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Thesis by Publication FAQs

Do examiners understand the thesis by publication format?

  • Every thesis is assessed on the calibre of its content, regardless of its format (traditional dissertation or by publication).
  • The Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO) sends examiners an information pack, containing the university’s policy on thesis examination. The pack refers to the MQ Thesis by Publication Policy.
  • Supervisors may, if they choose, provide the FBE guidelines to make sure examiners understand the thesis by publication format.

What type of publications should be included in HDR theses?

  • Journal articles are preferred for inclusion in HDR theses. Candidates should target journals with C1 status (or higher). Supervisors assist candidates in journal selection.
  • Generally, a five-page conference submission would be considered too small for inclusion in the thesis. Conference papers are, on the other hand, an opportunity for candidates to gain feedback from reviewers and an informed audience - feedback the candidate may use to develop the conference paper into a journal article.
  • Papers submitted to conferences that require paper submissions of substantial length may lend themselves for inclusion in HDR theses.

What about references and formatting?

  • There is no need to reformat published papers. References remain at the end of the paper; they would also be included in the main thesis reference list.
  • References in the introductory and conclusion chapters should also appear in the main thesis reference list.
  • Candidates should number all pages of the thesis consecutively. Papers with journal page numbers must also have the thesis page number.
  • The contents page lists every element of the thesis (introduction, journal articles, linking sections, conclusion etc); it provides a page number for each section; it might also provide page numbers for subsections within each paper.
  • All theses include a list of tables and figures after the contents page.

Can co-authored papers be included?

  • Co-authored papers may be included in a thesis by publication. A candidate may include a paper co-authored with supervisors, peers, or other candidates. The candidate would be expected to be the principal author.
  • Each paper must specify the percentage each author has contributed to the paper, and the candidate would be expected to have contributed at least 50 per cent.
  • Co-authorship does not include copyediting or paid consulting.
  • The Vancouver Protocol provides guidelines on co-authorship for scholarly work.

Can prior publications be included?

  • No publication completed before the commencement of the HDR degree can be submitted as a paper in a thesis by publication. Prior publications may be used only as background information.