[Air-L] PhD dissertation format

Glen Farrelly glenfarrelly at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 11:36:19 PDT 2011

I also considered the multipaper dissertation format as well as the
"PhD by publication". There has been some published discussion on the
issue, but not much.  I examined some dissertations using the
multipaper format and found that many lacked overall coherence, a
sustained in-depth argument, and a sufficient degree of originality
(particularly when the included papers are jointly authored).  Still,
as one person said other than a will a dissertation is the only
document genre that one will only ever use only once, so what is the
point in mastering the genre? Not to mention that the number of people
who will ever read one's dissertation is tiny, compared to journal
articles, which are also invaluable for graduating students to have on
their CVs.

I wrote a paper on this and shortened it for my blog, which cover
these concerns in more detail:

I agree with other poster that noted that it ultimately comes down to
one's field and support from their advisors.

Glen Farrelly
PhD Student, Faculty of Information
University of Toronto

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