While some universities have a separate set or rules and guidelines for theses formatted as a series of papers (also known as a thesis by publication), this is not the case at UWA. The rules and examination criteria at UWA are the same for all theses, so care must be taken to ensure that these rules are followed and the criteria are met.
You can format your thesis as a monograph, a series of papers, or a combination of chapters and papers. Any number of papers can be included in the thesis, and they can be at any stage of publication - from manuscript to published. As you can include manuscripts in your thesis, you should not delay thesis submission for peer review and publication. Many students use the period of thesis examination to finish publishing papers.
If you format your thesis as a series of papers, you will need to write a general introduction and a general conclusion for your thesis. The concluding chapter needs to draw together the main findings of the thesis and synthesise the significance of the results.
Care should be taken to ensure the thesis is coherent, and that any papers included in the thesis fit with the remainder of the thesis. Examiners can be critical of theses that consist of a series of disconnected papers or chapters. To improve coherence, students often include linking text or chapters.
You can include published papers in your thesis as they appear in the journal or the text version formatted for consistency with the remainder of your thesis. If the thesis research is mostly published, it may be more efficient to include the published papers. In many cases however, the published papers only form a small component of the thesis, or additional text is added to the paper for examination, or the manuscript of a paper is included rather than the final version of the paper that was edited to pass peer review. In these cases, published papers are often reformatted to match the remainder of the thesis.
If you include published papers within your thesis, at the time the thesis is published in the UWA Research Repository, consideration will need to be given to the copyright of the papers in the thesis. Prior to choosing to publish in a journal, you may wish to consider the publishers copyright policy to determine of you can include a copy of a published paper in the final version of your thesis that is available to the public.
If you are planning to publish papers, other texts or materials from your thesis after your thesis has been examined, you will need to consider if publication of your thesis in the UWA Research Repository will be considered as pre-publication by a publisher. If a publisher will not publish after your research has been made public on the UWA Research Repository, you may wish to consider delaying submission of your thesis to the repository until your work has been published.
For more information, see the UWA library Guide to Copyright and Higher Degree Theses.
More information about formatting a thesis as a series of papers is available at the Thesis Writing workshop. You can download the workshop booklet at any time and register to attend from the GRS Events Calendar.
If you have very specific questions, you can book an appointment to meet with a Graduate Education Officer.