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Guidelines for dissertation at SAM


A monograph should normally be 200-250 pages.

Article Based Thesis

1. Number of articles

An article based dissertation must consist of minimum three articles. If the supervisor deems it necessary  to ensure the quality of the dissertation, more than  three articles may be included. A chapter in peer reviewed book is regarded as one article, but book chapters should not exceed more than one out of three, or two out of four articles.

2. Co-authorship

The candidate may be sole author or have co-authors in all of the articles included in the dissertation, but in co-authorship the candidate must be the first author of at least three articles. The extent of the co-author's independent contribution must be distinct.  A co-author declaration must be submitted upon submission of the dissertation.

3. Publishing

The articles included in thesis, must be submitted and taken into consideration in peer reviewed journals. At least one of the articles must be accepted for publication.

4. "Kappen"

The introductory chapter of an article-based dissertation (named "kappen" or "kappe" in Norwegian) should provide a comprehensive perspective on the articles coherence. It should summarize and present the problems, results and conclusions presented in the articles.

The work in the kappe should begin early so that it may serve as an outline and framework for the dissertation work.

The kappe must raise and discuss ethical issues in the work with  the dissertation.

The number of pages should normally be 60 to 80 pages, excluding references and appendices.

The candidate must be the sole author of the kappe .

The kappe should normally contain the following components:

  • Introduction.
  • Previous research.
  • Theoretical framework.
  • Methodology.
  • Ethical Issues.
  • Short summary of each article.
  • Discussion.
  • Conclusion.
  • Reference List.

The introduction presents and explains the thesis issues and research questions. In addition, the titles of the included articles should be listed.

An overview of the previous research sets the thesis in the research field.

The theoretical framework should explain the choice of theoretical approach. This section can also go into detail about the theory presented in individual articles. It is important to operationalize and concretize how theory and key concepts are applied further on in the thesis.

The methodology should have a central place in the kappen since it is often given little room for approaching methodological discussions in the journal articles, or presented in the data collection process. Both the data's quality and the analysis should be discussed.

Ethical Issues. Here you must clarify how you have engaged the ethical guidelines of your field discipline and discuss the aspects of your research that has given ethical challenges.

A short summary of one or two pages of each article is useful for highlighting the  red thread or essence in the thesis. The publishing progress of the articles should also be accounted for.

The discussion and conclusion should  answer explicitly to the dissertation topic and research questions. Discuss the theoretical implications of the findings and how the findings contribute to present research in the field. Recommendations regarding the need for future research are also useful.

The reference list for the kappe should be insterted after the conclusion of the kappe. The appendix shall be at the back of the thesis, ie after the articles in full text. Any interview guides and questionnaires must be included in the appendix.

Revised in the local Academic Affairs Committee September 19, 2016.