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Writing and Finding Dissertations and Theses: Starting Your Research

Includes and information about how to find dissertations and theses, as well as the writing and research process for your end-of-program major writing projects, including dissertations, theses, Social Work research projects, and more.

Getting Research in Gear

Starting your research will, naturally, be very different for every subject area. This page has some great hints that will be helpful for staying current in a subject area, as well as information about RefWorks, an online citation management tool that is specially geared towards people doing extensive research projects.   

We highly recommend that you refer to one of our subject-specific research guides to get started on the right track in your subject area.  A few of the most popular ones for graduate students are listed on the Related Guides section of this page.  

Subject-specialist librarian liaisons are also available for consultations and appointments to help you.  

Keeping Up

Here's a good article from the Chronicle on keeping up with professional journal reading.

Consult the Libraries' complete list of journals to see if we have your desired titles. If you'd like some help figuring out if your desired journals have a table-of-contents or search alert as described in the article, contact your liaison librarian.

Alerting Services Overview

Many UST databases include the ability to send users alerts to new content via email, RSS feeds, or social media.  This may take the form of:

  • Table of Contents alerts: generated and delivered every time a new issue of an individual publication is issued
  • Search alerts: saving a keyword or subject search that the database periodically re-runs and then notifies the user of new articles meeting the search criteria
  • Topic alerts: automatic periodic notifications of articles on pre-selected topics
  • Citation alerts: notices issued every time an article of interest is subsequently cited in the same database
  • Social media: many publishers and journals have accounts in Facebook, Twitter, etc. that you can follow

There are various ways to receive these alerts.  The easiest way is to set up an RSS news feed and get tables of contents sent to that one place via the A-Z list of journal titles

The other, more involved way is to set up alerts through each provider.  These current awareness services are available at no charge, but typically require users to register for a free account with the database provider

Each provider handles this differently and not all providers offer this service.  But each provider that does has a HELP link with instructions for setting up alerts.

We encourage students, faculty, and staff to use these tools to keep up to date on the literature of their field. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your liaison librarian

Old RefWorks

Old RefWorks Quick Links

Old RefWorks links

To learn more about how to use RefWorks, look at the following links for quick and easy help.

When logging in you may need to insert the UST Refworks Group Code

Alumni have lifelong access to RefWorks but must transfer your student account to an alumni account

Using RefWorks to Organize your Doc Project

Here's a great article on how to work on your doc project, organize the sections of your paper, develop a template, and incorporate your references.

From the University of Kent, in the UK: