Research and development> Doctoral studies

Requirements for doctoral theses and procedure for publishing doctoral theses

Approved by Rector’s directive No 111 of 25 October 2017


Date of entry into force: from the academic year 2017/2018

1. General provisions

1.1 This procedure lays down the requirements for doctoral theses and regulates making doctoral thesis available to the public and distribution thereof within the meaning of the Copyright Act (hereinafter referred to as “publication”) at Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as “TTÜ”).

1.2 A doctoral thesis is an independent research paper that presents a novel solution to a significant problem in the research area of a doctoral curriculum.

1.3 A doctoral thesis shall be written either:
1.3.1 as a dissertation, to which publications clarifying the main views (ETIS category 1.1, 1.2 or 3.1) shall be appended;
1.3.2 as a series of publications forming a single collection supplied with a summary article (ETIS category 1.1, 1.2 or 3.1), to which copies of the publications shall be appended;
1.3.3 a peer-reviewed monograph published in international press or accepted for publication, discussing a problem in its entirety (ETIS category 2.1).

1.4 The main views of a doctoral thesis referred to in clauses 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 must have been published as at least three research publications where it is not restricted by law or a contract.

1.5 The research publications or monographs need not have been published in print, but in this case there shall be an official confirmation on their acceptance for publication.

1.6 By a dean’s decision, the following shall be deemed to be equivalent to a research publication:
1.6.1 a patent;
1.6.2 a patent application if a favourable written opinion of the patent office who carried out the search with regard to patentability of the invention has been attached thereto.

2. Writing a doctoral thesis

2.1 A doctoral thesis shall be written in English. A thesis may also be written in another language in justified cases and by the dean’s decision.

2.2 A doctoral thesis shall be prepared by using the template of a doctoral thesis approved by this directive (Annexes 1 and 2), which shall be made available on the intranet by the Research Administration Office. The Research Administration Office shall publish the user guide of the doctoral thesis template on the intranet.

2.3 The front and back covers shall be added in the TTÜ Press House (hereinafter referred to as “Press House”). Samples of the front and back cover of a thesis are available on the intranet.

2.4 The structure of a doctoral thesis is as follows:
2.4.1 title pages;
2.4.2 contents;
2.4.3 list of publications;
2.4.4 author’s contribution to the publications;
2.4.5 introduction;
2.4.6 if necessary, abbreviations, terms, symbols;
2.4.7 body text of the thesis;
2.4.8 list of figures;
2.4.9 list of tables;
2.4.10 references;
2.4.11 acknowledgements;
2.4.12 abstract in Estonian and English;
2.4.13 appendices;
2.4.15 Curriculum vitae in English and Estonian.

2.5 A doctoral thesis has two title pages. The first title page together with the information on its reverse side shall be written in the language of the thesis, the second title page shall be written in another language (in case the thesis is in a foreign language, the title page shall be in Estonian).

2.6 The Press House shall mark the serial number of doctoral theses defended at TTÜ on the title page.

2.7 In case a doctoral thesis
2.7.1 has been prepared based on a contract or a joint study programme at TTÜ and at another university, reference to the other university shall be made in the author’s declaration:;
2.7.2 has been prepared or printed by using structural assistance funds, the structural assistance logo shall be printed on the reverse side of the title page.

2.8 The ISSN number (International Standard Serial Number) and two ISBN numbers (International Standard Book Number – an international standard number assigned to a concrete book, whereas separate numbers are assigned to printed and electronic publications) shall be marked on the reverse side of the title page of a doctoral thesis. ISSN and ISBN numbers shall be issued by the Press House

2.9 The body text of a doctoral thesis shall be divided into chapters by using up to three levels of headings. An Arabic numeral is added to a heading. If several levels of headings are used, the headings shall be numbered with reference to the numbers of the previous level headings. A chapter shall start on a new page – from the right-hand page with an odd number.

2.10 The tables in a doctoral thesis shall be titled and figures shall be supplied with a caption and numbered either consecutively throughout the whole thesis or within each chapter. References to the tables and figures shall be provided in the doctoral thesis.

3. Publication of doctoral theses

3.1 Doctoral theses shall be published in print and electronically in the digital collection of the library at http://digi.lib.ttu.ee unless otherwise laid down in this procedure.

3.2 An author’s contract shall be concluded between the author of a doctoral thesis and TTÜ for use of the doctoral thesis (hereinafter referred to as “author’s contract”). By an author’s contract the author grants TTÜ the right for publishing the doctoral thesis. The text of an author’s contract is available on the website of the digital collection of the library.

3.3 Access to a doctoral thesis may be restricted if the doctoral thesis contains a state secret, trade secret or any other classified information. The dean decides on restriction on access to a doctoral thesis.

3.4 The library shall archive the doctoral thesis on a permanent basis. A doctoral thesis with restricted access (except doctoral theses containing a state secret classified as secret or top secret) shall be supplied with a notation “For internal use only” and shall be preserved in the closed storage facility of the library intended for such purpose. Doctoral theses containing a state secret classified as secret or top secret shall not be preserved at TTÜ.

3.5 Not later than one month before the defence of a doctoral thesis, the author of the doctoral thesis shall submit to the Press House an electronic version of the manuscript of the doctoral thesis, whereto the following shall be attached:
3.5.1 publications in separate files;
3.5.2 the signed author’s contract;
3.5.3 a standard format written order for publishing the doctoral thesis signed by the head of the department.

3.6 The Press House shall submit the electronic version of the doctoral thesis to the TTÜ library as an e-mail attachment or on a data medium after receipt of the documents specified in clause 3.5 and in print after publication of the doctoral thesis. In the case of a doctoral thesis with restricted access, only the abstract of the doctoral thesis shall be submitted to the library. A doctoral thesis containing a state secret classified as secret or top secret shall not be submitted to the library and the doctoral thesis shall be returned to the author after the defence.

3.7 The library shall publish the electronic version of a doctoral thesis in the digital collection of the library, enter the required metadata and describe the publication. The printed version of a doctoral thesis shall be publicly available in the library at least in triplicate unless otherwise laid down in this procedure.

3.8 After publication of a doctoral thesis in the digital collection, the Research Administration Office shall arrange communication of information on the defence of the doctoral thesis on the university’s websites with reference to the doctoral thesis or, in case of a doctoral thesis with limited access, to its abstract. If a doctoral thesis contains a state secret, the person arranging personal data and state secret protection shall decide upon publication of the information related to the defence of each particular doctoral thesis.

3.9 If a defence of a doctoral thesis is cancelled, the dean shall promptly notify the library and the Research Administration Office thereof and dissemination of information will be immediately terminated.

3.10 After successful defence of a doctoral thesis the library shall add the doctoral thesis record in the electronic catalogue ESTER and a link to the electronic version of the doctoral thesis in the record unless otherwise laid down in this procedure.