20 Apr 2016

Different types of doctoral theses - an analysis from DiVA data 2000-2015

For a while now I have been thinking about the different forms of publishing a doctoral thesis. Just from my own experiences I had a feeling that today there is a greater share of doctoral theses published as comprehensive summary (content of published articles) than ordinary monographs. Can I confirm that and if so why?

I started with asking my colleague, Ulf-Göran Nilsson - library strategist at Jönköping University, for data from DiVA. DiVA is the digital repository used by Jönköping University. DiVA is also a cooperation among 40 different universities mainly from Sweden, but also from Denmark and Norway. I wanted the data to be as aggregated as possible so I choosed all member universities and all different subject and only used the total number of doctoral theses registrated in the archive. After that I separated the data between the two different formats, comprehensive summary or monograph, to be able to see the trend over the years from year 2000 - 2015. I selected a five year interval between the selected data to be able to see changes over time. This is what I found.

As you all can see there is a remarkable trend towards publishing the doctoral thesis as a comprehensive summary instead of a monograph. What can be the causes for this? Can new demands for academic publishing within peer reviewed scholarly journals be a reason? Or, has the new process of evaluating a researchers success and career to be more focused on your appearance is scholarly journals influenced the choice of format? I have no answer but I think it is interesting to evaluate and discuss.

Another thought running through my brain is how this impact the research. Can the move from working with a complete monograph towards publishing a comprehensive summary make the research more fragmanted and gouged? Is that beneficial or can it be a threat? Again I have no answers but I still think it is a very interesting and important question to discuss.

What is your experiences on this matter...


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