Annex 5 - Guidance on the integration of publications as chapters within the dissertation

Research students are strongly encouraged to publish their work, including prior to submission and examination. In some disciplines, it is accepted practice to include publications as chapters within the dissertation, while maintaining the dissertation as a coherent, single document. Students should discuss with their supervisors whether the inclusion of publications as chapters would be appropriate.

This guidance relates to the inclusion of complete publications as individual chapters (i.e. one publication per chapter) within a dissertation. These publications could be – for example – journal articles, conference proceedings or official reports, and may be already published, accepted for publication, submitted for publication, or in a format suitable for publication. A substantial amount of the researched materials in the publications must derive from original research undertaken by the student during their period of study. The integration of publications as chapters is not the same as candidature by published work, which relies on publications completed prior to registration – see Annex 1.

The student may be the sole or co-author of the publications. If any of the publications have been co-authored, there must be clarity on the contribution of the student, which must be substantial. The student’s contribution to any co-authored publication must be clearly stated.

Faculties and schools may have discipline-specific advice in place to complement this guidance.

Format of the dissertation

All dissertations will conform to the format required in Annex 4. Where there are publications included as chapters (referred to as ‘publication chapters’ below), the following points also apply:

The dissertation must be thematically coherent and structured so that it can be read as an integrated document, including a separate introduction, a full literature review, an extended discussion that provides clarity on how the chapters are integrated as a complete text, and a separate conclusion. Throughout the dissertation, there must be consistent formatting with uninterrupted pagination, and a single, unified reference list. The dissertation cannot just be a series of reprints of publications.

The dissertation may contain a mixture of publication chapters and conventional chapters, with the category of each chapter clearly identified and, for publication chapters, referenced.

Where there are multi-authored publications included in the dissertation, the student must acknowledge the role and contribution of the co-authors. This may be achieved, for example, through a short statement at the beginning of the relevant chapter.

All submitted dissertations are subject to an academic integrity and plagiarism check, normally through Turnitin, which will include any integrated publications as chapters as they form part of the dissertation. Appropriately acknowledged and referenced integrated publications will pass the check.


It is acknowledged that the integration of publication chapters within the dissertation is likely to lead to some duplication as each publication will have self-contained components that may overlap with other chapters. As a result, the overall word count may exceed the standard word limit for the degree, but this should be discussed with supervisors and should only be used to address where there is duplication.


As for all research degrees, the examination will be subject to Section 9. The dissertation must be coherent, consistent and comprehensive so that it demonstrates the student’s contribution clearly to the examiners. This guidance does not set a requirement on the examiners to accept publication chapters, and they may decide that it is inappropriate and make a recommendation on that basis.

The inclusion of publication chapters does not of itself verify the quality or significance of the work in meeting the criteria for the award of a research degree. The outcome of the examination will be decided by the Research Degrees Examination Board in response to the recommendation of the examiners.


Authors should follow the terms of their publishing agreement. It is rare for publishers to prevent the incorporation of published material within a dissertation for assessment purposes, but it may be necessary to redact any publisher-owned material from the final version of the dissertation before it is submitted and made publicly available (see Section 9.6.2).