Many candidates organise their thesis as a series of papers.
These may be papers that have been published, manuscripts that have been submitted for publication but not yet accepted, manuscripts that could be submitted, or any combination of these.
There are several advantages to organising a thesis in this way:
As a thesis is more than a collection of papers, the UWA rules state that a general introduction and general discussion chapter be included in the thesis.
The papers included in a thesis as a series of papers must be in a logical order and linked together. The connections between papers can be outlined in the general introduction but some students also introduce each new chapter with 'linking text'. This linking text is usually called a chapter foreward, preamble or introduction.
If some or all of the chapters have been published with different fonts and formats, the formatting in the thesis may be made uniform so that the thesis as a whole has a professional appearance. Alternatively the work that has been published may be presented in the format in which it was published.
All students that include work that has been published or planned for publication in their thesis need to clearly indicate this to the examiner. An authorship declaration is included in the front pages of the thesis, where the published work and manuscripts are listed and their location in the thesis is clearly indicated.
Students who include co-authored work in their thesis also need to clearly indicate to the examiner their contribution to the work, so the examiner is able to examine the component that is the student's work. Students are also required to obtain the signed approval of the co-authors to include the work in the thesis.
For further details of the authorship declaration form, student contribution to co-authored papers, and a proforma for the thesis front pages can be found at thesis submission.
For many students, formatting a thesis as a series of papers raises a number of questions. These include:
These questions are considered in more detail in the following presentation: