thesis publications

Hubert Turner turner at BIO.UVA.NL
Mon Mar 10 09:51:03 CST 1997

>For the Zoological part of the discussion:
>The ICZN 3rd edition Article 9, 'What does not constitute publiction', item
>(11) makes unavailable
>'deposit of a document (e.g., a thesis) in a collection of documents, a
>library, or other archive'.
>Thus, the thesis (or dissertation) as such is not at all excluded from
>consideration as an available publication, only the method of distribution
>(deposition of a document).
>In Sweden, doctoral dissertations are usually printed and bound, have ISBN
>numbers, and are freely distributed in several hundred copies, within a
>serial or independently. They are certainly published in every sense of the
>Code, unless they contain a disclaimer. The same applies to other countries.
>I think the current discussion might benefit from narrowing down to the act
>of 'deposition of a document'. There is already quite some confusion amongst
>zoologists as to the status of dissertations. Whereas American and British
>students apparently submit just one or a few copies for the use of the
>Committee, other countries have other customs, and it is not correct to make
>generalizations based on the US or UK conditions.
>In Sweden, a dissertation is published either as an original monograph or as
>a collection of reprints or submitted manuscripts, with a long summary. In
>the latter case, the summary and any included manuscripts rate as originally
>published in that dissertation. It is apparently generally recommended to
>publish papers intended for inclusion in the dissertation in peer-reviewed
>international journals.
>The procedure at the Department of Zoology of the Stockholm University is to
>present to the thesis for internal review 4-5 months ahead of the planned
>public presentation. Financial support is provided for the printing of 350
>copies, but only 210 are required by law or otherwise estimated as required.
>150 copies of these ca 210 are destined for library exchange and are
>distributed both nationally and internationally. Dissertations are normally
>written in English. The printed dissertation must be available at least 21
>days before of the public defense. Other institutions may vary slightly in
>one or another regard.
>It would certainly be helpful to many to have a record of which countries
>share requirements for publication of dissertations; I have seen Swiss and
>Dutch dissertations printed, but I am not sure whether they are required to
>be published.
>In light of the amount of work and funding that goes into producing doctoral
>dissertations, it certainly seems natural that the student's work, accepted
>by the scientific reviewers (opponent, committee, public), also must be made
>available to the scientific community at the same time.
>Sven O Kullander
>Swedish Museum of Natural History
Here in the Netherlands, dissertations are required by law to be published,
although I'm not aware of any minimum on the number of copies. Usually, the
University library buys about 50 or 60, for exchange with other
(University) libraries. Thus, Dutch theses can (and should) always be
considered publications and all new names contained in them validly
published, at least in that respect. Theses can be either original work or
collections of previous publications (or even a mix of the two together
with preprints of submitted manuscripts). For work not published or
submitted elsewhere, some University Departments (e.g. the Rijksherbarium
in Leiden, where I did my PhD work) offer candidates the possibility to
publish their thesis also as part of a series of monographs - contents,
title, publication date, page numbering, etc. identical, just a different
cover to distinguish it from the actual thesis and identify it as part of a

Sincerely yours,

Hubert Turner

ISP/ZMA, Dept. Entomology, Plantage Middenlaan 64,
1018 DH  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +-31-20-5256245        Fax: +-31-20-5256528
E-mail: turner at
WWW: <>

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