1. Creating a Free Account
  2. Activating your account
  3. Logging in
  4. Did not receive the activation mail?
  5. Uploading Your Documents
  6. Searching For Documents
  7. Search Syntax
  8. Portfolios
  9. Saved Searches
  1. Creating a Free Account

    1. Select the Create Free Account link in the top right corner of the home page. In the Account Sign up page, fill in the account sign up form.
    2. The fields Name, Password, Retype Password, Occupation, Email and Confirm Email are mandatory, and are marked with a *. Checking the box to indicate that you have read the "Terms of Use" is also mandatory. You cannot leave a mandatory field blank or you will get an error upon submitting the form.

      Your password

      1. Your password should be at least 6 characters long, and can have a maximum of 15 characters.
      2. Spaces, hyphens (-) and quotations (') are not allowed in passwords.
      3. Passwords are case sensitive.

      Your email address

      1. Use an existing email address. The email address must be valid, as an activation email will be sent, and you are required to click on a link in the activation email before your account will function.
      2. Special characters like / (forward slash), " (double quotes), < (greater than symbol), > (less than symbol), ? (question mark), & (ampersand symbol) and \ (backward slash) cannot be used in the email address. These should not be found in email addresses anyway.
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  2. Activating your account

  3. OpenThesis has an email activation procedure. When you submit the sign-up form, you are then sent a verification email that contains an activation link. Once you click on this activation link, your account is activated.

    The link in the activation mail will take you to OpenThesis log in page. You can log in with the Email Address and password provided at the time of sign-up.

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  4. Logging in

  5. The log in page will ask for your Email Address and Password.

    1. Email Address - Use the email address you had provided on the sign-up form. (Your activation mail shows your Email address under User Name).
    2. Password - Use the password you provided on the registration form.

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  6. Did not receive the activation mail?

  7. Our system sends emails immediately. However, email takes a varying amount of time to be delivered on the internet, due to traffic conditions, your ISP, software settings, etc. We suggest giving the email at least 20 minutes to be received, but most of the time it should be much faster.

    If you do not find the OpenThesis activation mail in your inbox, check the SPAM folder too. It is possible that the SPAM filter of your mail account has mistaken our mail for SPAM.

    SPAM filters are intended to keep out unsolicited email. Due to the volume of users we have, OpenThesis sends a lot of email. This occasionally causes email service providers to interpret our emails as SPAM.

    To make sure you receive our email, you can whitelist emails from OpenThesis. By whitelisting, you can set your email software to accept incoming email from a specific email address or domain, overriding your mail service provider's SPAM filter. uses several email addresses for communication with users. Therefore, the most effective way to make sure that you receive our email is to whitelist the entire domain. Depending on the exact email service or program you are using, whitelisting a domain may be done by entering something like one of the following:

    In the event that your email service or program cannot whitelist entire domains, we would suggest you add these individual addresses to your whitelist:

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  8. Uploading Your Documents

  9. OpenThesis allows you to upload your theses, dissertations, or other academic documents. To get started, click the “Upload Documents” menu item on the menu bar.

    When the “Upload Document” page loads, fill out the form. The fields on the form are as follows:

    1. Document Type – Pick the option that best describes your document type. (Master's Thesis, Doctoral Dissertation, Other)
    2. Document Status – Choose “Final” or “Draft”
    3. Embargo Type – You can use the embargo feature to prevent some or all of your document from being displayed to users for a certain period of time. This is commonly used by authors who are having their documents published elsewhere and their publisher requires the author to avoid exposing the full text of the document for some period of time. If you chose an embargo type other than “none,” you will be asked to enter an End Date. This is the date upon which the embargo on your document will end and the entire document will then be exposed to all OpenThesis users.
      1. Full Text Only - To allow OpenThesis users to find your document and view only the abstract but not the full text, select “Full-Text Only” as the embargo type.
      2. To prevent users from seeing anything of your document and to prevent the document from appearing in any search results, select “Entire Document” as the embargo type.
      3. To allow users to view your entire document, select “None” as your embargo type.
    4. Document Title – The title of your document.
    5. Authors – OpenThesis supports the entry of multiple authors for any uploaded document. In order to guarantee the best search results when users search for documents by author, we allow users to specify the first, middle, and last name as well as a professional title for each author.

      To enter an author, populate the following fields:

      First (Given) Name
      Author Last (Family) Name
      Author Middle Name
      Author Title

      To add another author, click the “Add Another Author” link. The system will display another set of fields for the next author.
    6. Advisor – The name of the academic advisor for the document.
    7. Date of Publication/Writing – For published documents, enter the date the document was first published. For other documents, enter the date the paper was written.
    8. School – Enter the school associated with the document. Note: You can type any part of the school name and a look-up list will be displayed. Pick your school from the list. You can also use the “School Location” drop-down list to help limit the list of schools.
    9. Abstract – Enter the abstract text for your document here. It is probably easiest to copy the abstract text from your document and paste it into this text box.

      Note: For documents with an embargo type of “Full text Only” this is the only text from the document, besides the bibliographic data, that will be accessible by users of OpenThesis.
    10. Keywords – Enter any relevant keywords for yoru document here. Keywords help other users fid your document.
    11. ISBN – If you have received an ISBN number for yoru document, enter the number here.
    12. Attach Document – Enter the path to the document file on your computer. TIP: Click on the “Browse” button to display the “File Upload” window where you can browse your computer for the file and double click on it. This will enter the path to your file into the text box automatically.
    13. The Copyright/Terms of Use checkbox – Check this box to certify 1) that you are the copyright owner or have rights to upload this document; and 2) that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use for OpenThesis.

      Once you have completed the Upload Document form, click the “Upload Now!” button. The system will display all of the information you submitted and ask you to confirm that all of your data is correct. If it is correct, click the “Confirm” button. If you wish to change any of the displayed data, click the “Edit” button to be taken back to the “Upload Document” form.

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  10. Searching For Documents

    1. Quick Search
      The Quick Search box can be found in the navigation menu at the top of the screen on any page. You can run searches by entering the search query you wish to execute into the Quick Search box and either hitting the Enter key or by clicking on the Search Button to the right of the search box. The Quick Search box accepts all the regularly query terms, including Boolean terms and wild cards.
    2. Advanced Search
      The Advanced Search page can be accessed by clicking on the “Search Documents” menu option in the navigation menu at the top of any page. The Advanced Search page provides additional control that help you limit your search to specific areas of interest.
      1. Sort Order - Choose how you would like the results of your query sorted:
        1. Chronologically - the more recent documents appear first
        2. By Relevance - the more relevant articles appear first
      2. Date Rage - Use the Date Rage "From" and "To" boxes to search only documents that have publication or writing dates that fall within the selected range
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  11. Search Syntax

    1. To search for documents that contain your terms anywhere in the document, simply enter the text into the search area. For example, to find any records that contain the word "bicycle," just type "bicycle" (without the quotes) into the search area and execute your search.
    2. To search for text in a specific field, enter the Field Code followed by the text enclosed in parentheses and quotation marks. For example, to search for all record where the word "bicycle" appears in the abstract of the document, type ABST("bicycle") into the search area. A complete list of all of the field codes can be found on the Advance Search page.
    3. Use Boolean operators to combine terms. Boolean operators help you combine words or phrases to broaden or narrow your search. You can use boolean operators to specify what you want and what you do not want while searching. OpenThesis allows AND, OR and NOT operators.
      Boolean Operator Example Function
      AND Mobile and Telephone Finds documents which have both "mobile" and "telephone."
      OR Mobile or Telephone Finds documents which have either "mobile" or "telephone" or both.
      NOT Mobile not Telephone Finds documents which have only "mobile." The NOT operator excludes "telephone" completely.

      Order of precedence for boolean operators is:

      1. NOT

      2. AND

      3. OR

      Which means that in a query with NOT, AND and OR, terms connected by NOT would be processed first, followed by terms connected by AND and lastly, those connected with OR. Example: "cancer or tumor and brain" - Since AND is processed before OR, the query would be interpreted as "cancer or (tumor and brain)." Note: The OpenThesis search engine is not case sensitive for boolean operators.

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  12. Portfolios

    1. Portfolios are essentially an information management tool. Portfolios help you to effectively save and organize your information. Portfolios actually complement saved searches. While saved searches allow you to save your queries and run them to view the results, portfolios help you to save your results list or save selected documents from the result list.
    2. With portfolios, you may:
      1. Save the results or a set of selected documents from the results list for easy reference and further analysis.
      2. Add a description to portfolios.
      3. Add or remove any documents to any portfolios at any time.
      4. Merge and copy portfolios to help in analysis
    3. Adding Documents To Portfolios - You can add documents to new or existing portfolios from either the search results page or the document details page. (You can also create a new portfolio from the "My Portfolios" page.)
      1. Adding Documents To A Portfolio From EITHER The Search Results Page OR The Document Detail Page
        1. If you are adding documents from the search results page, you must first use the check boxes to the left of the document titles to select those documents you wish to add to a portfolio.
        2. From either the search results page or the document detail page, to add the selected document(s) to an existing portfolio:
          1. Use the "Add selected documents to portfolio" drop down box to select the portfolio to which the documents should be added.
          2. Click the "Go" button
        3. To add the selected documents to a new portfolio:
          1. Enter a name for your new portfolio in the "or to a new portfolio named" text box.
          2. Click the "Go" button
      2. Adding Documents To A Portfolio From The Portfolio Detail Page
        1. If you happen to know the Document ID for the document(s) you wish to add to the portfolio you are viewing, click the "Add" button at the bottom of the Portfolio Detail Page.
        2. In the resulting text box, type or paste teh Document ID and click the "OK" button.
        3. If you are entering multiple IDs at the same time, separate all IDs with a comma.
    4. Merging Portfolios - You can combine the contents of two or more portfolios with the "Merge" option. When merging portfolios, you must specify which Boolean rule (AND, OR, or AND NOT) the system should use to figure out which documents should end up in the new merged portfolio.
      1. To merge two portfolios
        1. From the My Portfolios page, click the "Merge" button
        2. Using the check boxes next to each portfolio, select the portfolios you wish to merge
        3. Enter a name for the new portfolio
        4. If desired, enter a description for the new portfolio
        5. Select the Boolean rule that the system should use when merging the portfolios.
          1. OR
            1. You can use OR option to have the system select only those documents that are in one portfolio OR the other, but NOT BOTH.
            2. E.g.: Portfolio A has documents 1, 2, 3 and 5. Portfolio B has documents 2, 3, 4 and 9. The resultant documents after merging portfolios A and B with OR would be 1, 4, 9 and 5.
          2. AND
            1. You can use AND option to have the system select only those documents that are contained in BOTH of the selected portfolios.
            2. E.g.: Portfolio A has documents 1, 2, 3 and 4. Portfolio B has documents 2, 3, 4 and 9. The resultant documents after merging portfolios A and B with AND would be 2, 3, and 4.
          3. AND NOT
            1. When you select the AND NOT rule, you must also use the associated drop-down box to select an existing portfolio.
            2. The AND NOT option will combine all portfolios selected by check boxes using the Boolean rule you selected (either AND or OR), but it will also remove any documents contained in the portfolio selected in the drop-down box.
              1. E.g.: Portfolio A has documents 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Portfolio B has documents 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Portfolio C has documents 2, 4 and 6.
              2. Merging with OR and AND NOT - (Portfolio A OR B) AND NOT Portfolio C will result in documents 1 and 7 being selected.
              3. Merging with AND and AND NOT - (Portfolio A AND B) AND NOT Portfolio C will have document 3 being selected.
    5. Copying Portfolios
      1. You can copy the contents of a portfolio to a new portfolio with "Copy" option from teh "My Portfolios" page.
        1. Select the portfolio, the content of which you want to copy, using the check boxes
        2. Click the "Copy" button
        3. Enter a name for the new portfolio
        4. Enter a description for the new portfolio
        5. Click the "OK" button
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  13. Saved Searches

    1. Saved Searches help you to effectively save and organize your searches so you can run them again later.
    2. Saving A Search From A Search Results Page- Once you have run a query and are viewing a Search Results page, simply enter a name for your new saved search in the "Save this search as a new saved search named" text box and click the "Go" button.
    3. Saving A Search From The "My Saved Searches" Page
      1. From the My Saved Searches page, click the "New" button
      2. Enter a name for your new saved search
      3. Enter a description
      4. Enter or paste the query for the new saved search
      5. Click the "OK" button
    4. Editing the Query for An Existing Saved Search - To edit the query for an existing saved search,
      1. Go to the My Saved Searches page
      2. Click on the name of the search you wish to edit
      3. The Saved Search Details page will be displayed
      4. Edit the search query
      5. When you are ready to save your search, click the "Sand & Run" button
      6. If you do NOT want to save your edits, click your browser's Back button or any other OpenThesis menu item
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