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PACS601/602/603: Researching Oceania: Creative and Conventional Methods of Inquiry

Researching Oceania: Creative and Conventional Methods of Inquiry

Dissertations & Theses

Dissertations and theses (D&T) are an essential building block for graduate level research: In the case of a multi-disciplinary field like Pacific Islands Studies, dissertations and theses can be extremely helpful as examples of how other scholars have situated their work within various academic fields. And of course, D&T include extensive bibliographies, which can lead researchers to previously unknown resources. The Pacific Collection at Hamilton Library provides access to Pacific-related D&T in a variety of formats, and through a number of different tools. 

Hard Copy Theses in the Pacific Collection

There are two ways to search for dissertations and theses held at UH System libraries. Both search methods should be run using Voyager's Advanced Search tab.

Method 1: To browse through theses that have been submitted in the M.A. program for Pacific Islands Studies, in the Advanced search mode: 

enter THES? MANOA PACIFIC and select the "Series search" option from the right-hand dropdown menu. This will bring up a list of all cataloged* theses that have been submitted for an M.A. in Pacific Islands Studies. If you have a specific interest, say in work that has been done on Guam, or Kava, or literature or so forth, you can select AND and add any terms you like to the second line of the search window, selecting "keyword anywhere" as the search type. This will bring up CPIS theses that include these keywords in the Voyager entry.

Method 2: To browse through dissertations and theses that may have been produced in other departments, or at other universities**, but have a Pacific subject:

On the first line, enter the search term THES? and select the Dissertation Note search option from the right-hand dropdown menu. On the second line, enter the Subject or Major, and leave the Keyword Anywhere search option in place. To search more specifically for PhD disserations, substitute DISS? for THES? in the Dissertation Note field.

For example:

Search for: Thes? [in Dissertation Note]


Geography [in Keyword Anywhere]

Finds: Dissertations or theses on Geography. 

For both these search strategies, you can narrow down your search results by adding an author's name or narrower keywords to your search, or you can narrow down the time frame using the Year limits below the search boxes.

*There is an ongoing delay between the year a theses is submitted for graduation to when it is cataloged and appears in Voyager. The lag can be up to five years from the current (in other words, as of 2015, you may only see theses submitted in 2010). Theses that have been submitted later than 2010 are often available for use, but doing so requires the help of a Hawaiian & Pacific Collections librarian since these titles are not in Voyager.

**The Pacific Collection does not hold every Pacific-related dissertation & theses submitted anywhere in the world within its collections. See the "digital access" box for strategies on finding D&T that have been submitted at other institutions worldwide.


Digital Dissertations & Theses

A growing number of Pacific-related dissertations & theses are available in full-text online. Many can be found using large aggregating databases, which search across multiple institutions at once. In the case of dissertations and theses submitted at UH, the Library in most cases has access to both hard-copy and digital dissertations. Note: Just because some dissertations and theses are available online, does not mean all are. When doing a comprehensive literature search, you will still need to search library holdings and other sources for print disstertations and theses.