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

The doctoral dissertation demonstrates the student’s in-depth knowledge of the field of research, related fields and the philosophy of science. Furthermore, the dissertation demonstrates his or her ability to apply the methods of scientific research in practice, both independently, and critically in his or 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 student. It is a coherent and independent study and should contain the data and methodology used 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 student must be the correspondent writer of at least in two of them. An article electronically pre-published by a scientific series is regarded as published.

In business an essay-based dissertation can also be approved. The essay-based dissertation comprises at least three published or unpublished independent entities dealing with the same set of research problems. Some of these entities may be scientific articles or other publications and unpublished essays.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 their own contribution to those publications when requesting a public defence. 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 publication of scientific research results, which have an editorial board comprising experts and which have ISSN or ISBN numbers (JUFO level 1 – 3 or corresponding). More information: Publication forum.

Structure and language of the dissertation

In addition to the articles or essays, the dissertation must include an introduction and 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 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 dissertation manuscript is ready for evaluation you may leave it for preliminary examination. Please, note that before doing this you must make sure, that your dissertation has 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. Also 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(at)uef.fi).

Please, deliver the form to the faculty either 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-format report describing, e.g. your position as a writer (e.g. first writer, responsible writer), your workload in percentage value or which parts/chapters of the publications you have been responsible for.

The Vice Dean Appoints the Preliminary Examiners

The Head of your department and your supervisor notify 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 be a docent or a person 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 postgraduate 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.

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 for you to express your opinion on the matter. The statements are also delivered for the information of your supervisor. After this, the Vice Dean decides on the public defence 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 at Kamu. 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 making of 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 dissertation. For instructions and the necessary forms, see the website above.

Read more about publishing and dissertation grant at 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 to be a docent or 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

You may inform the media of your dissertation after you have been given a permit for public defence and you know the date and venue of your public examination. Please, read through the communication instructions at 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 at 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 for you 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 theses whether preliminary or final shall undergo an authenticity verification performed by using the electronic plagiarism detection system.

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 before it is published.
  • The authenticity of an article- or essay thesis 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 independently through the Turnitinin’s Moodle course.

Steps to take

A doctoral candidate

  • Shall return the doctrine of the thesis to the Turnitin-assignment and inform the supervisor about the return.
  • Shall see the authenticity of the report produced by the Turnitin system.
  • Shall revise the thesis on the basis of the feedback that she/he may receive. The revised work can only be submitted once to the plagiarism detection system.
  • Shall get the information that the authenticity of the thesis is approved and send it for review in accordance with the guidelines of the faculty.

If on the basis of a report cheating is suspected, it will be investigated. If cheating is detected, the supervisor shall assess the degree of the seriousness. If the found correspondences are not serious, the supervisor shall give the student feedback to revise the thesis. The revised work can only be submitted once to the plagiarism detection system. In serious cases, the supervisor shall notify the cheating and found correspondences in writing (e-mail) to the Dean, the Head of the Department and the Head of Education. The Dean shall hear the student and decide, after consultation, the possible follow-up action to take.

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

Public Examination, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Attire

The correct form of attire for the doctoral candidates, the custos and the opponent is for ladies a black dress with long sleeves and for gentlemen, full evening dress with black waistcoat. Alternatively, formal suit may be worn. The doctoral candidate decides on the attire. Where appropriate, participants may wear a doctor’s goan. 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 towards 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 sections: 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 get seated.

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 he or she 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 or 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 is 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 makes 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 so as to leave time for possible questions from the audience. If the examination seems to take long the custos may announce a break.

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. The opponent then takes his or her seat.

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 opponent hold their doctoral hats in their hand when they leave the room: first theopponent, 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 he or she 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
  • defence 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 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, 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 defense 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 keep up their quality standard and to ensure equal treatment of the students. 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
  • defence 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 he or she recommends a permit 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 English.

If you discover in the dissertation so serious deficiencies that you cannot recommend the permit, please, issue your statement to the faculty but also contact the supervisor of a doctoral student.

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 keep up their quality standard and to ensure equal treatment of the students. Please, take them in to 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, 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 defense 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 ask you to kindly 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
  • defence 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 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)