Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Reading PhD theses

Supervisor tells me to read PhDs to get examples of how to write mine. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get PhDs to read. If you go to the Open University library, you have to ask for a particular thesis, which means you have to give the library the title and the author, and then the librarian goes and fetches it for you. You can't just browse theses. So it's a bit difficult to find useful theses when what you want is to see the content, the structure, the layout, and perhaps what the author has addressed when writing the methodology chapter. These aren't things you can search for on an electronic database, so there's no point in going on the OU catalogue system to look for a helpfully structured thesis because the catalogue can only search for content and topic of theses.

The OU has this wonderful repository of research, Open Research Online, but that doesn't reveal theses. You'd think that the Open University would have got round to putting its PhD theses on line, like Cranfield does.

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