Search help for Theses Canada

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Type your search term in the appropriate field. You can search using only one field (e.g. Author) or multiple fields at once (e.g. Any Keyword and Degree).

Click Show Advanced Search Options to search by Degree, University, Degree Date, and/or Language.

All theses versus Electronic theses only:

  • Select All theses to search the entire thesis collection at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), including print, microform and electronic formats.
  • Select Electronic theses only to limit your search to theses available online. You can view and download copies for private research and study purposes.

Revise search and 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 button in the left-side menu, or use your browser's back button and click Clear.

Search fields

Search fields
Search field Description
Any Keyword Search all fields. Since many theses records do not include subject headings, 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.)
Search fields: Advanced Search Options
Search field Description
Degree Search the dissertation note field for degree name. Degree name formats are not entered consistently, but in general the following 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 the dissertation note field for university name. Example: Waterloo or Université de Montréal. Phrase searching does not work in this field. It is better to do a phrase search for university name in the Any Keyword field.
Degree Date Limit your search by the year (e.g. 1997) or decade (e.g. 199) in which the thesis was published or granted. Note that the publication year and the year the degree was granted are sometimes different.
Language Limit your search by the language in which the thesis was written. (The drop-down list only includes languages with more than 40 examples in the collection.)

Wildcard and phrase search

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

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

To search for an exact phrase of two words or more, use quotes. Without 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”

You cannot use the wildcard symbol within an exact phrase search.

Combine search terms

By default, the search combines multiple search terms using the Boolean operator AND, to find records where all terms are present.

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

You do not need to type the word AND. A search for agriculture Vietnam finds the same number of records as agriculture AND Vietnam.

If you want to combine search terms using the Boolean operators OR and NOT, it is possible to do so in Aurora, LAC's library catalogue. All Theses Canada records are included in Aurora, and you can filter Aurora searches by format to find theses only by selecting Thesis, Dissertation in the Search Tools section.

Results screen

The results screen presents the list of items that your search has returned. 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 dissertation note field. Note that this field often begins with the word “Thesis,” so it is not an effective way to sort by degree type (e.g. Master or Ph.D.).

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.

Select and email results

Click the check box beside titles that interest you in order 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.

Here is an example of an emailed record:

Information provided in the emailed record includes OCLC number, link to Aurora, author, title, and degree.

You can use the OCLC number to search for the thesis in both the Theses Canada search portal and Aurora. The link points directly to the thesis record display in Aurora, where you can see LAC's holdings and find a full-text link if available.

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 on LAC's servers. 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 search portal, so you will need to use Aurora to see the holdings data and to request items from LAC's collection. Click on the OCLC number in the record to open it in Aurora.

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