Getting a job and surviving the viva. Two birds you can kill with one stone? Potentially, yes. An important part of a CV is publications (particularly in the UK). But even more important is graduating, which requires passing the viva (the defense of your thesis). In particular, the measure of your research is whether it is worthy of being published. So if you can publish sections of your thesis before your viva, you essentially prove before your viva that it is publishable. But the question is whether it is allowed. We got an email from our student representatives regarding Durham’s policy–it is different for each school–which describes how it is allowed here:

“Last week, some of us were musing on the thorny issue of publication: if you publish something, does that mean that you can’t use it later in your thesis? Drs Barton and Crowder have very kindly found the answer for us, and it is as follows:

The University’s policy on the inclusion in a thesis of previously published material is set out in the context of the expectation that the thesis should form ‘a coherent whole, with a consistent argument or series of arguments running through it’:

‘The incorporation of material published by the candidate during the period of registration for the degree is permitted, but the footnoting must make clear which sections of the thesis are based on published material and how much individual responsibility the candidate has for any jointly authored work. Such material must be properly and stylistically incorporated into the thesis.’

Postgraduate Student Guide 2006/07, ‘Guidance on Examinations (Research)’, p.53″

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