Question - Published PhD Dissertation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Earon Kavanagh, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm looking for some information on the meaning of the term "published dissertation". I've just gotten approval from my committee at Tilburg U., in the Netherlands to write up my dissertation research, so I need to be thinking of these kinds of things.

    What does the term "published dissertation" mean? Entered into the UMI database? Published by a large university press?

    I recently read a citation from a Fielding Institute PhD grad. It was stated as "unpublished PhD dissertation".

    In the Netherlands all dissertations are considered as published and each university holds a copy in their library.

    I'm still unclear on the meaning of the term "published dissertation".

    The reason, in part, that I ask this question is to determine what to write on a C.V.

    Can anyone clarify??

    Thanks and regards,
  2. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    I don't list my PhD dissertation on my CV -- and I haven't seen any of my colleagues (most of whom have PhDs) list theirs.

    But I don't see the issue. If you listed:
    • Earon Kavanagh, "title of the work," PhD dissertation, Tilburg University, Netherlands, 2004.
    then I don't think that anybody would care whether it was formally considered published or not. It would be clear that it's a PhD dissertation, and that's all most people would want to know.

    In the U.S. I think PhD dissertations are formally considered unpublished, even though they are invariably available in the university library (and via interlibrary loan) and usually available through UMI (though not in the case of MIT, Rice, and some other well-known schools).
  3. The idea actually came from my main advisor, who is from the UK and taught in the UK university system as a professor (supervising graduate and doctoral research) for many years.
    In the UK there seems to be a big focus on publishing papers. For example, she got me to write two papers along the way, which were then published in edited books.
  4. Last post, continued:
    Anyway, she seems to place some importance on getting as much as possible out of the publishing piece. So I'm collecting different perspectives as I reflect on this idea. It seems, and I could be wrong on this perspective, that the Brits place more emphasis on publications. I just want some diverse perspectives before I continue the conversation with her.
  5. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    Publications certainly matter in the U.S. Book chapters are nice, but what really counts (in the sciences) are peer-reviewed journal articles.

    I work for an industrial research lab, so I don't care much about all this. I have about 40 journal articles -- roughly half as first or senior author.

    My peers in academia would need to have many more to have survived -- hundreds.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Typically, for a dissertation to be considered published, it need only be listed in the school library and copies be made available on request.
  7. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    @ Earon:

    In Europe, ´published´ means actually being published by a publishing house (and therefore available over the book shops of at least your own country, and provided with an ISBN), and not only to put a certain no. of ´duty copies´ in your local university library or in an online database or so.

  8. Thanks, Trigger
    Yes, as far as duty copiues are concerned, regulations at Tilburg University (the former Katholic University of Brabant), require that the dissertation be bound in book form and 75 copies submitted to the Faculty. These copiues are distributed to various readers and ALL university libraries in the Netherlands (and there are many (receive a copy). All universities in the Netherlands are also invited to attend the defence of the dissertation. It's an interesting system. Sure beats receiving your sheepskin by mail (a la Columbia Pacific - :D ).

    Thanks to all for the input.
  9. Jason D. Baker

    Jason D. Baker New Member

    I recently read a citation from a Fielding Institute PhD grad. It was stated as "unpublished PhD dissertation".

    Different style guides have different approaches to reporting doctoral dissertations and sometimes there are multiple approaches within a single style guide. For example, in the fifth edition of APA, there are three distinct dissertation citation formats found on pages 260-262:

    1. Doctoral dissertation abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) and obtained from ProQuest/UMI.

    2. Doctoral dissertation abstracted in DAI and obtained from the university.

    3. Unpublished doctoral dissertation (i.e., doesn't appear in DAI).

    According to the APA manual, if a dissertation appears in DAI then one of the first two formats should be selected. Note also that if the dissertation were published as a separate work (e.g., book, book chapter, article, etc.) then it would follow the citation format for that type of work. Anyway, a citation which mentions an unpublished doctoral dissertation would fit the third citation option within APA. That being said, I recently attended a defense where a committee member chided a doctoral student for listing Dissertation Abstracts International in an APA reference list, implying that this meant that the student only read the dissertation abstract instead of the dissertation itself (despite the APA stipulation to the contrary).

    Ain't academic writing grand?


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