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The results of a doctoral thesis must meet superior scientific standards and contribute to the development of new knowledge.

The high quality of a thesis should be irrespective of whether it is a monograph or a compendium of shorter manuscripts - a so-called article-based dissertation. Certain topics might benefit from being treated with the continuous, coherent account that a monograph allows for, but a monograph may limit the opportunities for feedback from peers and colleagues during the course of work. In certain academic areas, it is customary to hand in monographs based on articles published in peer-reviewed journals during the course of study. In a dissertation based on scholarly articles, the PhD candidate will benefit from independent peer review and editorial control. An article-based dissertation forces the candidate to structure the work in clear stages and this can have a positive effect on work progress.

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Norwegian Doctoral Degrees say the following about article based theses:

If the dissertation consists of several individual works, the question of whether the contents of the dissertation comprise a coherent whole must be documented and assessed. In such cases, the doctoral candidate must produce a separate section of the dissertation that summarises and compares the research questions and conclusions presented in the individual works, thereby placing these in a holistic perspective and documenting the coherence of the dissertation. This section of the dissertation is therefore extremely important both for the doctoral candidate and for the committee in its evaluation of the candidate.

The articles must be of a high standard, meriting publication in journals with peer review.

The doctoral committee at the Faculty of Social Sciences has set the following guidelines for article-based theses:

The norm for article-based doctoral theses at the Faculty of Social Sciences will be a thesis comprising four articles.

The doctoral committee can approve article-based theses comprising three articles if all three articles are accepted for publication at level 1, or if two of the articles are accepted for publication at level 1, while the third article is accepted at level 2. The supervisor must defend the three articles convincingly for the doctoral committee to approve this kind of thesis.

The candidate must be the lead author and academic-in-charge for the majority of the articles included in an article-based doctoral thesis. This is an essential prerequisite for its evaluation.

If the thesis includes joint work, the PhD candidate must obtain statements from the co-author(s), specifically granting consent for their works to be used as part of the PhD thesis. There are stipulated forms for co-authorship statements. The completed forms must be sent in to the faculty, along with the candidate’s application for thesis evaluation. In line with the Vancouver Convention Authorship Guidelines, supervisors are also considered as coauthors and must therefore also complete the co-authorship statement forms. The summary section of the dissertation must be authored solely by the PhD candidate.

The dissertation should also be published electronically in the knowledge archive UiS Brage, so that it is publicly available.

There can be no restrictions placed on a doctoral thesis being made publicly available, except in the event that a prior agreement has been reached concerning delayed public access at an agreed upon date. See Regulations § 18.2 Public Availability. Any delays must be stated in a separate agreement to be submitted with the application for admission to the PhD programme.

The thesis must be printed according to the university's stipulated template. Experience shows that it may take a long time to put the final manuscript into the template. We therefore recommend using the template right from the start. The template and a corresponding manual can be obtained by contacting the IT-desk.