PhD Submission Guidelines
PhD Submission Guidelines
Last update on November 2022
A PhD thesis can be submitted to Tel Aviv University in one of the following two ways:
- A “regular” PhD thesis – a complete thesis submitted as one unit, which summarizes the research work and is formatted according to the guidelines of the particular field.
- A PhD thesis composed of articles – according to the guidelines outlined below.
“Regular” PhD Thesis
The research will be summarized in an academic thesis written according to the accepted structure, terminology and citation rules for the professional literature in the field. The structure of a regular PhD thesis in any field will follow accepted practice in that field as well as the following guidelines:
- Title page: will include the Tel Aviv University logo, the name of the academic unit, the subject of the thesis, the name of the student, the name(s) of the advisor(s) and the sentence: “Thesis for the degree of “Doctor of Philosophy”, submitted to the Senate of Tel Aviv University on: [date]”. The title page will appear in Hebrew and in English (at opposite ends of the thesis).
- Acknowledgments: after completion of the review process, a page including acknowledgments may be added to the thesis.
- Contents page.
- Abstract: will be written in Hebrew and in English and will concisely summarize the research claims and conclusions.
- Lists of abbreviations, symbols, figures and tables, according to accepted practice in the field.
- Introduction: will review and summarize the knowledge in the scientific literature on the research subject and present the research questions. The introduction will also present the research aims and assumptions and emphasize the study’s scientific contribution.
- Research methods: in fields where it is accepted practice, this chapter will include a review of the research methods used in the study, with particular emphasis on methods that were developed as part of the study, or known methods that were adapted for the study.
- The research process and results: the research process and results will be presented in one chapter or across a few chapters.
- Discussion and summary: this chapter will include a discussion of the research subject and its innovations and conclusions, possible follow-up studies and further developments that may be derived from the research, in accordance with the particular field.
- Literature: this chapter will include full bibliographical details of the literature and other sources mentioned in the thesis. The list will be formatted according to the format accepted in the particular field.
Similarly, in a “regular” PhD thesis:
- An article cannot be included “as-is” as a chapter in the thesis. Articles that have been published, or accepted for publication, can only be attached as appendices to the thesis.
- If the research results are presented across a few chapters, the research methods should not be repeated in each chapter. Similarly, each chapter should not have its own bibliography; rather, all sources should be included in the bibliography at the end of the thesis.
PhD Thesis Composed of Articles
Conditions for Submitting the Request
- At least three original research articles (not review articles) have been published or accepted for publication in leading journals in the field that includes a peer-review process.
- The student’s contribution to the article is crucial. He/she appears as the first author of these articles (except for cases in which the author list is alphabetical, or the advisor appears first).
- A PhD thesis composed of articles may include one article only in which the student’s contribution is defined as an “equal contribution”.
- An article in which a number of research students appear as authors may be included in only two of these students’ PhD theses, on condition that these students made a unique, important, equal contribution.
- Articles may be included in the thesis only if they are based on a research that was done after the student was accepted as a research student ("stage A") and are relevant to the PhD research subject as defined in the approved research proposal.
Submitting the Request
The request to submit a PhD thesis composed of articles will include letters of explanation from both the student and the advisor, together with a copy of the articles:
- The student’s letter will refer to the following:
- Details of the articles and where they were published or accepted for publication (for articles that have not yet been published, confirmation of acceptance for publication from the journal editor must be included).
- The order of the articles in the thesis: the way they create a continuous, logical structure and are related to the research subject.
- Additional chapter consisting of results that were not included in the articles and should be included in the thesis.
- The advisor’s letter will refer to the articles and the student’s contribution to each article as follows:
- The student’s contribution to the research and to the writing of the article.
- The student’s unique contribution to an article that the student asks to include in the thesis, where the student’s contribution is defined as an “equal contribution”.
- The quality of the journals in which the articles were published. In addition, the journal’s rank and impact factor according to Web of Science must be indicated.
- Recommendation of the Subunit Committee – the Subunit Committee for Research Students will consider the request of the student and the advisor; if it decides to honor the request, it will recommend to the University Committee for Research Students to approve the submission of a PhD thesis composed of articles. In its letter, the Subunit Committee will also refer to the quality of the journals in which the articles were published.
Structure of a PhD thesis Composed of Articles
On completion of the coursework and research, the student will submit the PhD thesis composed of articles to the Subunit Committee according to the following format:
- An Introduction that includes the following:
- A comprehensive, up-to-date review of the general research field and presentation of the research aims.
- A general review of the articles and the contribution of the research presented in them to the general research field, the relationship between them, and the way they create a continuous, logical structure.
- If the thesis is experimental, a description of the research methods that are not described in the articles, and a more detailed description of the research methods as necessary, including those that appear in the articles. The main focus of these descriptions should be on methods developed during the research.
- The Articles
This chapter will include the articles, ordered according to the progression of the research, thereby producing one integrated research study.
- Additional Results:
It is possible to include in the thesis an additional chapter which will consist of additional results relevant to the work obtained by the student during the research.
- Discussion and Summary, According to Accepted Practice in the Field, Which Includes:
- A comprehensive, general discussion of the research results and their significance.
- The significance of the results presented in the articles.
- Emphasis of the novel aspects and the contribution of the research to the field.
- A list of the references cited in the introduction and discussion as well as those that do not appear in the articles.
Language of the Thesis
A PhD thesis composed of articles will be written entirely in the same language. The submission is pursuant to section 76 of the university regulations. If the thesis is submitted in English, an abstract in Hebrew will be included, as required for a “regular” thesis.
Review of the Thesis
A PhD thesis composed of articles will be reviewed by the same process as a regular PhD thesis, according to section 77 of the university regulations. Nevertheless, since the thesis has been submitted in a special format, a general descriptive letter to the reviewers will be attached. Likewise, the advisor’s letter, which refers in detail to the articles and to the student’s contribution to them, will be attached to the thesis when it is sent for review.