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Database Search Tips

This guide will help get you started in some of our most popular databases! Happy searching! Let us know if we can help.


A comprehensive collection of over 5 million dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day. It includes full text for graduate works added since 1997 and selected full text for works written prior to 1997.

Most useful for:

  • Finding unpublished/grey literature on a topic that is not indexed in other databases

Getting Started

ProQuest Tutorials provided by Clarivate

Basic Searching Instructions

Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global does not have subject headings. You can search single topics in Basic Search, but Advanced Search allows you to combine topics easily.

Searching with Basic Search

1. Enter words or phrases that describe your topic in the search box.

2. Click the magnifying glass or press Enter to search.

Combining your search terms in Recent Searches

OR will find references with any of the search terms. Use OR to broaden your search.

AND will find references with all the search terms. Use AND to narrow your search.

Search History (Combining search results)

1. Click on the Recent Searches link (under the search boxes) to display your searches or search sets.

2. Combine searches using the number of each search line with either AND or OR in between in the box above the search history, and then click Search.

Searching with Advanced Search

1. Enter your search terms in the boxes. If you need additional rows, click "add row."

2. Click Search.

Limiting/Refining your Combined Search Results

Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global has limited filtering options. Common filters include publication date and language.



Saving your Searches via My Research Account

1. With an account, you can save and retrieve a search strategy, set up an e-mail alert to receive new references on your topic, store references in permanent folders for future use, and share your results with colleagues within your institution.

2. To set up a personal account, click on the person-shaped icon in the top right corner, and then click Create My Research Account.

3. To save the search to your account, click on Save search/alert to the top right of the results box.

4. Name your search, and it will appear in your account under Searches. You can combine saved searches, create alerts, or get a link to share the search.

5. To save handpicked citations from the results list, select the radio buttons for the documents you want and click the folder icon to Save to My Research Account. They will be saved in the "Documents" folder in My Research Account. You can also create subfolders to organize your saved documents.

Steps to Find Full-Text Articles

If you are unable to find full-text articles using the links below, you will need to order it via InterLibrary Loan (Step #3).

Before making a request for full-text articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), please try steps #1 and #2 to search for the full-text. This allows our service to focus on articles that are not available for free nor via our Duke subscriptions. Our Interlibrary Loan service is no charge to Duke borrowers for all article requests. If there are copyright or other fees associated with your article request, we will contact you.

  1. Find the article citation in a database: If you aren't already in a database, go back to PubMed or other database such as CINAHL, Embase, or Web of Science to look up the article. Why? Because our Get it @ Duke button will fill out the ILL form for you with all the article information – this saves you time and ensures greater citation accuracy.
  2. Click the GetIt@Duke button: Once you locate the article in a citation database, click the Get It @ Duke link.
  3. Select second button to request as Med Center User: From the page that says “We don't have this online — see below for other ways to get it” click the green button that says “Request – Med Center users.”
  4. Log on with your DHE / NetID username and password: This will take you to the ILL form. The article information will be filled into the form automatically. Scroll to the bottom, verify accuracy, and click submit.

If you can't find the citation in a database or you don't see a GetIt@Duke button, you can place a request manually through our interlibrary loan service. Follow the steps below.

Questions about Interlibrary Loan? All interlibrary loan questions should go to Louis Wiethe, Document Delivery & Interlibrary Loan Manager, 919.660.1179 or

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