The Role of Publications and Other Artefacts in Submissions for the UK PhD

Bruce Christianson

Professor of informatics at the University of Hertfordshire and former trustee, UKCGE

Martin Elliott

Professor, Health and Life Sciences and former Director of the Graduate School, De Montfort University

The traditional examination format for PhD degrees in the UK is the chapter-based dissertation as the basis for oral examination. However pressures to publish prior to thesis submission and hence to allow incorporation of publications as well as other artefacts within the assessment paradigm are challenging this conventional approach.

Clearly this is an ongoing debate with several unresolved issues such as the need to craft a coherent line of argument, avoid self-plagiarism, and ensure appropriate attribution of authorship. Taken altogether, many institutional comments come down to articulating the trade-offs between having many sets of specialised regulations versus a single unified framework: the latter arrangement making it much easier to demonstrate equivalence of doctorateness” across all doctoral awards. 
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