Doctoral thesis format

Format criteria for the doctoral thesis at the University of Girona and submission of theses in electronic format

Agreement of the Management Committee of the School of Doctoral Studies at the University of Girona, reached in session 10/2012 of 12 December 2012, and amended by agreement of the Management Committee of the School of Doctoral Studies of 20 December 2013

1. Cover sheet

The cover sheet must contain exclusively the following elements (in this order):

  • University of Girona logo
  • University of Girona name
  • The words “DOCTORAL THESIS” (in the relevant language).
  • The title of the thesis.
  • The volume number, in case the thesis has more than one volume.
  • The name and surname(s) of the doctoral student.
  • The year in which the thesis is submitted.

For theses drafted within the framework of non-university institutions, the corresponding logo may also be included.

For co-taught theses, the logo of the other University may also be included.

The cover does not need to contain the research group name or logos of other research structures at the University of Girona (department, institute, research group...).

Annex 1 shows an example cover sheet.

2. Title page

The title page is the first sheet of the doctoral thesis and must contain only the following information:

  • University of Girona logo
  • University of Girona name
  • The words “DOCTORAL THESIS” (in the relevant language).
  • The title of the thesis.
  • The volume number, in case the thesis has more than one volume.
  • If the thesis includes annexes, these must be indicated and numbered, if there is more than one.
  • The name and surname(s) of the doctoral student.
  • The year in which the thesis is submitted.
  • Name of the doctoral programme.
  • The name and surname(s) of the person or persons responsible for supervising the thesis.
  • The name and surname(s) of the doctoral tutor.
  • Qualification to which the doctoral student is aspiring, i.e. “PhD from the University of Girona”.

For theses drafted within the framework of non-university institutions, the corresponding logo may also be included.

For co-taught theses, the logo of the other University may also be included.

Annex 2 shows an example title page.

3. Other preliminary elements

After the title page and before the body of the thesis, and whenever the thesis contains abbreviations, figures or tables, or has given rise to publications, the following must be included:

  • A list of publications arising from the thesis.
  • A list of abbreviations.
  • An index of figures.
  • An index of tables.

Likewise, the following may also be optionally included:

  • A certificate from the thesis supervisor: this original certificate, signed by the supervisor, certifies that the doctoral student has carried out the work under the signatory's supervision. If the thesis intends to obtain international mention, this should be indicated in this certificate (which in this case is compulsory). Annex 3 gives a template for this certificate.
  • The dedication.
  • Acknowledgements: projects or organisations that funded the research; institutions, units or departments that collaborated in some aspect of the thesis; etc.

4. Body of the doctoral thesis

A doctoral thesis must demonstrate a student's competence in the highest levels of their discipline and their capacity to work in that discipline independently; it must provide new knowledge or new ways of exploring knowledge that already exists; it must reflect the student's knowledge of the current state of research in the discipline to which they are contributing and their ability to situate their research within the context of the relevant field.

The UdG only accepts two formats of doctoral thesis: the traditional or monograph format and the format of a compendium of publications. The body of the doctoral thesis will have some clearly differentiated characteristics according to the format chosen, as detailed in the following sections, but in both formats the thesis must demonstrate coherence as a piece of work, guaranteed by the following elements:

  • General index with page numbers. For works of two or more volumes, it must include the relationship between all volumes and summaries for each.
  • Summaries in Catalan, Spanish and English.
  • General introduction.
  • Objectives of the work.
  • General conclusions.

4.1. Thesis in traditional or monograph format

A thesis in traditional or monograph format presents an overall piece of research as one single contribution, with a unitary structure.

Within the general elements indicated at the beginning of Section 4, a thesis in this format must include, regardless of the chapter in which they appear, the following sections:

  • Methodology.
  • Results.
  • Discussion.
  • Bibliography.

It is accepted that the results and the discussion may appear in the same chapter. A thesis in traditional or monograph format should have only one introduction, a general description of the methodology and the objectives of the entire thesis, and there should be only one set of conclusions and only one bibliography section.

The Experimental Sciences and Sustainability programme and the Law, Economy and Business programme admit traditional format theses which incorporate the results in the form of articles. In this case, the results section should include a minimum of three articles, in the same format as the thesis and in the preferred institutional language of the magazine to which the student intends to send them or to which they have already been sent. There should be a joint discussion at the end of the three articles, as well as the conclusions and bibliography. If the doctoral student is not the sole author of the articles, the co-authors of the works shall declare their agreement in writing to use of the work as part of the student's thesis and recognition of the student as a main author of the works. Any co-authors of works included in a thesis who do not have a doctoral degree shall waive the right to submit them as part of their own thesis.

4.2. Thesis as a compendium of publications

In certain fields of knowledge, the publication of research results during preparation of a doctoral thesis is normal, which means that, although they constitute original works, they are not always totally unedited. This practice justifies submission of the thesis as a compendium of publications, where it fulfils the requirements detailed below.

A thesis may be submitted as a compendium of publications whenever several contributions form the central body, which may have been published or accepted for publication in scientific magazines specialised in the relevant field of research. The minimum requirements to submit a thesis as a compendium of publications are different for each doctoral programme, as summarised in the information for each programme.

A thesis in this format will include the following aspects, as well as the general aspects indicated at the beginning of Section 4:

  • Opening page specifies that the thesis is a compendium of research articles previously published or accepted for publication, featuring the complete references for publications constituting the core of the thesis (including the authors), as well as an indication of their nature.
  • Optionally, a methodology chapter describing the procedures and materials employed in the research projects featuring in the publications that served as a basis for the thesis itself.
  • The central core of the thesis will comprise a copy of the articles, indicating the complete reference where they have been published or accepted. A copy of the already published works will be placed between the objectives and discussion sections, or in an annex. The published articles should appear in the thesis in the same format in which they appeared in the published magazine.
  • A chapter in which the main results and discussion of these results are summarised.

In this format, the general introduction should show the published or accepted articles included in the compendium. Students will need to justify the topic of the compendium, tying the different articles together and highlighting their coherence.

Theses submitted in this way must fulfil the following conditions:

  1. The thesis will include a minimum of original, complete articles of research that are not reviews.They must have a thematic connection (about the same line of research). The other authors should explicitly clarify, in writing, that the author of the thesis is the main author of these works.
  2. The works must have been published or accepted after the doctoral student first enrolled in their doctoral studies.
  3. In the case of works accepted for publication, the DOI must be provided, if the article has already been assigned one, or, otherwise, the acceptance letter or notification that the article has been received by the publishing company.
  4. The co-authors of the works shall state in writing their agreement to the work being used as part of the doctoral thesis and recognition of the student as a main author of the works published or accepted for publication.
  5. Any co-authors of works included in a thesis who do not have a doctoral degree shall waive the right to submit them as part of their own thesis.

For the two last sections, a template is provided in Annex 4.

5. Doctoral thesis review

In accordance with the Academic Regulations governing doctoral studies at the University of Girona, when the doctoral thesis is finished the student must request that the School of Doctoral Studies, with the approval of the supervisor and any thesis co-supervisors and their tutor, begin the process of reviewing the doctoral thesis to guarantee its quality. To this effect, they must submit a request to the University Records Office. The request must indicate if the student aspires for international mention in the title of their thesis and/or if the thesis is submitted as a compendium of publications. The request must be accompanied by a full electronic copy of the doctoral thesis, in PDF format or similar.

6. Doctoral thesis submission

In accordance with the Academic Regulations governing doctoral studies at the University of Girona, once the review process for the doctoral thesis has been finished the doctoral student must formally present it for submission within a maximum period of six months. The complete hard copy submitted to the School of Doctoral Studies must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be bound with the definitive text. Its pages must be numbered and include a summary and, if required, an addendum of errors.
  • The binding should be in book type. Bindings are not accepted with spirals, folders, metal clips, rings or any other insecure system of binding, which may become unbound or be tampered with. It is also not accepted with plastic adhered to it to increase the security of the front page.

7. Doctoral thesis electronic format

As indicated in the Academic Regulations governing doctoral studies at the University of Girona, the doctoral thesis must also be submitted in electronic format. To this effect, the following aspects must be borne in mind:

  • The doctoral thesis must be submitted in a single file in PDF format.
  • If the doctoral thesis contains additional attached archives related to other formats (audio, video, etc.), these other files must also be included.
  • All files must be submitted on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, clearly indicating the following information: title of the doctoral thesis, the student's name, the director's name and date.
  • The names of the computer files submitted have to follow this pattern: t[author’s three initials][part of the total] length. Example: Juvencio Pérez Homs (initials JPH) submits two doctoral thesis files: a PDF containing the doctoral thesis and an additional video file in MPEG format. The thesis file in PDF format should be called tjph1of2.pdf, and the video file should be called tjph2of2.mpeg. If the thesis consisted only of one file, it would have been called tjph1of1.pdf.

8. Other clarifications

For students from other doctoral programmes that have received the recognition of the Academic Committee for all or part of the research activities done in the doctoral programme of origin, if this recognition includes research articles, these can be shown in the compendium of publications.

9. Application

This agreement will be applied and will have effect from the day after its approval by the Management Committee of the School of Doctoral Studies.

Transitory provision

Throughout the year 2013, the academic committees will apply the previous regulations on criteria for submitting a thesis as a compendium of articles, approved by the Doctoral Thesis Defence Approval Committee in its session of 16 December 2009, where these regulations are more favourable than current ones. This provision only applies to students enrolled for the first time in the doctoral programme before the year 2011-2012.