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HDR - Higher Degree Research Thesis by Publication guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) All Doctoral and research Master's candidates are permitted to submit a thesis including published works. This thesis format includes at least one manuscript that has been published, or accepted for publication. A thesis prepared by publication adds value to the research student experience, encourages timely completion, enhances job prospects and improves the publication outputs and research ranking of the University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) The purpose of these guidelines is to provide information to assist higher degree research (HDR) candidates in the preparation of a thesis that includes published or co-published material prepared during candidature. Ultimately it is the examiners who make a determination of the quality of research presented in a thesis, and so the number of publications and quality of the journals is a matter of professional judgement for the supervisors and candidates, in consultation with the relevant School HDR Coordinator. These guidelines are not to provide a framework for a Higher Degree by Research in Creative Practice.

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Section 3 - Guidelines

Eligible Material

(3) A thesis by publication may include relevant manuscripts, which have been published, accepted, submitted or prepared for publication for which the research and writing has been undertaken during candidature. At least one manuscript as sole or lead author must have been published or accepted for publication. The manuscripts should form a coherent and integrated body of work, which should be focused on a single thesis project or set of related questions or propositions. These manuscripts are part of the thesis, rather than a separate appendix, and should be manuscripts in or for peer reviewed, recognised scholarly journals.

Contribution of Co-authors

(4) These manuscripts may be single author or co-authored. The candidate must specify his/her specific contribution. The contribution of others to the preparation of the thesis or to individual parts of the thesis should be specified in the thesis Acknowledgments and/or in relevant footnotes/endnotes. Where a manuscript has multiple authors, the candidate would usually be the principal author and evidence of this should appear in the appropriate manner for the discipline.

Number of Manuscripts

(5) Each discipline may have a different number of publications that are acceptable as the substantive foundation for a thesis by publication. In general a candidate will need to have enough manuscripts to support the important findings from the research, presented in a logical and coherent way. Depending on the award (Doctoral or Masters) and discipline norms, most theses by publication will have between two and eight manuscripts in combinations of sole or lead-authored and co-authored manuscripts. The thesis must include one or more manuscripts that have been published or accepted for publication. The length of the manuscripts will reflect discipline requirements and journal guidelines.

Structure of Thesis

(6) These manuscripts will normally form thesis chapters and the chronological publication order may be quite different from the way they are sequenced in the thesis. Although it is not necessary to reformat published works in a thesis, it is not enough simply to bind these publications together. The candidate needs to include an introduction to the work, sections that link the manuscripts together, and a concluding section that synthesises the material as a whole. Above all, candidates must consider the coherence of the thesis, and the way in which each manuscript contributes to the overall thesis. Although a thesis by publication may contain some repetition, it is expected that the repetition be minimal so as to facilitate the examination process. All pages of the thesis are to be numbered in a sequential order.

The following is a recommended structure:

(7) Preliminary Pages

  1. Title Page: showing the title of the thesis, the full name of the candidate together with their prior degrees and other qualifications indicating the awarding institutions, and the date when the degree was conferred.
  2. Candidate Certification: a statement signed by the candidate certifying that the work has not been and is not being submitted for any other degree to this or any other university. The candidate will also certify that all help received in preparing the thesis and all sources used are duly acknowledged.
  3. Acknowledgements.
  4. Dedication (optional).
  5. Preface: an explanation that the thesis is by publication. (Research Services will send these HDR Thesis by Publication Guidelines to prospective examiners.)
  6. A Table of Contents indicating clearly how the thesis is structured and how the journal articles are organised.
  7. List of Figures, Tables, Abbreviations, etc. where appropriate.
  8. An Abstract or Summary.

(8) Main Body

  1. Introduction - The development of the philosophy of the research should be highlighted at this point. The introduction should outline the aims, history and context of the study, identifying its significance, documenting the theory and practice and setting the frame and sequence for each of the manuscripts that follow. This section should also include a discussion about the relationship between the various articles that are included in the body of the thesis. References for this section should be included at the end of the Introduction.
  2. Journal articles (one chapter for each journal article):
    1. Manuscript information page, including title, authors, journal, status of manuscript, full citation information and submission dates, signed by the candidate and Principal Supervisor.
    2. Statement of author's contribution, signed by the candidate and Principal Supervisor.
    3. Statement of originality, signed by the candidate and Principal Supervisor.
    4. Full manuscript, as published. There is no need to change order of sections. Include references for each article at the end of the article itself, as published.

(9) Conclusion/Synthesis - A general conclusion outlines how the research manuscripts link together and as a collective address the philosophy of the research as well as highlighting the original contribution of the body of knowledge in the chosen area. This chapter would normally also include recommendations for further work. References for the Conclusion are included at the end of this chapter.

(10) Appendices - Only include material that relates to the thesis as a whole. An example may be a questionnaire that was used to collect data for the various journal articles but has not been included in any of the articles.