Including Published Material in a Thesis or Dissertation

Students are encouraged to publish work from their research during the course of their degree programs. However, the preparation of publications should not significantly impede progress on the thesis, which must remain the student’s and the supervisor’s priority.

Publications are most commonly in the form of articles appearing in academic journals or chapters appearing in edited volumes. Publications may also include films or other audio, visual, or graphic pieces shown or published in public venues, or other scholarly artifacts such as policy briefs, webpages or computer applications, curricula, etc., that are in use in a professional or community domain. Nothing should be included in the thesis that cannot be made open-access through cIRcle (after a short-term embargo, if warranted and approved).

Articles or artifacts that have been published may be included as separate chapters of the thesis or may be incorporated within the thesis, subject to the considerations below.

Attribution: Material published elsewhere (or in press) must be identified and suitably acknowledged in both the text and the Preface. Collaborative publications, in which the student is one of several authors/creators, are permitted. In every case, the Preface must clearly describe the student's contribution to the research and creation—including, where applicable, the student's role in publications with several authors.

Presentation: Formatting must be consistent throughout the thesis, including units of measure, abbreviations, and the numbering scheme for tables, figures, footnotes, and citations. The thesis must contain a single bibliography, typically after the main body of the text but before any appendices. These requirements may entail minor changes to the original manuscript. Students may also augment the published work with additional material.

Coherence: Taken as a whole, the thesis must provide a unified and appropriately-sequenced investigation. This consideration should guide the placement of manuscripts in the main body of the work. More deeply, it means that the introduction, literature review, and conclusion must address the significance of each publication in the broad context of the overall program of scholarship described by the entire body of work.

Rigor: All contents of the thesis are subject to rigorous scrutiny during the examination process. Prior publication does not guarantee that an article or artifact meets the University's standards of excellence.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material must be supported by permission from the copyright holder, and this must be acknowledged in the Preface. Tables and figures from copyrighted sources must have "Reprinted with permission of …" in their captions, unless they appear as part of a block of material covered by a copyright acknowledgement in the Preface.

More information:

Copyright and publishing

UBC Copyright website: Theses and Dissertations

UBC cIRcle FAQ section 5