All doctoral and research master's students are permitted to submit a thesis including published works. The thesis including published works is not a different degree; rather, it is a thesis format that includes papers that have been submitted, or accepted, for publication.
The thesis must reflect a sustained and cohesive theme, and framing or substantial linking text is normally required in introducing the research and linking the chapter/papers/manuscripts. The papers do not have to be rewritten for the thesis. For guidance, refer to Text Framing the Publications (as below).
Whether the papers are required to have been published, accepted for publication, or only submitted for publication varies across faculties (see Faculty Requirements below). We advise you to consult good examples of theses including published works in your discipline. Your academic unit or school should have copies of all doctoral and research master's theses available for consultation. Workshops on the thesis including published works are also run through the Skills Essentials series, if you require more information.
Inclusive pagination is to be used.
A complete, consolidated bibliography is preferred where appropriate and possible.
Text framing the publications
Text framing the publications should include the general introduction and the concluding remarks. A conclusion should be included, providing a synopsis of the original contribution the work has made to the knowledge and understanding of the particular research area. Comment should be provided concerning future directions of the research (where appropriate).
The Introduction should specify the research question/s covered by the thesis. The research should be contextualised in the existing literature.
Depending on the content of the papers, it may be necessary to add text (even as a chapter) to appropriately cover methodology / techniques / validation.
It is highly recommended that additional framing text be provided as introduction / linking for chapters reporting research results / findings.
The thesis should have an integrative discussion which ties everything together. This could be relatively brief and should avoid mere repetition of discussion points from the results / findings chapters whether or not they are in the format of publications.
Number of papers
There is no defined number of publications. There will be variation by discipline.
The paramount consideration is that the material presented for examination should equate to that which would otherwise be presented using the traditional thesis format. This remains a matter of professional judgement for the supervisors and candidates.
Photocopies should not normally be used. Printing should be of the highest quality. Use pdfs where possible. Published papers should NOT be reformatted but presented in the original publication format.
The initiation, key ideas, development and writing up of each of the works included as publications should be the primary responsibility of the candidate.
It is expected that multi-authored papers submitted in a thesis would therefore have a substantial and significant contribution by the student (at least 50%). The student would therefore usually be first or joint first author.
Papers where the student has less than 50% contribution may be included if significant to the thesis but papers with minor contributions should be kept to a minimum.
To be clearly specified and formatted according to Graduate Education templates.
If published papers are presented in the thesis ‘rewritten' in the traditional narrative style then acknowledgement of others' contributions is still required.
For further information, refer to Declaration (as below).
Status of papers
Papers must have at least been submitted for publication, though not necessarily accepted.
Ultimately it is the examiners who make a determination of the quality of research presented in a thesis. Examiners are likely to be influenced by the fact that articles have been published in respected, refereed journals of good standing in the relevant field of scholarship. Therefore, a thesis including (or with) publication is expected to contain articles published in reputable, peer-reviewed, journals considered in the top half of those relevant to the overall theme of the thesis.
Students should consult with their supervisors regarding the appropriate journal(s) for publication.
Students should check the copyright status of their papers. Most publishers require transfer of copyright to them in order to publish, but will allow a paper to be included in a thesis. Some state this explicitly, whereas others do not.
Students are reminded that they should seek permission to use figures and diagrams from the published work of others.
Additional faculty-specific guidelines
Refer to Faculty Requirements (as below)
List of research outputs
A list of publications included in the thesis should be included at the beginning of the thesis. The status of each publication (submitted, accepted for publication, or published must be indicated. Other research outputs (appropriate to the discipline), including publications not included in the thesis, that have been made during candidature may be listed also.
If several papers result during candidature where the student has a minor contribution and where these relate to, but are not vital to, the argument of the thesis, these papers may be appended to the thesis (but not required to be listed in the Declaration).
Publications in the visual or creative arts could include a diverse range of formats, including video, animation, film, installation, performance, as well as the more conventional art forms.
Papers must have been researched and written during the course of candidature.
All theses including published works must include a declaration which specify the extent and nature of your contribution and co-authors’ contribution to each of the publications. If you are the sole author, this still needs to be specified. The declaration is placed at the front of the thesis and replaces the standard general declaration. It lists the work/s written by you in collaboration with other authors and shows the publication status of those works. If you are the sole author, you only need refer to the publication status. Contributions of all authors must be described. Where the responsible author is not your main supervisor, your main supervisor should consult with the responsible author to agree on the respective contributions of the authors.
Template declaration is available for download. You need to customise the highlighted statements.
Some faculties vary requirements in terms of the number of papers required, status of papers and other criteria.
The Examinations section of Graduate Education handles queries about the thesis including published works*. Please contact the Graduate Education Examinations Team with initial queries.