Dissertation Guidelines - AvadlInfo

Dissertation Guidelines

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  1. Current Students
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  3. Master Student Affairs | Academic Information
  4. Dissertation

Dissertation

Your final semester is dedicated to your MSc Dissertation – your opportunity to demonstrate that, in addition to having acquired significant knowledge, you are also able to apply it to address a theoretical problem.

Dissertation Process

Dissertation Process

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Dissertation Process

An introduction to the dissertation process, including a timeline, the different options for academic supervision and some important points to keep in mind.

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Dissertation Guidelines

Dissertation Guidelines

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Dissertation Guidelines

Information regarding useful resources, formatting rules, delivery, and dissertation defence procedures, among others.

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Dissertation Dates & Deadlines

Dissertation Dates & Deadlines

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Dissertation Dates & Deadlines

Consult the complete list of deadlines to complete your study plan and deliver your dissertation, as well as the dissertation defence periods.

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Research Methodologies Workshop

Research Methodologies Workshop

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Research Methodologies Workshop

In order to prepare students for this research semester in which they are expected to produce quality research, students must attend a Research Methodologies Workshop.

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Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Seminars

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Dissertation Seminars

We recommend that you follow a Dissertation Seminar as it creates a structured process to be followed in a group.

Dissertation Seminars are conducted by a professor (who becomes your dissertation advisor) and address a specific topic.

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FAQs

FAQs

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FAQs

Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding the dissertation process.

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Dissertation Format and Guidelines

Dissertations should be written in the normative style of their discipline. The source of all illustrations – photographs, graphs, tables, maps, and plans – that are not the student’s own work must be fully and correctly cited in a caption or in a separate list of illustrations. Note that digital manipulations of photographs, maps, etc. originally made by others must be so identified. Additional protocols for citation and style may be established by the director of the dissertation. The following standard guide is also very thorough, inexpensive and easy to find in the BMC Bookshop and elsewhere:

Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th ed., Chicago, 2013).

After the dissertation has been approved by the dissertation director, it must be deposited with the GSAS for distribution to the members of the student’s Ph.D. Supervising Committee. The deadlines for depositing dissertations for May and December degrees are on the calendar . Students should submit one copy for each member of their Supervising Committee and should include a vita and an abstract of not more than 350 words.

The copies of the dissertation deposited for circulation to the Supervising Committee should be printed out in a 10- or 12-point font on standard-size (8 ½” x 11″) sheets of white paper. Margins must be at least 1½” on the left and 1″ on the other three sides. The text must be double-spaced (footnotes and lengthy quotations may be single-spaced). Each copy should be in its own binder, which at this stage may be of any suitable type. The title page [pdf] should follow the standard format, and it should be followed by an abstract [pdf]. Please follow the instructions for composing the abstract carefully, as it is the means by which other scholars doing research in your field will find your dissertation.

The dissertation must be accompanied by a letter from the dissertation director, addressed to the other members of the Ph.D. Supervising Committee and recommending the dissertation’s acceptance. The letter should be in a sealed envelope marked “confidential.” It is not to be shared with the student. The letter will be distributed to the committee members by the GSAS.

After the Final Oral Examination (defense of the dissertation), the student must produce a final version of the dissertation that incorporates all corrections and stylistic revisions required by the Supervising Committee.

On or before the date specified in the calendar as “Deadline for deposit of final versions of all dissertations” the student must:

  • Submit one copy of the final version of the dissertation to the GSAS office in Portable Document Format (PDF). The PDF of the final version should contain all illustrative material included in the original dissertation; this version will be deposited in Canaday Library as the College’s archival copy
  • Submit the Certification of Final Version of Dissertation [pdf] form to the GSAS office. This form must be signed by the author and by the dissertation director.
  • Create an online account with UMI/Proquest and upload the dissertation. All illustrative material that does not include permission to reproduce copyrighted material must be removed from dissertation prior to uploading.  Any permissions to reproduce copyrighted materials that have been secured must be included as an appendix
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates

Students who plan to publish their dissertation in another format or venue may instruct UMI/Proquest to embargo their dissertation for up to two years. If the dissertation has not been published in some form by the end of two years the embargo will automatically be lifted. Copies of all alternative publications must be submitted to the GSAS office and all such publications must contain an acknowledgement that the work originated as a Ph.D. dissertation written for Bryn Mawr College.

Related

Ph.D. Completion Checklist [pdf]

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Dissertation Guidelines

Ph.D. candidates at Brown must file their dissertations electronically. Brown’s  electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) system  was developed by the Graduate School and the University Library and launched in 2008. The system collects and archives final dissertations as text-based PDF files. Electronic dissertations submitted through the ETD will appear in the Library’s  discovery service  and in the Brown  digital repository .

In the spirit of the dissemination of new knowledge that is a hallmark of higher education, dissertations will be subject to web searches and unrestricted downloads unless the student requests to opt out of that system and have their dissertation unavailable for download outside of the Brown community. A request to restrict download access to a dissertation has an initial two-year window from the time the degree is conferred. Guidelines associated with restricted dissertation access are:

  • The full text version of the dissertation will be available for download only to members of the Brown community.
  • Web searches including the citation and abstract of restricted dissertations will continue to be available to the general public.
  • After two years the restriction will elapse.
  • Restrictions on full text download may be renewed for two-year periods up to a total of ten years from the date of degree conferral. Requests for additional two-year restrictions should be made to the Graduate School.
  • Any requests to extend the restriction beyond ten years must go to the Graduate Council for approval.
  • In cases where the dissertation is a co-worked piece and there is disagreement between the student and the advisor over whether the dissertation will or will not be available for download outside of the Brown community, the dispute will be brought before the Graduate Council for resolution.

To complete the electronic submission process, doctoral candidates must have successfully defended their dissertation and had it approved by their committee. To use the ETD system, doctoral candidates must possess a valid username and password for accessing Brown’s computer network. If you are unable to create an account in the system, please contact  [email protected]  for assistance.

DEADLINES 
The last day that a doctoral dissertation and all of the associated forms and documents related to the completion of a Ph.D. may be submitted to the Graduate School is the first business day in May. See Submission of the Final Copy for important clarifications regarding the final submission process.

Brown has one graduation per year; Commencement exercises and the conferral of degrees take place on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  Students may file their dissertations at any time of the year in advance of the filing deadline. Students may choose to request a Certificate of Completion to show that they have completed all degree requirements before beginning a position, as faculty or postdoctoral fellow, for example.  See details below under Certificate of Completion. 

If a doctoral student completes all of the requirements for the PhD during semester I, the tuition and fees for semester II will not be charged (even though the degree itself will not be formally conferred until the end of semester II). Students must file before the first day of classes in semester II in order to avoid being charged the tuition and fees for semester II.

THE FINAL EXAMINATION OR DEFENSE 
The final examination or defense must be scheduled by the candidate at the convenience of the readers. At least two weeks prior to the final examination or defense, candidates must provide the department manager with the appropriate dissertation defense information so the dissertation defense information form can be completed and returned to the Graduate School.

NOTE: Requests for waiving the final examination must be endorsed by the dissertation director as well as the director of graduate study or department chair.

AFTER THE DEFENSE
The formal, final approval of all dissertations is handled by the Graduate School’s Academic Affairs Manager (Barbara Bennett). Candidates must submit final copies of their dissertations  electronically .

THE MANUSCRIPT

The Signature Page 
In addition to the electronic submission, all Ph.D. candidates are required to submit one paper copy of their signature page, on archival-quality paper, to the Graduate School. Samples are available online. The signature page should bear the original signatures (not a copy) of the dissertation director and all readers. Signatures should be in either black or blue ink. The typed names of the director and readers must appear under their signature lines. (Candidates who want an original signature page signed by the Dean of the Graduate School must include an additional signature page.)

Type and spacing 
Standard typefaces set to print at 10-, 11-, or 12-point font are acceptable. All text should be double-spaced, except for block quotations, captions, long headings, and footnotes. All these should be single-spaced with a blank line between items.

Page Numbers 
Each page, including blank ones, must have a number. The number should not appear on the title page or the copyright page but, these pages are assigned numbers and are included in the pagination. Preliminary pages are numbered with lower case roman numerals, centered at the foot of the page, three-fourths of an inch from the bottom edge. The title page counts as page i but the number does not appear on the page. The remainder of the dissertation is numbered with Arabic numerals beginning with 1.

Format 
Most dissertations consist of preliminary pages which are numbered using Roman numerals, and the dissertation proper which is numbered using Arabic numerals. The preliminary pages must appear in the following order:

  1. Title Page (do not number)
  2. Copyright Page (do not number)
  3. Signature Page (iii)
  4. Curriculum Vitae* (iv)
  5. Preface and Acknowledgments (v)
  6. Table of Contents (vi)
  7. List of Tables vii List of Illustrations (viii)

Should any element of the preliminary pages be longer than one page, number the pages consecutively. The preliminary pages should appear in this order but not necessarily with the page numbers shown above.

The dissertation proper (including introduction, main body of the text, illustrations, appendices, and bibliography) is numbered using arabic numerals. The numbering begins with “1” and runs consecutively to the end.

Do not place headers on each page. Use them only as appropriate to indicate major sections of the thesis (e.g., INTRODUCTION, CHAPTER 1, BIBLIOGRAPHY). They should be centered and placed two inches from the top of the paper in uppercase type.

* The curriculum vitae is a statement giving a short biography of the candidate, including institutions attended, degrees and honors, titles of publications, teaching or professional experience, and other pertinent information. Please do not include date or place of birth or phone numbers.

Graphs 
Graphs may be put on cross-section pages.

Dating the Dissertation 
Because degrees are conferred only once during the calendar year (at the end of the academic year), the title page and abstract of a dissertation completed at any point during the academic year must be dated the following May. For example, if you complete your dissertation in August of 2017, the date on your submission should be May 2018.

The Abstract
The dissertation must be accompanied by an abstract which will be published in Dissertation Abstracts International. The abstract should, in a concise manner, present the problem of the dissertation, discuss the materials and procedure or methods used, and state the results or conclusions. Mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials should be avoided. The abstract should not be part of the dissertation itself nor should it be included in the table of contents. The abstract should be presented in two unnumbered loose copies. It should be headed as follows:

Abstract of (TITLE OF DISSERTATION), by (AUTHOR’S NAME), Ph.D., Brown University, May (YEAR IN WHICH DEGREE IS TO BE AWARDED).

The abstract should be prepared carefully since it will be published without editing or revision. The abstract should be double-spaced and may not exceed 350 words (maximum 2,450 typewritten characters — including spaces and punctuation — about 70 characters per line with a maximum of 35 lines). 

SUBMISSION OF THE FINAL COPY
When the dissertation is presented to the Graduate School electronically, it must be in final form. Dissertations may require revision after their original presentation if it is determined by the Graduate School that the dissertation does not conform to the standards articulated above. The need for such revisions is not grounds for a deadline extension. If a dissertation is determined to be defective after the deadline, the Graduate School may refuse to confer a student’s degree. Doctoral candidates are encouraged to submit their dissertations early, and to send questions not answered by the descriptions above, to  [email protected] .

ALL completing doctoral candidates are required to submit the paper or electronic documents listed below. (The clearance letter, title page and abstract can be sent electronically to Barbara Bennett , the Academic Affairs Manager.) The dissertation will not be accepted and the candidate’s degree will not be conferred if an item from this list is missing or incomplete. The online submission system will send notifications when each document has been received and approved by the Graduate School.

  1. A Letter of Clearance from the Bursar indicating that all outstanding debts, the $50 dissertation fee, and the $150 filing fee (if applicable) have been paid; this may be sent by email.
  2. Ph.D. Exit Survey , Brown University Graduate School; you may forward the email receipt.
  3. Survey of Earned Doctorates , National Research Council (The NRC sends the certificate directly to the Graduate School.)
  4. The title page; this may be sent by email.
  5. The abstract; this may be sent by email.
  6. The original signed signature page 

DIGITAL SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL
Students interested in depositing digital supplementary materials along with their dissertation are welcome to contact the Library for assistance. Please contact: Andrew Creamer in the Library at  [email protected] .

PUBLISHING THE DISSERTATION
It is University policy that all research done at the University under its sponsorship must be freely published without restriction. Since 1954, the Graduate School has required that dissertations be published. In 1985, the Graduate Council reaffirmed that decision and approved the following policy:

“All Ph.D. dissertations and Master’s theses will be open documents. The Graduate Council will not recommend the awarding of the Ph.D. or Master’s degree until the dissertation or thesis is submitted to the Graduate School and accorded unlimited distribution status.”

Exceptions to this requirement will be made only if there is a letter from a publisher stating that the dissertation will be published within one year after the degree is awarded and that requests that circulation of the dissertation be withheld for twelve months after the degree is conferred. Six months will be allowed for the clearing of a patent.

If you have a question about temporarily removing your dissertation from the Library’s digital repository , please contact Joseph Rhoads  (University Library, Integrated Technology Services).

THE DIPLOMA
The Office of the Registrar’s Application to Graduate provides the candidate with an opportunity to indicate how the diploma name should appear. Otherwise, the name that will appear on the diploma and in the Commencement program, and under which the Library will catalog the dissertation, is the name under which the candidate is officially registered. Any request for a change of registered name should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar and accompanied by supporting legal documentation, such as a court order, marriage license, passport, driver’s license, or social security card. 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
If all academic requirements for the degree and all financial obligations have been met before April 1, the Office of the Registrar will issue a certificate of completion within three weeks of the candidate’s request.

If you have any questions regarding the submission of your dissertation or thesis, please contact the Graduate School’s Academic Manager, Barbara Bennett, 863-2843,  [email protected] .

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