As a rule, the dissertation’s component articles must have been published in well-regarded international refereed scientific publication series or journals, or must have been approved for publication with the exception of one article. One of the articles may be a systematic review comparable to an original publication.
The dissertation author must be careful with Open Access journals, since articles published in publication forums classified as suspicious (also called predator journals) will not be accepted as component articles of the dissertation. The annually updated Beall's list may serve as help in recognising questionable journals. (If the link does not work, you can easily find the list using a search engine.) More detailed guidelines for choosing the publication forum are available below.
If the summarising report of the dissertation reuses tables, images or graphs from the original publications of the doctoral candidate, it is the doctoral candidate’s responsibility to ensure from the publisher that the right to publish them as a part of the dissertation is in place. Many publishers announce on their websites that they allow the use of their publications in dissertations. The caption of the reused table, image or graph must include a note that the publisher allows their use, or that the right to use has been ascertained from the publisher, in the following manner: “Reproduced with permission from …”and a reference to the original publication. As for the original publications to be appended to the end of the dissertation, it has not been the practice to ask for separate reprinting permission, since they are presented in their original format.
The writer of the dissertation may also present unpublished research results in the summarising report. In this case, they must be referred to in an appropriate manner (“N. N. et al. unpublished results”). To avoid duplicate publication, unpublished results cannot be included in the summarising report as a segment equivalent in scope to an article, if the results are intended to be published later as an article.
Sections included in a monograph and article-based dissertation
- A table of contents (including page numbers!)
- In an article-based dissertation, component articles as an appendix
- A bibliography
- A summary, and the conclusions
- A discussion in which the independent research results are critically contrasted with previous research
- The research results and discussion
- A report on the materials and methods used. The materials and methods used must be presented in written form, which may be supplemented by a table of the methods.
- A statement of the research question
- An analytical literature review, examining the development of information relating to the topic under discussion as well as the current situation
- An introduction
- A one- or two-page abstract of the dissertation and its key results. It should include the following: goals, main methods, the results achieved and conclusions drawn based on the results. A list of abbreviations
- In an article-based dissertation, a list of the publications on which it is based
The cover and cover page of the dissertation must include at least the following information:
- Name of the author
- The fact that the work is a dissertation
- Name of the faculty granting the permission to print
- Research location(s)
- Doctoral programme
- Printing house
- Printing location
- Printing year
- Names of the supervisors
- Names of the assessors
- Phrase: The Faculty of Medicine uses the Urkund system (plagiarism recognition) to examine all doctoral dissertations.
ISBN codes are issued by the Finnish National ISBN Centre: tel. 02941 44329 or 02941 44312.
Doctoral candidates publishing in DSHealth publication series ‘Dissertationes Scholae Doctoralis Ad Sanitatem Investigandam Universitatis Helsinkiensis’ can find more information on the cover design in instructions for students.
All dissertations must include a table of contents and a list of the component articles for article-based dissertations. If one or more of the articles in the dissertation have been used as a part of a previously published dissertation, a notification of this must be included in the dissertation after the list of articles.
System for the references and bibliography used in the dissertation
In the body text, numbering is used for literature references, which means that the list of references is in numerical order. Alternatively, in the body text, the name of the author and the publication year are used for in-text citations, in which case the list of references is in alphabetical order. All authors, the title of the article and the name of the journal must be indicated for the articles in the bibliography. Abbreviations from the Index Medicus shall be used for journals. After the name of the journal, the volume, the beginning and end page of the article, and the publication year are given. When referencing monographs and books, the title, author or editor, publisher, publication location and year, and the beginning and end pages of the reference must be included.
Retaining the original research material
The author must retain the original research results pertaining to the dissertation at least as long as the processing of the dissertation at the Faculty is underway. The results must be presented to the Faculty or to Faculty-appointed assessors on request. These guidelines apply to retaining the research material during the dissertation examination process at the Faculty. In all other respects, the researcher is responsible for complying with the provisions related to the retention of research material.
Selection of a publication forum
The Faculty recommends journals classified by the Finnish Publication Forum (categories 1 to 3). This will ensure that, in all likelihood, the publication forum is both scientifically and ethically acceptable. A list of journals classified by the Finnish Publication Forum is available on the website of the Finnish Publication Forum administered by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. Another method of assessing the quality of a publication forum is to check whether it has been listed on Medline, Web of Science and PubMed.
The Finnish Publication Forum listing does not include assessments of the most recent journals, and they may not yet have been indexed on Medline, PubMed or Web of Science. When assessing new publication series, the prestige of the publisher plays a large role. If the publisher is a prestigious and recognised scientific society or a renowned scientific publisher, it can be assumed that the new publication forum is appropriate, e.g., an Open Access version of a well-known journal.