Until recently theses and dissertations (Masters and PhD) were only available in printed form. Now, worldwide, institutions are digitising their collections putting these resources into the public domain. See the centre column for information about UKZN's digitising project and the right hand column for access to national and international resources.
UKZN is digitising its theses starting with the most recent ones and working backwards so a free pdf copy is available.
1. All theses are always listed in the icatalogue with a URL link to the full text where it is available. Several hundred masters and PhD theses have been added to date.
2. The digitised theses are also available via ResearchSpace and a thesis can be searched for via author, title and community. It is best to access ResearchSpace via Firefox particularly from off campus.
3. ResearchSpace also provides links to sites that deal with publisher copyright policies.
4. Theses can also be traced via Google.
OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. As well as providing a simple repository list, OpenDOAR lets you search for repositories or search repository contents.
South African Institutional Repositories / Archives
The UCTD (Union Catalogue of Dissertations and Theses) on SABINET provides an index to all Masters and PhD theses completed in South Africa since 1918. This is the most comprehensive index to South African theses. If you want to see if a thesis is available electronically you will need to go to the library website of the institution where the thesis was completed.
DATAD (Database of African Theses and Dissertations) contains citations and abstracts for dissertations completed in African universities. To search and access the brief citations, you must first register at the site and then login.
PQTD Open - ProQuest's open access theses collection
NEXUS: current and completex research provides information on approximately 150 000 South African current and completed research projects including theses and dissertations on all fields of science since 1919. The records of the Union Catalogue of Theses and Dissertations (UCTD) formerly maintained by the Potchefstroom University for CHE are now included. The NAVTECH research projects are included in the database. It also includes abstracts and English titles are given for projects not in English.
Denise Nicholson of Wits Library has put together a useful as well as a list of some international collections
Google and Google Scholar will also list theses in results.
UKZN requires one electronic copy of your final thesis for the UKZN Library. Theses are uploaded onto Research Space so they are accessible world wide.
Open Access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the internet to peer reviewed scholarly journal articles.