How To Evaluate Doctoral Dissertations: Roadmap

Dear Colleagues,

To your attention we would like to provide you with the guidelines for evaluating doctoral dissertations.

As there are numerous discussions on evaluating research papers the main points have been collected to put them in a concise form. The layout can be used as a hand manual for the reviewers and PhD students’ self-evaluation.

In the table below we highlight the main components of the dissertation. Each component must contain specific information and expose certain characteristics to be evaluated as sufficient for the doctoral level.

The main criteria for evaluating doctoral dissertations are as follows:

1. Scientific significance of the research results and 2. Contribution of the candidate to the research. Additionally the following specific criteria are applied:

• Starting point of the research:

◦ scientific level, formulation and motivation of the research problem;

◦ theoretical basis of the research and connection to the previous research;

◦ scientific, societal and practical relevance of the research;

• Research process:

◦ command of the research field, knowledge and use of the literature;

◦ command, definition and clarity of the concepts;

◦ success of the choices and solutions during the research process and possibility to evaluate them;

◦ command and suitability of the methods;

◦ quality and carefulness of the research;

Research results:

◦ new knowledge and the results gained in the research work;

◦ sufficiency of the research contribution of the candidate;

◦ consistent foundation of the results on the data;

◦ significance of the research results in the own research field;

◦ coherence, stylistic and linguistic form of the presentation;

Evaluation criteria concerning only the doctoral dissertations:

◦ in an article-based dissertation: quality of the publications

More criteria for evaluating doctoral dissertations are laid out in the table below:

From our research team of IATELS we wish success to all our colleagues in their academic endeavours and great achievements in their careers!

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