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Candidate And Doctoral Dissertations – Main Differences

Working for a scientific degree – candidate or doctor of sciences – is an important formal step towards consolidating one’s scientific positions and professional authority. The presentation of the results of such work is carried out as a public defense of scientific achievements in the form of a dissertation. Publishing the main scientific results of your work in scientific journals is a necessity for both future and current candidates/doctors of science.

Materials are published mainly in the form of articles and (parts of) monographs and are aimed at presenting some of the results of scientific work on the topic of the dissertation. The article or other publication does not pretend to be a complete presentation of the entire text of the thesis. They highlight only one of the aspects of the studied problem. The dissertation as a scientific work is regulated by law in accordance with the Regulation on the defense of dissertations. It meets strictly limited criteria that qualify it as such (in particular, the inadmissibility of journalism in the presentation, the validity of the stated postulates, reliance on verified factual data, etc.) Most often, the authors of dissertations are full-time scientific and pedagogical workers, for whom this activity is one of the areas of professional implementation. However, professional dissertation writers  with higher education and proper qualifications can also write and defend a thesis.

The structure of the Ph.D. and doctoral dissertation

Traditionally, the dissertation is carried out in the form of a manuscript, which has a structure similar to the master’s work. It includes:

  • content;
  • introduction;
  • sections / subsections / paragraphs;
  • conclusions;
  • list of sources;

IMPORTANT! Sections (chapters) of the thesis should reveal the essence of the topic, be its structural skeleton. Subsections (paragraphs) make it possible to solve specific research problems. In the master’s and doctoral dissertations, first of all, the requirements for the volume of the text (the number of pages), as well as for the number of chapters (sections) differ – both in the doctoral dissertation should be approximately twice as much.

The exact requirements for the structural components of the dissertation are regulated by the current (fresh) instructions of the Higher Attestation Commission, which are periodically slightly updated. Most often, changes are aimed at optimizing the presentation of results, although at first glance this may not be obvious. Thus, compliance with the requirements for the structure of the dissertation is a ticket for submitting work for the preliminary defense. The absence of any structural component will give rise to the removal of work from protection, which levels out all the work done.

You can compare the structure of the dissertation with scientific articles of the Western-type; it includes:

  • abstract,
  • introductory part,
  • theoretical substantiation of the problem,
  • description of research results and their discussion,
  • formulation of conclusions and further problematic aspects,
  • list of sources,

The need for publications in scientific activity

As we mentioned above, the publication of the results of one’s work in the form of articles and other (mainly printed) scientific developments is the main condition for self-realization in scientific activity. From a formal point of view, the issue of the publication is regulated by the requirements for the number of published articles and the degree of authority of the publications where articles can be published to be counted in the defense of the dissertation. These requirements are also subject to change in accordance with current legislation in this area. It is necessary to closely follow the updates, but do it at the stage of the final delivery of the work to ensure that the most relevant requirements are taken into account.

In addition to the requirements for the number of sheets of own authorship (quantitative indicator), the requirement for publications where the research results of future candidates/doctors of sciences can be published (qualitative indicator) are becoming more and more relevant. More and more attention is paid to the authoritativeness of the publication, and the need to publish research results in international journals indexed by the relevant databases (Scopus, Web of Science, Index Copernicus, etc.) is gradually increasing.

Scientific guidance is present in both cases (but the doctoral student does not appoint a scientific advisor, but a scientific advisor). The need to publish materials in journals reviewed by the Higher Attestation Commission, as well as in international journals.

Differences: The content of the candidate’s thesis covers some applied issues of science, while the doctoral dissertation is more fundamental in its approach. Requirements for the volume of text, publications, and other quantitative indicators: for doctoral work – approximately twice as many materials. The candidate’s dissertation mainly covers all the most relevant material on the issue under study, which has already been previously published and defended; The doctoral dissertation is largely based on the results of his own, previously conducted research (there is a certain continuity of scientific work).

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