Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Content 

Questions about Preservation

 

Questions about the Submissions Process

Questions about Content 

How long has ProQuest been disseminating and archiving doctoral dissertations and thesis?

ProQuest has partnered with academic institutions around the world to archive and disseminate a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses. The program started in 1939 with a goal to create a U.S. national repository of graduate works. ProQuest now has partnerships with most of the doctoral institutions in the U.S. and Canada and with a significant and growing list of international universities. Each year, ProQuest adds more than 200,000 new dissertations and theses to its database, ProQuest Dissertations Theses (PQDT) Global.

How much content is contained in the ProQuest Dissertations Theses Global?

PQDT Global now offers abstracts and indexing for nearly 5. million dissertations and theses, with full text (PDFs) for more than 2.6 million of those works. Coverage for the database begins in 1637, and full-text coverage is primarily from 1997 forward, although there are hundreds of thousands of dissertations available for pre-1997 works. The database is the culmination of dissertations and theses from over 4,100 institutions around the world. All of these graduate works are carefully indexed to enable convenient search and discovery by the scholarly community and researchers of all kinds. ProQuest's suite of dissertation services is accessed by more than 3,100 institutions worldwide. For the exact number of dissertations in ProQuest Dissertation Theses Global, search for publication year higher than the year 1000.

How much non-U.S. content does ProQuest provide?

ProQuest has been adding non-U.S.-content to PQDT Global through extensive and longstanding partnerships with graduate institutions from around the world. PQDT Global now includes dissertations and theses from more than 100 countries. As the scholarly community has become increasingly global, ProQuest has continued to increase its focus on developing partnerships with universities and national associations to archive and disseminate dissertations from around the world. PQDT Global provides access to works from the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, India and Asia Pacific regions in addition to comprehensive coverage from the U.S. and Canada. Content growth continues in Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

What is the quality of the dissertation PDFs contained in the database?

Today, most dissertations and theses come to ProQuest as PDFs providing high-quality images. However, for our older pre-digital collections, we strive to maximize the quality of scans based upon current technologies. For example, some older works from ProQuest Dissertations Theses have been scanned from bi-tonal microfilm images and have reduced quality compared to native PDF. We continuously explore new ways to upgrade our content to meet the changing needs of researchers. For example, in 2014 ProQuest made available OCR for older dissertations making full-text PDFs of graduate works searchable.

How does ProQuest enhance the metadata provided by authors/universities?

ProQuest employs a large team of experienced editors who manually review submissions for completeness and to ensure the accuracy of the metadata. Editors proof and correct graduate work title pages, matching exactly the title metadata, and check abstracts for errors in formatting and spelling. In addition, the metadata is enriched by adding subjects (from our controlled vocabulary), classification, committee members, and keywords in order to maximize the discoverability of the graduate work. References are also extracted and hyperlinked to directly connect the work across multiple research sources.

How does ProQuest distribute the content provided for inclusion in PQDT Global?

ProQuest mainly facilitates access to the metadata enhanced full-text theses and dissertations via its PQDT Global database, which supports 3,100 subscribing universities, with 4 million researchers around the world. That said, ProQuest may also make individual sales of works to those that do not hold a subscription or wish to purchase a printed copy for their library. All individual sales are attributed back to the author and copyright holder of the work in the form of royalty payments. Hardbound/softbound print copies or PDF copies of works may be purchased via a legacy Abstract Index-only product (PQDT AI); through the Dissertations Express iStore, or via an exclusive partnership with CALIS, to facilitate the discovery of international research by Chinese universities. ProQuest also offers all authors discounted pricing on bound copies of their thesis or dissertation, which some choose to make use of, to purchase copies of their works for friends or family.

Questions about Preservation

How does ProQuest preserve dissertations & theses?

All works on PQDT are regularly archived in Amazon S3 Glacier, which is a secure and durable cloud storage class for data archiving and long-term backup. This delivers 99.9% durability and provides comprehensive security and compliance meeting stringent archiving requirements. Contributing institutions have perpetual access to their own content on PQDT free-of-charge. ProQuest preserves all dissertations and theses in microform format, stored in climate and humidity-controlled vaults. Microform has been shown to last 500 years when properly stored in vaults as ProQuest employs.

Questions about the Submissions Process

What are the requirements for a university to be eligible to submit content to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global?

In the United States, ProQuest's policy is to accept master's theses and dissertations from all institutions which have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies (Middle States Association, New England Association, Higher Learning Commission (formerly, North Central Association), Northwest Association, Southern Association and Western Association) for inclusion in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. Regional accreditation means that the accredited institutions are eligible for membership in the Council of Graduate Schools, which is the standard by which the higher education community judges itself. Master's theses and dissertations from independent medical and law schools accredited by the AMA and ABA are also accepted.

If an institution wishes to be included in the community of higher education institutions that appear in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database, that institution must be evaluated and judged as a peer of the community, requiring regional accreditation. Our customers rely upon ProQuest to maintain these standards as a condition of continuing their subscriptions.

All International schools must be recognized by their country as an established institution. ProQuest accepts Masters and Doctoral level dissertations and theses as approved and assigned by the universities.

How can my university submit dissertations to ProQuest?

We suggest that universities use the free ETD Administrator review and approval tool (www.etdadmin.com). For institutions that have an existing reliable electronic submission tool, we offer other automated content retrieval options.

Can we submit metadata only to PQDT Global?

We do not offer that option because it misaligns with researchers’ needs and expectations to be able to fully use the search, curation, and analysis tools that the ProQuest Platform offers. Researchers require the full text in the ProQuest platform environment in order to take advantage of features such as full text searching across the 2.6 million full-text dissertations and theses, reference linking that ProQuest enables between works, and enhanced searching for advisors, universities, etc.

What is the relationship between ProQuest and Turnitin.com?

ProQuest supports partnering institutions’ efforts to communicate and maintain academic integrity policies and originality standards. ProQuest has partnered with Turnitin, since 2012 to offer authors, institutions, publishers and other non-academic research entities a means of ensuring the originality of new work and ensuring creators of previously produced work are appropriately acknowledged by making dissertations and theses available within Turnitin. Turnitin and iThenticate tools are helpful resources for protecting the reputation of institutions, advisors, students, researchers, writers and publishers from plagiarism.

How much of the thesis or dissertation is revealed in Turnitin/iThenticate?

Only content in the theses or dissertations that matches will appear. Author names and titles are not typically revealed.