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Hawaiʻi - Hawaiian Thesis Research


As you are developing and finalizing your thesis topic and question(s), a key component of this work is the literature review. The purpose of the literature review is to help anchor you in the scholarly conversations that are happening around your thesis topic and question(s). These scholarly conversation are commonly found in the academic literature of dissertations & theses, single & edited volumes, and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Generally a good starting place to find academic literature is OneSearch, the library's "discovery" search. It looks for resources in our own library's physical and electronic collections and in the many academic databases our library does and does not subscribe to for full-text access and citations.

Dissertations & Theses

OneSearch will find dissertations and theses. But, oftentimes when looking for dissertations and theses you will also want to look in specific databases that either indexes them, allows you to search the full-text of them, and/or makes them fully available to download. Below are some key databases and strategies to find dissertations and theses.

Single, Edited & Serial Volumes

After looking in OneSearch as your starting place to find academic literature published as single or edited volumes, it is often useful to also search in WorldCat because it will help you find new and older materials that UH Mānoa's library has not yet acquired. Google Books is another useful database to search when you are looking for literature that mentions certain concepts, phrases, people and places that you are unable to find using OneSearch or WorldCat because it searches the full-text of their huge collection of digitized books and periodicals. Lastly, sometimes this literature is also published in technical reports and bulletins from scientific cultural research institutions such as the Bishop Museum as well as from corporations, organizations and associations of economic and social enterprises such as pineapple, sugar, and education to name a few.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

After using OneSearch to find peer-reviewed journal literature, it is often good to also look in specific databases such as the ones listed below to find specific articles pertaining to your research topic and questions as these databases will give you more search functionalities and give you information on the scope and depth of resources in the database. The databases below are known to index many Hawaiian and Pacific-related journals. Sometimes though, it is also very useful to search and browse in specific Hawaiʻi and Pacific-related journals that pertains to the subject and disciplines that your research is related to. This is because not all Hawaiʻi and Pacific-related journals may be indexed in these common databases. At the end of this section, you will find a list of journals that are Hawaiian and Pacific-focused or are known to publish on Hawaiian and Pacific-related topics in their respective subject areas so you can browse them.

About this Guide

This research guide was created for graduate and undergraduate students doing Hawaiʻi- and Hawaiian-related thesis research. If you need research help, email Kapena Shim (, a Hawaiian Collection librarian at UH Mānoa.

For updates on accessing materials from UH Mānoa's Hawaiian and Pacific Collections, visit our website.

For help on general Hawaiʻi research, visit the research guide, Hawaiʻi - General Research.