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:
It is very important that you remember that a thesis is more than a collection of papers. Essentially, the chapters of the thesis can stand alone, but the thesis is a complete and coherent "story", in which each chapter is an integral part. The chapters must be in a logical order and strongly linked together.
When presenting a thesis as a collection of papers it is easy to make the error of allowing the thesis to become disjointed. This will stand against it, as a thesis is not the same as a body of work. Sometimes, students who submit theses as a series of published papers introduce each new chapter with a foreword which introduces the chapter and establishes its links to previous chapters. More conventionally, this is in the introduction to each chapter. The chapters should contain references to each other, much as in a published article you would cite other references.
Despite that some or all of the chapters may have been published previously with different fonts and formats, it is expected that the formatting in the thesis be uniform so that the thesis as a whole has a professional appearance. However, the internal headings, and therefore the structure, might differ quite widely between the chapters.
In general, every thesis should include a:
These chapters frame the internal chapters and assist in establishing the thesis as a coherent whole (see the guidelines for thesis preparation). You should include a section at the front of the thesis entitled "Publications arising from this thesis" (or similar words), where you list the published and submitted papers that have arisen from the work in the thesis. After each publication in the list, cite which part of the thesis it represents, as below.
You should include a section at the front of the thesis entitled "Publications arising from this thesis" (or similar words), where you list the published and submitted papers that have arisen from the work in the thesis.
After each publication in the list, cite which part of the thesis it represents, as below.
Publications arising from this thesis
You will also need to complete a "thesis declaration" as part of the process of thesis submission.
The examiners and the Board of the Graduate Research School will then be able to see clearly what has been published. Where papers included in your thesis have multiple authors, it is important that you indicate very clearly which portions of the paper/s are your work, and which are the work of your co-authors.
You are also required to obtain the signed approval of your co-authors to include the work in your thesis.