22 September 2016 Blogs

Helping the Researcher...there is a Dissertation for That!

One dissertation can lead to the discovery of more sources, as well as other works that have been cited in additional dissertations.

By Sarah Palmer, Customer Experience Supervisor
When I wrote the first “There’s a Dissertation for That!” post last year it, began with as a challenge to myself to find a dissertation that matched up with each of the books I read over the summer.  
As a result of my little experiment, I discovered the amazing diversity of content in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. So, I just kept going and ended up exploring an eclectic range of topics in this series.  Family History, New Year’s Resolutions, David Bowie, Baseball …– there’s a dissertation for all of these! 
This time, instead of delving into the list of the books I’ve read this summer, I want to concentrate on just one of the titles. 
If you have been anywhere near me this summer at all, you know the book I can’t stop talking about is Nancy Jo Sales’ The Bling Ring: How A Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World (Sales, Nancy Jo. 2013. The Bling Ring. London: HarperCollins.). Based on Sales’ Vanity Fair article, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” this is the true story of the crime ring in Los Angeles that robbed famous peoples’ homes, interspersed with commentary about how people use social media. 
I could go on and on – this book is a truly fascinating read. So, of course I had to check if there were any dissertations published about The Bling Ring in our database. 
 At the time I’m writing this post there is one:
Morrison, J. N. (2014). Spectacle or respectable?: Gendered constructions of fame in the Bling Ring and Hustle and Flow (Order No. 1565307). 
This dissertation explores the Sophia Coppola movie version of The Bling Ring and includes 136 references.  The references cover the major themes from the book and movie – fame, the drive to be famous and social media.
This made me think about what an excellent starting point ProQuest Dissertations and Theses provides researchers just beginning to gather information on a subject. As we can see from the example above, one dissertation can lead to the discovery of more sources, as well as other works that have been cited in additional dissertations. 
As a result, researchers are able find the answers to questions such as: Has anyone else written about the topic?  How is the topic examined?  What references were used? 
Interested in finding out more on how to utilize ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for Research?  The webinars listed below will cover searching, references, cited works and alerts.  We hope if you are researching, or assisting a researcher, you will join us for these sessions to learn more!
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for the Researcher and Instructor
Friday, October 7, 2016 1:00 pm EST
30 minutes
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?MTID=e88e31e705e52f45edce0fd44fd097c9f
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for the Researcher and Instructor
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 11:00 am EST
30 minutes
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9e9c0f81b6b501d09859bc282fdcd0f1

By Sarah Palmer, Customer Experience Supervisor

When I wrote the first “There’s a Dissertation for That!” post last year it, it began as a challenge to myself to find a dissertation that matched up with each of the books I read over the summer.  

As a result of my little experiment, I discovered the amazing diversity of content in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. So, I just kept going and ended up exploring an eclectic range of topics in this series. Family History, New Year’s Resolutions, David Bowie, Baseball...there’s a dissertation for all of these! 

This time, instead of delving into the list of the books I’ve read this summer, I want to concentrate on just one of the titles. 

If you have been anywhere near me this summer at all, you know the book I can’t stop talking about is Nancy Jo Sales’ The Bling Ring: How A Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World (Sales, Nancy Jo. 2013. The Bling Ring. London: HarperCollins.). Based on Sales’ Vanity Fair article, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” this is the true story of the crime ring in Los Angeles that robbed famous peoples’ homes, interspersed with commentary about how people use social media. 

I could go on and on – this book is a truly fascinating read. So, of course, I had to check if there were any dissertations published about The Bling Ring in our database. 

At the time I’m writing this post there is one:

Morrison, J. N. (2014). Spectacle or respectable?: Gendered constructions of fame in the Bling Ring and Hustle and Flow (Order No. 1565307). 

This dissertation explores the Sophia Coppola movie version of The Bling Ring and includes 136 references. The references cover the major themes from the book and movie – fame, the drive to be famous and social media.

This made me think about what an excellent starting point ProQuest Dissertations and Theses provides researchers just beginning to gather information on a subject. As we can see from the example above, one dissertation can lead to the discovery of more sources, as well as other works that have been cited in additional dissertations. 

As a result, researchers are able find the answers to questions such as: Has anyone else written about the topic? How is the topic examined? What references were used? 

Interested in finding out more about how to utilize ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for Research? The webinars listed below will cover searching, references, cited works and alerts. We hope if you are researching, or assisting a researcher, you will join us for these sessions to learn more!

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for the Researcher and Instructor
Friday, October 7, 2016, 3:00 pm EST
30 minutes 

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for the Researcher and Instructor
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 11:00 am EST
30 minutes