UA Home · Graduate School · Academics

Site Index · Contact   

Article-style Dissertations

Graduate School > Academics > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Article-Style Dissertations


A R T I C L E - S T Y L E   D I S S E R T A T I O N S 

The 2002-2003 Graduate Council passed this policy that permits doctoral students in selected programs to use a multiple-article format for the dissertation.


Article Style vs. Journal Format

Article Style.  At the doctoral level, "article-style” dissertations are unified works that include several distinct but closely related studies of research or creative activity, each of which is of publishable quality.  The University does not permit an "article-style thesis" to be presented for a master's degree. 

Journal Format.  A "journal-format” dissertation or thesis is acceptable.  Such a dissertation or thesis simply follows the format of a particular journal in which the student and advisor want to publish the manuscript.  To prepare a journal-format dissertation or thesis, the student uses the journal's "information for authors" or similarly titled guidelines in conjunction with the Graduate School's Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

Article-style Dissertations

This approach is intended for doctoral students whose final, completed dissertation will consist of a number of manuscripts or articles. It is an option available only to students in certain fields whose graduate faculty have determined it to be an appropriate option. See the table below for a list of these fields.

Article-style dissertations must be based on research completed while the student is enrolled at The University of Alabama.  For each article used, the student must be the first author, or equivalent, as defined by the discipline.

The dissertation must be the student's original idea. It must be a unified work and include a sequence of articles of publishable quality around a theme, with a comprehensive review of the literature that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the unifying framework.

There will be one introductory section to describe the studies, tell how they are related, and explain their significance. There will be connecting language to bridge each study to the next. There also will be a section that serves as a summary making clear the importance of the studies, integrating the major findings, and discussing the implications for the overall topic.

These components do not have to be separate sections or chapters.  They may be parts of the manuscripts or may be accomplished in an abstract.

All parts of the dissertation must conform to the provisions set forth in the Student Guide to Preparing Theses and Dissertations, except when the circumstances of a specific project require deviation. Students considering this approach should contact the Graduate School before beginning their work if they have any questions concerning specific problems or deviations from traditional procedures.

Doctoral Degree Programs With the Option of Writing an
Article-style Dissertation
Applied Statistics
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Biological Sciences
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Science
Education (all departments)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Geological Sciences
Health Education and Promotion
Management Science
Mechanical Engineering
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Nursing Science (UAH Joint program)

As with regular dissertations, students must select a prominent style guide appropriate to their field of study and whose provisions must be applied to the manuscript as a whole. When individual articles have been prepared for or accepted by journals for publication, and the articles have been prepared using the author and style guide issued by the journal(s), the articles must be revised as appropriate to conform with the overall style of “A Student Guide to Preparing Theses and Dissertations” before submission to the Graduate School as a dissertation. The chosen style must be applied consistently across all articles with reference to any exceptions from the specific provisions of “A Student Guide to Preparing Theses and Dissertations.”


Preliminary Pages
Copyright Information
The inclusion of any articles that are previously published or accepted for publication requires permission from the copyright holder. The sections not copyrighted by another party may be covered under the publication of the new manuscript.


Same as regular dissertation, please follow same layout and format as for a regular dissertation.

List all abbreviations as one complete list in the preliminary section of the dissertation. Do not include them with the individual articles.

Follow the same layout and format as for a regular dissertation.

Table of Contents
Each article included should be identified in the Table of Contents as a separate section by giving the complete title as it appears on each manuscript. Do not list subheadings that occur within the individual manuscripts; do list subheadings from the introductory and summary sections.

List of Tables and List of Figures
Tables and figures shall be listed for the whole document. Numbering of tables and figures will be in accordance with the chosen style and formatting guide for the document as a whole.

Main Body
The introduction should include a clear statement of the student’s purpose or hypothesis to be tested. It provides necessary background information and a broad statement summarizing the findings of the study. This section also will include a statement of the relationship between and among the various articles and parts of the research.

First Article
Subheadings/sections – e.g., Introduction, Review of Literature, Method, Results, Conclusions.
Reference List (for article 1)

Second Article
Subheadings/sections – e.g., Introduction, Review of Literature, Method, Results, Conclusions.
Reference List (for article 2)
Appendices (for article 2)

Third Article
Subheadings/sections – e.g., Introduction, Review of Literature, Method, Results, Conclusions.
Reference List (for article 3)
Appendices (for article 3)

Overall Conclusion
State the conclusions for the manuscript as a whole.

All general references from the introduction, overall conclusion, and any supplementary sections should be included here and should conform to the same style and format as the articles.

Include here only any additional appendices that relate to the manuscript as a whole.


The University of Alabama | Graduate School | Site Index | Contact