A doctoral thesis must be an independent piece of scientific research that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic level and methodology used in the research field.
The thesis must contribute to the development of new knowledge and achieve a level meriting publication in the literature in the field. The thesis may consist of a monograph or a compendium of several shorter manuscripts. If the thesis consists of several shorter manuscripts, an explanation of how these are interrelated must be included.
If a research article has been produced in cooperation with other authors, the PhD candidate must follow the norms for co-authorship that are generally accepted within the academic community and in accordance with international standards. If the thesis consists mainly of articles, the candidate must normally be listed as the lead author on at least three of the articles.
A thesis containing articles written by more than one author must include a signed declaration that describes the candidate’s contribution to each of the articles.
The thesis must be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If the candidate wishes to use a different language, he/she must apply for special permission to do so at the time of admission. If the thesis consists of more than one language, the summary must be written in Norwegian or English. If the articles are written in English, the summary must be in English.
KFU recommends the following guidelines for the summary of an article-based doctoral thesis:
The doctoral thesis must consist of a summary and a minimum of four publishable articles. The candidate must be the lead author of at least three (3) of the articles. The summary should be finalised at the end of the doctoral project. The summary must serve as a framework for the thesis so that a cohesive perspective can be clarified early in the process. Beginning the summary early may bring awareness to the cohesive perspective that the thesis is required to present. By the same token, it will be natural to modify the summary throughout the process with respect to how the form and content of the articles develop.
1. The summary should normally comprise 40-60 pages, excluding attachments and bibliography. As a general rule, the summary should contain the following components: introduction, theoretical framework, methodology, a brief summary of each article with an explanation of the choice of research questions and/or hypotheses, a general discussion and conclusion, and a bibliography.
2. The scientific content of the summary must be updated if necessary, depending on when the articles were published/completed.
3. The summary must consolidate the issues and conclusions presented in the articles so that the thesis appears as a unified whole. The summary must present the results of the individual articles in a way that brings to light the connection among them.
4. The complexity and nuances in the findings must be discussed in light of the factors related to methodology, theory of science and theory.
5. The summary must explain and summarise the contribution of the thesis to the relevant research field.
6. The thesis must highlight and discuss ethical perspectives related to the thesis.
7. The summary must be written by the PhD candidate only.
8. The bibliography for the summary must follow the conclusion of the summary. The appendix must be placed at the end of thesis, i.e. after the full version of the articles. Instruments (e.g. questionnaires, interview guidelines, etc.) used in connection with the doctoral project and procedures for approval of the project (Data Protection Official for Research, biobanks, etc.) must be included in the appendix.
Manuscripts that may not be submitted:
Manuscripts or parts of manuscripts that have been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees may not be submitted for evaluation as part of the doctoral thesis unless they comprise a minor part of a thesis consisting of several related manuscripts. However, data, analyses and methods from previous degrees may be used as the basis for the doctoral research project.
Published articles will not be approved for use in the doctoral thesis if more than five (5) years has passed from the date of publication to the date of admission. The institution may allow an exception to this rule in extraordinary cases.
The doctoral thesis may be submitted for evaluation to only one educational institution