations and its predecessors. Provides abstracts, 1980-present. Fulltext, 1997-present with many older dissertations also in fulltext.
Warning! Indexing for African topics is poor, and so browsing or searching on many keywords is required to identify dissertations on Africa.
Recent doctoral dissertations about Africa / Joseph Lauer (Michigan State University)
(preserved in Internet Archive, 10 September 2017)
Identifies US and Canadian PhD dissertations on Africa, abstracted in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses or its predecessor Dissertation Abstracts International, 1980-(2011). Produced by Joseph Lauer, Michigan State University Libraries. Lauer's stringent criteria for African content identify fewer Penn dissertations than the current project.
American and Canadian doctoral dissertations and master's theses on Africa, 1974-1987 / Joseph J. Lauer, Gregory V. Larkin & Alfred Kagan, comps.
Atlanta, GA: Crossroads Press, Emory University, 1989.
Lauer et al.'s stringent criteria for African content identify fewer Penn dissertations than the current project.
Penn dissertations on Africa - a broad list
This broad list of University of Pennsylvania doctoral dissertations, 1980-present, was assembled through searches run at intervals in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text and its predecessors, Proquest Digital Dissertations and Dissertation Abstracts International. Individual dissertation records in the search results were reviewed for relevance.
PennAfricaDissertations_1980to2017_20180613.xlsx This MS Excel spreadsheet identifies 493 Penn doctoral dissertations (Ph.D., Ed.D., and D.S.W. degrees) on African topics, 1980-2017. The spreadsheet provides author, title, department, date, abstract, advisor (where easily available), ProQuest subject and keyword indexing, UMI order number, and a direct URL to ProQuest's citation.
Last update: 21 May 2018.
These MS Word files present the list by decade:
This text file provides the search string used in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text to produce the spreadsheet above. The search is limited to University of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (which was treated separately by ProQuest for a brief time).
- The list's 1980 start date corresponds to the earliest appearance of abstracts in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
- The list includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and D.S.W. degrees. ProQuest's coverage of Ed.D. dissertations starts with 1987 (with one D.Ed. in 1974), although Franklin indicates Ed.D. dissertation holdings starting with 1930 - so pre-1987 Ed.D. dissertations on Africa may be missing from this list. D.S.W. dissertations first appear in ProQuest in 1955, although Franklin shows D.S.W. dissertation holdings starting with 1951.
- Search terms are very loose: ethnonyms, language names, countries, cities. If a title or abstract lacks these terms, the dissertation might be overlooked.
- Searches retrieve only those dissertations reported to ProQuest or UMI, its predecessor. Very recent dissertations may not have been received or processed by ProQuest.
- Direct links into ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text provided by the list point to ProQuest records, which may or may not include full text.
Availability of Penn dissertations
- Franklin, the Penn Library catalog, lists Penn dissertations with location, call number, and current availability information.
Franklin provides separate records for print/microform and for ProQuest-hosted fulltext versions of dissertations. Franklin records for these formats provide different information: print/microform records will identify the degree-awarding department, fulltext records may provide abstracts. ProQuest's provision of cataloging for fulltext Penn dissertations has been inconsistent: many more fulltext Penn dissertations will be available in PQDT than Franklin indicates.
- ScholarlyCommons: Repository, the institutional repository, includes Penn dissertations in fulltext, 1997 to the present. Access is provided from ProQuest.
- ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text identifies Penn dissertations from the 19th century to the present and provides fulltext for Penn dissertations received by ProQuest/UMI from 1997 to the present, with many older Penn dissertations also provided, in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. NB. PDF files earlier than the past few years are typically page-image PDF, not searchable fulltext PDF.
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