Faculty of Information Technology

Doctoral dissertation

last modified Oct 26, 2017 02:32 PM

Doctoral dissertation

A dissertation is a consistent scientific report based on research in any subject of the University of Jyväskylä. It represents a student’s ability to independently and critically apply the methods of scientific research and create new scientific information. The formats of a dissertation are monograph and article based dissertation, which consists of peer-reviewed scientific publications, or manuscripts approved for publication, that discuss the same set of problems and a summary written by the doctoral student. An article dissertation that includes unpublished articles may also be approved if it meets the set scientific criteria. See more information:

 Examination of a dissertation and graduation

1. Plagiarism detection

All doctoral dissertations are checked with the university’s plagiarism detection software. Supervisor is responsible for the plagiarism check. The software used in our university is Urkund and general information about it is available in https://www.jyu.fi/itp/en/plagiarismdetection

Supervisor of the doctoral dissertation should send Urkund-report to the doctoral school coordinator before the examination process is started. Optionally, the author of the thesis may send it for plagiarisms detection by email to IT_dissertations.jyu@analyysi.urkund.fi. Pre-examiners may get the Urkund report by request.

Note! If you have an article based dissertation, send only the summary part (no published aerticles) to Urkund.

2. Pre-examination of a dissertation

When the student, after hearing the supervisor, decides to submit the dissertation manuscript for preliminary examination, the Faculty Council nominates at least two preliminary examiners with doctoral degrees and sufficient academic merits. The actual decision is made by the dean of the faculty. In practice, it’s common that the supervisor and the student have a discussion about potential pre-examiners and opponent, and the supervisor asks for their agreement.  In no case should the doctoral candidate consult with the referees or the opponent on the matter.

Coordinator of the doctoral school takes care of the formal communication with the pre-examiners, and they have six weeks time to give their statements after receiving the formal request for pre-examination. They are expected to give a substantiated written statement on whether permission should be granted or rejected for the public examination of the dissertation. Their statements cannot be conditional.  

The faculty (dean) grants permission for a public examination of the dissertation based on the pre-exminers' statements. In the same decision, the faculty appoints one or more opponents for the public examination of the dissertation. 

3. Publication of the dissertation

All dissertations are published in "Jyväskylä Studies in Computing" series. The dissertation is published electronic format (pdf), and additionally, a small number of printed books. See formatting guidelines and other instructions for publication in the university library’s web pages.  

In the Faculty of Information Technology, the author gets 13 free printed copies of the dissertation (including copies for the chairman, opponent and pre-examiners). Additionally, 9 copies will be delivered for audience in the public examination and one copy for the faculty office. The author may order additional copies at her own cost.

4. Public examination (defense)

See general instructions for public examination

The public defense of the dissertation is usually organized at the university. The faculty is responsible for reserving the premises, arranging the coffee party that follows the dissertation event, and will pay the costs incurred. In the public examination, the role of the chairman ('custos') belongs to the supervisor and is regarded as an honored position.

The university's communication unit adds the news about the forthcoming public examination to the university's list of events after receiving a copy of the public defense permission from the faculty. The unit also helps the defender in practical matters pertaining to press releases.

It is usual that after the public examination the doctoral candidate arranges a post-doctoral party in honor of the opponent. The doctoral candidate can, before the public examination, inquire from the opponent whether the preparations for the post-doctoral celebration can be started. Today post-doctoral parties do not have as strict academic procedures as they used to have. The doctoral candidate can decide the type and size of the post-doctoral party.

5. Evaluation of the dissertation

After the public defense of the dissertation, the opponent(s) must, within two weeks give a written well-founded statement regarding his opinion about the dissertation. The statement includes a proposal for the grade. The actual evaluation of the dissertation is made by the faculty council based on the given statements and comments from a representative of the research field. Additionally, comments from the chairman and possible comments from the candidate are heard. However, supervisors of the dissertation cannot participate evaluation.

All theses are evaluated with scale fail – sufficient – satisfactory – good – very good – excellent. The grading scale and criteria are briefly described in the opponent's evaluation form

A student dissatisfied with the evaluation of a licentiate thesis may submit a rectification request to the Appeal Committee within 14 days from being informed of the decision.

6. Graduation and certificate

Usually the official graduation date is the day, when the dissertation is evaluated in the faculty council. Ensure that you have completed the required coursework before the evaluation and it is recorded in your transcript. The degree must be applied by submitting one of the following forms to the faculty office: