Thesis by Publication and related issues

Associate Prof Peter Betts (Associate Dean – Research Training)
May 2014
Thesis by Publication
and related issues
The PhD or Masters Thesis
• What is a Thesis? Essentially
• The story of your professional life for
1.5 (Masters) 3.5 (PhD) years!
• Describes your original contributions,
advancing knowledge.
• Good bits (positive results,
• Not so good… Things that didn’t work.
• It will be thoroughly read and reviewed
by a few people who will pass
judgement on your research
Thesis Options – Masters and PhD
Thesis Formats:
1. Traditional Thesis
2. Part Traditional and part manuscripts/publications
3. Thesis consists mainly of publications: Sole- or multi-authored works
that are ready to submit, have been submitted, accepted or published.
Must have a Linking narrative to show a COHESIVE THEME
Research questions/direction should be clear to the reader
The Cohesive Theme is required of all formats.
Thesis Components – Any Format
The thesis should incorporate in the following order:
1. Title page, giving the title of the thesis in full, the names and the degrees
of the candidate, the name of the department or academic unit of the
university associated with the work and the date when the thesis is
submitted for the degree
2. Table of contents
3. Summary (abstract) of not more than 500 words
4. An original signed statement to the effect:
“that the thesis, except with the committee’s approval, contains no material which has been
accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma in any university or other institution and
affirms that to the best of the candidate’s knowledge the thesis contains no material previously
published or written by another person, except where due reference is made in the text of the
thesis. An acknowledgment of any help given or work carried out by another person or
Thesis Components
The thesis should incorporate in the following order (cont’d):
5. The main text (i.e Chapters 1,2,3,4,5…….not too long!!
Chapters can be traditional/manuscripts/published papers………..but linked up
6. References
7. Appendices, if any.
Can include papers!!
Thesis Options – Masters and PhD
What format should I use?
No simple answer!
Traditional Thesis – Masters and PhD
Typical Components 1. Introduction
(includes a review of the literature)
Define Research Problem Hypothesis, Aims and Objectives
2. Methodology/Experimental
3. Results and Discussion
4. Conclusion(s)
May be all in separate chapters
or otherwise
…………..…..discipline dependent
5. Recommendations for future Work
6. References
7. Appendices
Thesis by Publication: format
“A thesis format that includes papers that have been prepared, or accepted,
for publication. They may have more than one author, in which case
signatures from co-authors are required. The papers do not have to be
rewritten for the thesis: they can be: inserted in their published format
Whether the papers are required to have been published, accepted for
publication, or only submitted for publication varies across faculties
(see faculty guidelines)”
Faculty guidelines
Thesis by Publication: format
• Publications should normally be presented in the thesis in the
format in which they have been submitted or published.
• Inclusive pagination should be used throughout.
• A complete, consolidated bibliography is preferred where
appropriate or possible.
• The appendix should contain the same material as a standard
thesis (incl. papers that were not presented in the main body of
the thesis).
Thesis by Publication: Faculty of Science Guidelines
Inclusive pagination is to be used.
A complete, consolidated bibliography is preferred
where appropriate or possible.
Framing Papers
Include introduction & concluding remarks. Framing
papers could be distributed throughout the thesis. The
introduction should specify the research question/s
covered by the thesis. Research to be contextualised in
existing literature.
No. of papers
The material presented for examination needs to
equate to that which would otherwise be presented in
the traditional thesis format. (This remains a matter of
professional judgement for the supervisor and
candidate.) Discipline-specific.
A photocopy should not normally be used. Printing
should be of the highest quality.
Thesis by Publication: Faculty of Science Guidelines
% Authorship
It is recommended that the candidates
contribution is greater than or equal to 50%, but
this depends on the number of
papers/manuscripts, and/or the number of coauthors. Papers should be framed to maximise
the candidate's contribution.
To be clearly specified & formatted according to
MIGR template. Co-author signatures on all
papers will no longer be necessary. (Hot off the
press!). Supervisor(s) and candidates to sign off
Rewritten, previously published papers require
acknowledgement of others' contributions.
Faculty guidelines document available
Status of papers
It is recommended that papers have at least been
submitted for publication, though not necessarily
Thesis by publication (or including publications): advantages
Acquisition of skills in preparing and submitting your work for publication
as you pursue your research degree.
Graduate with a degree and a publication record. Very useful for kickstarting the next phase of your career.
• Peer-review and/or professional editing
obtained before inclusion in your thesis.
• Feed-back can assist the directions for
future work and/or deficiencies
(The examiners’ work is half done??)
Thesis by publication (or including publications):
• Publications tend to omit the ‘negative” results.
• Authorship issues need to be clarified upfront.
• Peer review for a journal paper does not always guarantee the
examiners will like it.
• Beware not to get trapped into excess time spent on drafting
manuscripts and not getting on with the project.
The PhD or Masters Thesis
Guidelines on the Thesis and Examination matters
Chapter 7 of the doctoral Handbook
Length of theses
Editing Assistance
Content restrictions etc.
For a Master of Science, See Guidelines at:
Thesis Components
Thesis by publication:
• All theses by publication must
contain declarations which
specify the extent and nature
of your contribution to the
works included.
• If you are the sole author –
this still has to be specified.
• Two declarations required:
General declaration
Specific declaration
Section 7.3.5 of the Doctoral Handbook
Thesis by Publication - Declarations
Note: In the case of students enrolled under the standard PhD regulations,
papers will have been written up during the course of candidature and will be
based upon research undertaken during the course of candidature.
Stressing a Point: Where a thesis in part consists of a series of papers that
become the central chapters in the dissertation, a coherent framework should be
Any Type of Thesis
Typing and binding of the thesis are the responsibility of the candidate.
(Consider Soft Binding while under Examination)
It is preferred that for the ease of reading the printing be double or one-and-ahalf spacing, candidates may choose single spacing.
It is recommended that a font not smaller than 10 point be used for the main
Write as You Go!!
Set Ongoing Milestones
Set up a program plan – immediately if just starting
(a Project Management Approach)
Include realistic milestones with deadlines that you will try to meet. These
should include writing up some of your work (some are enforced)
e.g. publications, conference presentations, thesis chapters
Where papers are involved…sort out authorship early
Make your plan realistic and achievable!
Important in the Plan -Writing research papers
Aim to write >2 papers during your degree
Consult your supervisor (usually a co-author) before you start writing
Get supervisor to help; or help your supervisor!
Choose an appropriate journal
Follow the guidelines for authors – exactly
Learn from feedback - supervisor, colleagues, reviewers and editors
Are you eligible for a Postgraduate Publication Award – plan for it, if still
Is your honours research project publishable?
In Summary
Get to know the relevant University guidelines
At the end of year 1 - Draft Table of Contents
Can you write thesis chapters in paper format?
Attend thesis-writing seminars and seek advice
Plan and make the time. Discipline yourself. Manage supervisor(s)
Remember quality is much more important than number of pages!
Writing your thesis is a satisfying experience! Often your first important,
original contribution to Science and technology
• Write as you go!!!!!
Don’t let this happen!
Where to get more Information and Assistance
MIGR Website
Doctoral Handbook, Ch. 7
Monash Library
Learning Support Staff to speak with in the Hargrave Library
Faculty of Science
Don’t Forget Faculty Postgraduate Publication Awards!!
To apply for the MIGR Postgraduate Publication Awards please see the website below:
An application submitted in a MIGR PPA round will automatically be submitted to the corresponding
Faculty PPA round provided the application meets the eligibility criteria.

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