18524 Requirements for and Examination of the Doctoral Dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Requirements for the doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Requirements for the Doctoral Dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

The doctoral dissertation demonstrates the doctoral researcher’s in-depth knowledge of the field of research, related fields and the philosophy of science. Furthermore, the dissertation demonstrates his/her ability to apply the methods of scientific research in practice, both independently, and critically in his/her field of research as well as independently to generate new information.

Forms of the dissertation

One of the following can be accepted as a doctoral dissertation:

  1. a separate piece of research (monograph). A monograph is a work based on the research project by the doctoral researcher. It is a coherent and independent study and should contain the data and methodology and the results as a whole.
  2. at least three articles dealing with a same set of problems accepted for publication in scientific journals applying a referee procedure. Referee procedure refers to an assessment process carried out by the scientific community where an article or part of a collection of articles undergoes an advance assessment by an independent expert. The review must be verifiable.  The other articles may be manuscripts to be published. In case the articles are joint publications, a doctoral candidate must be the first author in at least two of them. An article electronically pre-published by a scientific series is regarded as published.

In Business Studies, an essay-based dissertation can also be approved. The essay-based dissertation comprises at least three published or unpublished independent manuscripts dealing with the same set of research problems. Some of these manuscripts may be scientific articles or other publications and unpublished essays.

If the articles or essays are joint publications, a doctoral candidate must present a written account of his/her own contribution to those publications when requesting a public examination. A joint publication may be included in a maximum of two different dissertations.

It is recommended to publish in national and/or international scientific journals, series or monographs, which are specialised in publishing scientific research results, have an editorial board comprising experts and hold ISSN or ISBN numbers. All publications should correspond to the Finnish JUFO Publication Forum classification levels 1 – 3, please see Publication Forum for more information.

Structure and language of the dissertation

In addition to the articles or essays, the dissertation must include an introduction and a summary which compiles the contents of the articles. These may be placed at the beginning of the dissertation, or the introduction may be placed at the beginning and the summary at the end of the dissertation.

The doctoral dissertation can be written in the language in which the faculty provides supervision.

There is a separate instruction on publishing the dissertation at Kamu.

Further information
Annikki Honkanen
Anne Korhonen

Examination process of the doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Submitting the manuscript for preliminary examination

After you have evaluated, together with your supervisor, that your manuscript is ready for evaluation you may submit it for preliminary examination. Please note that before doing this you must make sure, that your dissertation has been checked for plagiarism in compliance with the instructions of the University of Eastern Finland and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. You should deliver the manuscript in pdf-format to the faculty via email. In addition, a form requesting for permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination is needed. You will get the form from the coordinator of your doctoral programme, or Annikki Honkanen (annikki.honkanen@uef.fi).

Please, submit the form and the manuscript to the faculty by email (jatko-opinnaytteet.yhka@uef.fi).

If your dissertation includes joint publications, you must present a written account of your own contribution to those publications. This is done with a free-form report describing, e.g. your position as an author (e.g. first author, responsible author), your workload by percentage or which parts/chapters of the publications you have been responsible for. If the articles have not been published yet, also attach acceptance letters.

The Vice Dean appoints the preliminary examiners

The Head of your department and your supervisor notify the Executive Assistant of the Faculty Ms. Maria Venäläinen, (maria.venalainen@uef.fi) of the names, academic titles and contact information of the preliminary examiners. The notification can be given, for example, by email. As a rule, the preliminary examiners are chosen from among experts external to the university and they are required to hold the title of docent or be persons with equivalent scientific competence.

Your supervisor or a person who has coauthored publications with you in the topic of the dissertation, or who has been involved in research projects with you during your doctoral studies, may not be chosen as a preliminary examiner. Furthermore, a person who in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act is otherwise disqualified may not be chosen as a preliminary examiner.

The Vice Dean decides on the preliminary examiners, after which Ms. Venäläinen sends the preliminary examiners a copy of the manuscript and instructions relating to the preliminary examination. You will get a copy of the decision.

NB! Main supervisor, ask the suggested pre-examiners to issue their cv and list of publications for decision making.

The Vice Dean gives permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination

The preliminary examiners are required to deliver their statements to the faculty within two months of being appointed as preliminary examiners (Study Regulations, Section 37). Once the statements have arrived at the faculty, Ms. Venäläinen sends them to you in order to express your opinion on the matter. The statements are also delivered to your supervisor. After this, the Vice Dean decides on the public examination of your doctoral dissertation. You will get a copy of this decision with necessary instructions.

The general instructions for doctoral candidates of the University of Eastern Finland can be found in Kamu Student Handbook. If the preliminary examiners do not recommend giving a permission for public examination, you should contact Ms. Venäläinen (maria.venalainen@uef.fi).

Publishing the doctoral dissertation

If you plan to publish your doctoral dissertation in the faculty’s publication series, you should contact the editors of the series after having been given permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination. Editor of the dissertations of the Business School and the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies is D.Sc. (Econ.) Markus Mättö (markus.matto@uef.fi). Editor of the dissertations of the Department of Health and Social Management, the Law School and the Department of Social Sciences is M.H.Sc., M.Soc.Sc. Anna Karttunen (anna.karttunen@uef.fi).

If the doctoral dissertation is published in some other series than the faculty’s own, the instructions of the series in question should be observed.

NB! It is important to reserve enough time for the layout, printing and revision; preferably about two months.

Also, please note that doctoral candidates may apply for a grant from the faculty to cover the printing costs of their dissertations. For instructions and the necessary forms, see the website publishing and dissertation grant in Kamu.

The Vice Dean Appoints the Opponent and the Custos

The Head of your Department and your supervisor make a proposal on the persons to be appointed as the opponent and the custos. Please, agree on the date of the public examination with them. The proposal will be sent with contact information by email to Ms. Maria Venäläinen (maria.venalainen@uef.fi; Joensuu campus) or Ms. Iida Järvikangas (iida.jarvikangas@uef.fi; Kuopio campus). The Vice Dean decides on the custos, the opponent and the date of the public examination. The decision with necessary instructions is sent to all parties.

The opponent is required hold the title of docent or be a person with equivalent scientific competence and be external to the University of Eastern Finland (Study Regulations, Section 37).

Informing the Media of the Dissertation

The media will be informed of your upcoming dissertation after you have been given a permission for public examination and the date and venue of your public examination have been set. Please, read through the detailed communication instructions in Kamu and fill out the electronic dissertation form.

Public Examination

As a rule, the public examination should be held in Joensuu or Kuopio. Please note that you are responsible for taking care of the practical arrangements of the public examination together with your own department. The instructions relating to the public examination are available in Kamu.

Statement of the opponent and grading of the dissertation

The opponent or opponents shall issue their written statement regarding the doctoral dissertation and its public examination to the faculty within two weeks of the public examination. Also, remarks presented in the public examination shall be delivered in writing to the faculty within two weeks of the public examination (Study Regulations, Section 37). The statement or remark should be delivered to Ms. Maria Venäläinen (maria.venalainen@uef.fi), who will send it to you in order to express your opinion on the matter.

The Faculty Council grades the dissertation after having heard the opinions of the doctoral candidate (University Regulations, Section 9). Read more about evaluation and grading in the following chapters. After the meeting of the Faculty Council, Ms. Venäläinen sends you a notification of the decision.

Further Information
Annikki Honkanen
Anne Korhonen

Authenticity verification of the doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

All submitted dissertations whether preliminary or final shall undergo an authenticity verification by using the electronic plagiarism detection system Turnitin.

Principles of authenticity verification

The authenticity of the doctoral dissertation shall be verified as follows:

  • The authenticity of a monograph thesis shall always be verified prior to its submission to the review process. If significant changes are made to it after the preliminary review, the candidate shall be recommended to verify the authenticity again before it is published.
  • The authenticity of an article- or essay-based dissertation shall be verified during the preliminary review of an article yet to be published.

The doctoral candidate is recommended to verify the authenticity of the dissertation independently during the writing process. You can test your thesis or other written work through the Turnitin’s Moodle course. Also, get acquainted with the technical instructions of the electronic plagiarism detection tool.

Steps to take

Before pre-examination the doctoral candidate

  • Shall submit the manuscript of the dissertation to Turnitin and inform the supervisor about the submission. The Turnitin assignment can belong to a supervisor, department or doctoral programme.
  • Shall see the authenticity report produced by the Turnitin system.
  • Shall revise the dissertation on the basis of the report. The revised manuscript can be submitted to the plagiarism detection system only once after the first round.
  • Shall get another authenticity report that of the dissertation is approved, whereafter the candidate is able to send it for review in accordance with the guidelines of the faculty.

If cheating is suspected on the basis of a report, it the case will be investigated according to the ethical guidelines for teaching and studying > Procedure in cases of suspected fraud.

Please read through also guidance on research ethics.

Support

User support for Turnitin is available from Oppitupa (oppitupa@uef.fi).

Public examination, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Dress code

The correct form of dress code for the doctoral candidates, the custos and the opponent is for females a black dress with long sleeves and for males, full evening dress with black waistcoat. Alternatively, formal suit may be worn. The doctoral candidate decides on the dress code. Where appropriate, participants may wear a doctoral gown. Participants holding Nordic doctorates are to carry their doctor’s hat in their hand while entering and leaving the room. During the public examination the hat is placed upon the table with the lyre facing the audience.

Progress of the public examination

The public examination begins 15 minutes past the hour by which time the audience will have arrived in the room. The doctoral candidate is the first to enter the room, followed by the custos and finally the opponent. The audience will stand up when they enter the room.

The public examination includes the following protocol: 1. Opening of the public examination 2. The candidate’s introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria 3. The opponent’s opening statement 4. Public examination of the doctoral dissertation 5. The opponent’s final statement 6. The candidate’s concluding words 7. Closing of the public examination.

  1. Opening of the public examination
    When everyone has taken their seats (the candidate on the left of the custos) the custos will open the public examination by saying: “As the custos appointed by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies of the University of Eastern Finland, I declare this public examination open.” After this the custos and the opponent sit down.
  2. The candidate’s introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria
    After the public examination has been opened, the candidate stands up to give a short introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria, in which s/he introduces the background of the dissertation and its connections to scientific or practical problems. The lectio praecursoria may not last more than 20 minutes. The candidate should begin the introductory lecture with the following words: “Mr/Madam custos, Mr/Madam opponent, Ladies and Gentlemen.” The introductory lecture is usually given in the language of the dissertation. In case the language of the lectio praecursoria is different from the language of the public examination, the candidate should issue the opponent a translation of the lectio praecursoria. After the introductory lecture, the candidate says: “I now call upon you, Mr/Madam opponent/Professor/Adjunct Professor/Dr NN as the opponent appointed by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies to present your critical comments on my doctoral dissertation.”
  3. The opponent’s opening statement
    The opponent stands up to give his/her opening statement on the dissertation under examination. The opponent then concludes the opening statement and begins to examine the dissertation in detail. After the opponent has given the opening statement, the opponent and the candidate sit down. If there are more than one opponent, the opponents will have to agree on a division of tasks and announce this in their opening statement.
  4. Public examination of the doctoral dissertation
    In the actual examination of the dissertation, the opponent first provides a general overview by discussing the choice of the topic, methods and data, and then moves on to a more detailed examination. At the end of the examination, the opponent makes a summary of the results of the dissertation to the discipline in question. The opponent may use approximately four hours for the examination and leave some time for possible questions from the audience. If the examination seems to take long, the custos may announce a break in between.
  5. The opponent’s final statement
    After having examined the dissertation, the opponent stands up to deliver the final statement. The candidate also stands up to listen. At the end of the final statement, the opponent announces whether he or she will propose to the faculty that the dissertation be accepted. The opponent then sits down and the candidate remains standing.
  6. The candidate’s concluding words
    The candidate thanks the opponent and then faces the audience and says: “If anyone present wishes to make any comments concerning my dissertation, please ask the custos for the floor.”
  7. Conclusion of the public examination
    Finally, the custos stands up to announce that the public examination is completed. The public examination of a dissertation may not last more than six hours.

The custos and the opponent hold their doctoral hats in their hands when they leave the room: first the opponent, then the custos and finally the candidate.

The audience should not applaud or cheer during the public examination. Congratulations should be extended to the candidate only after s/he has
left the room and has had the opportunity to thank the opponent and the custos.

Evaluation of doctoral dissertations, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

The main criteria for evaluation of doctoral dissertations are

  1. scientific significance of the research results as well as
  2. contribution of the candidate to the research.

Additionally, the following specific criteria are used:

Starting point of the research

  • scientific level, formulation and motivation of the research problem
  • theoretical basis of the research and connection to the previous research
  • scientific, societal and practical relevance of the research

Research process

  • command of the research field, knowledge and use of the literature
  • command, definition and clarity of the concepts
  • success of the choices and solutions during the research process, and possibility to evaluate them
  • command and suitability of the methods
  • quality and carefulness of the research

Research results

  • new knowledge and the results gained in the research work
  • sufficiency of the research contribution of the candidate
  • consistent foundation of the results on the data
  • significance of the research results in the own research field
  • coherence, stylistic and linguistic form of the presentation
  • in an article-based dissertation: quality of the publications
  • defense in the public examination
  • Also, the compliance of good scientific practice in the research process and documentation will be taken into account in the evaluation.

Grades

The doctoral dissertations are graded as follows:

  • History, Geography and Human Geography as well as Social Sciences: laudatur / eximia cum laude approbatur / magna cum laude approbatur / cum laude approbatur / non sine laude approbatur / lubenter approbatur / approbatur / improbatur
  • Business, Law, Philosophy, Health and Social Management Sciences, Health and Human Services Informatics as well as Health Economics: pass with distinction / pass / fail

Further information
Annikki Honkanen
Anne Korhonen

Guidance for preliminary examiners, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

University of Eastern Finland
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Guidance for preliminary examiners to evaluate doctoral dissertations

Dear Madam/Sir,

We thank you for your consent to act as a preliminary examiner of a doctoral dissertation.

Doctoral dissertation

A doctoral dissertation is a substantial scientific thesis based on independent scientific work. The dissertation may be a scientific monograph or it may consist of scientific articles published/to be published which deal with the same set of problems and a paper summarising the findings. It is first examined by external reviewers, i.e. preliminary examiners, appointed by the faculty, then published as a doctoral dissertation with the permission of the faculty and finally defended in a public examination. For the public examination of the dissertation, the Faculty Council appoints one or two opponents and a custos. It decides on the approval of the dissertation based on the statement by the opponent(s).

Evaluation Criteria

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies has common evaluation criteria for doctoral dissertations (below) to maintain their quality standard and to ensure equal treatment of the doctoral candidates. We hope that you will write your statement according to them and that the criteria will help you with formulation
of the statement.

The main criteria for evaluation of doctoral dissertations are

  1. scientific significance of the research results as well as
  2. contribution of the candidate to the research.

Additionally, the following specific criteria are used:

Starting point of the research

  • scientific level, formulation and motivation of the research problem
  • theoretical basis of the research and connection to the previous research
  • scientific, societal and practical relevance of the research

Research process

  • command of the research field, knowledge and use of the literature
  • command, definition and clarity of the concepts
  • success of the choices and solutions during the research process, and possibility to evaluate them
  • command and suitability of the methods
  • quality and carefulness of the research

Research results

  • new knowledge and the results gained in the research work
  • sufficiency of the research contribution of the candidate
  • consistent foundation of the results on the data
  • significance of the research results in the own research field
  • coherence, stylistic and linguistic form of the presentation
  • in an article-based dissertation: quality of the publications
  • defense in the public examination
  • Also, the compliance of good scientific practice in the research process and documentation will be taken into account in the evaluation.

Also, we ask you to observe that the pre-examiner should give a statement on the manuscript sent by the faculty and state whether s/he recommends permission for public examination. Conditional statements should not be given.

The length of the statement is at least two pages and the language of the statement is English.

If you discover in the dissertation so serious deficiencies that you cannot recommend permission for public examination, please, issue your statement to the faculty but also contact the supervisor of a the doctoral candidate.

Please, send your statement to: dissertationfees_SSBS@uef.fi.

Fee

We will pay the pre-examiners a fee after we have received the statement. Concerning the payment, you will be contacted by a Personnel Assistant.

For the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies,

Maria Venäläinen (Ms)
Executive Assistant

Guidance for opponents, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

University of Eastern Finland
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Guidance for opponents to evaluate doctoral dissertations

Dear Madam/Sir,

We thank you for your consent to act as an opponent in a public examination of a doctoral dissertation.

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies has joint evaluation criteria for the doctoral dissertations to maintain their quality standard and to ensure equal treatment of the doctoral candidates. Please, take them into consideration and write your statement according to them. Also, we ask you to observe that the opponent should suggest a doctoral dissertation a grade. The grading scale is included in the evaluation criteria. The language of the statement is English and the length at least two pages.

Doctoral dissertation

A doctoral dissertation is a substantial scientific thesis based on independent scientific work. The dissertation may be a scientific monograph or it may consist of scientific articles published/to be published which deal with the same set of problems and a paper summarising the findings.  It is first examined by external reviewers, i.e. preliminary examiners, appointed by the faculty, then published as a doctoral dissertation with the permission of the faculty and finally defended in a public examination. For the public examination of the dissertation, the Faculty Council appoints one or two opponents and a custos. It decides on the approval of the dissertation based on the statement by the opponent(s).  We kindly ask you to submit your statement within two weeks of the examination to: dissertationfees_SSBS@uef.fi.

Evaluation criteria

The main criteria for evaluation of doctoral dissertations are scientific significance of the research results as well as contribution of the candidate to the research. Additionally, the following specific criteria are used:

Starting point of the research

  • scientific level, formulation and motivation of the research problem
  • theoretical basis of the research and connection to the previous research
  • scientific, societal and practical relevance of the research

Research process

  • command of the research field, knowledge and use of the literature
  • command, definition and clarity of the concepts
  • success of the choices and solutions during the research process and possibility to evaluate them
  • command and suitability of the methods
  • quality and carefulness of the research

Research results

  • new knowledge and the results gained in the research work
  • sufficiency of the research contribution of the candidate
  • consistent foundation of the results on the data
  • significance of the research results in the own research field
  • coherence, stylistic and linguistic form of the presentation
  • in an article-based dissertation: quality of the publications
  • defense in the public examination

Also, the compliance of good scientific practice in the research process and documentation will be taken into account in the evaluation.

Grades

The doctoral dissertations are graded as follows:

  • History, Geography and Human Geography as well as Social Sciences: laudatur / eximia cum laude approbatur / magna cum laude approbatur / cum laude approbatur / non sine laude approbatur / lubenter approbatur / approbatur / improbatur
  • Business, Law, Philosophy, Health and Social Management Sciences, Health and Human Services Informatics as well as Health Economics: pass with distinction / pass / fail

Fee and Travel Costs

We will pay the opponent(s) a fee and travel costs after we have received the statement.  Concerning the payment, you will be contacted by a Personnel Assistant.

For the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies,

Maria Venäläinen (Ms)