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Guidelines for the Inclusion of Material from a Research Candidate's Publications in their Thesis

Category Research
Type Guideline
Approved by Board of Graduate Studies, 5 June 2014
Date Guideline Took Effect 5 June 2014
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
Responsible Officer Dean, Graduate Research School
Review Date 5 June 2016

Purpose

The aim of these guidelines is to provide students, supervisors and other staff with information on the inclusion of a candidate’s own published material in a graduate research thesis.

Organisational Scope

These guidelines apply to all PhD and professional doctorate candidates.

Definitions

Published material: Content, in this context arising from a candidate’s research towards their graduate research degree, formally or currently being made available to the public in a permanent form, for example conference proceedings, book chapters or journal articles.

Policy Content

1.     Overview


(a)     The University of Otago encourages publishing during candidature for a doctorate, and the inclusion of published material and/or work submitted for publication in theses where appropriate. Such published material must have been prepared during the candidate’s enrolment in the research degree.
(b)     If candidates are planning to include published material in a thesis, they should discuss the most appropriate format for this with their supervisors. Practices differ across academic disciplines and it is important to obtain advice from experts within the relevant discipline. Individual disciplines are encouraged to develop and disseminate their own practices.
(c)     Two formats are commonly used for including published material in a University of Otago thesis:
i.    a hybrid thesis format, whereby published material is inserted either wholly or partially as chapters or sections in the thesis (usually with modification – see 2(a) below); or
ii.    a thesis with publications appended, whereby published material is not included in the body of the thesis but is appended to the thesis in an unmodified format.
(d)     For the PhD and professional doctorates the University of Otago does not offer a formal ‘thesis by publication’ option, whereby the thesis is composed solely of a portfolio of publications.

2.     Thesis Requirements


(a)     The thesis must be an integrated and coherent body of work.
i.    It may be necessary to alter the format of published materials for inclusion in the thesis, including standardising formatting and/or deleting duplicated material.
ii.     Publications included sequentially may need to be linked by short bridging sections.
iii.    A chapter or sections that synthesise the findings across the thesis should be included.
(b)     Where published material is included, the thesis introduction should include:
i.    How the thesis is structured, including  details on direct inclusion of published material (as chapters, sections or appendices) and identification of any chapters or sections which are substantially based on published material;
ii.    Bibliographical details of included published material (including material on which chapters or sections are substantially based) in paragraph or tabular form; and,
iii.    The contributions of the candidate and any co-authors to each publication included in the thesis (note:  it is expected that for any published material presented in the body of the thesis, the candidate will be the first author).
(c)     It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that any published work (or parts thereof) included in the thesis comply with the copyright provisions of the publisher and that any guidelines with regard to self-citation are followed.  More information on copyright is available on the University of Otago Library Thesis Information webpage.

3.     Examination of the Thesis


(a)     The inclusion of published material in a thesis does not guarantee a pass in the degree for which the thesis is submitted. The thesis must stand on its own merits and will be assessed as a single document. Examiners may require changes to any part of the thesis regardless of whether that material has been previously published or not.
(b)     All aspects of the thesis including publications and appendices are examinable and may be raised at an oral examination. For example, if a co-author of an included publication conducted some analyses, the candidate may be required to answer questions regarding those analyses.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, please contact the Dean of the Graduate Research School at dean.grs@otago.ac.nz