Dissertation Abstracts International is a comprehensive print publication citing virtually every doctoral dissertation completed in North America, as well as a number of dissertations from around the world. It is published monthly in both print and microfiche formats. Each monthly issue contains around 5,000 new dissertations, complete with brief abstracts by the authors. Dissertation Abstracts International is an indispensable resource for the student preparing to write his or her own dissertation.
A dissertation abstract is a brief, usually 350-word long summary of a dissertation. Dissertation abstracts generally include the topic covered and a description of the research conducted and the conclusions reached. Dissertation abstracts are intended to assist doctoral candidates and other researchers in locating dissertations that are relevant to their own projects. Dissertation Abstracts International is a definitive resource for searching existing dissertation abstracts.
When a doctoral student is deciding which dissertations to cite and discuss in his or her literature review, Dissertation Abstracts International is the source to consult. By reading the abstracts by other doctoral candidates in the field, the student can decide which dissertations to acquire and review. The full-text versions of dissertations listed in Dissertation Abstracts International can be purchased or borrowed through most university libraries' interlibrary loan systems. The more well-read one is regarding recent dissertations in the field, the more well-prepared one will be to choose a topic for and effectively research and write one's own dissertation.
In addition to new monthly issues of Dissertation Abstracts International, it is also possible to consult many volumes of back issues. While older issues primarily cited each dissertation's author, university, year the doctorate was awarded, and number of pages, listings published since 1980 also include abstracts for each dissertation.
While most students consult Dissertation Abstracts International through their university's library, subscriptions are available through Pro-Quest LLC.