Of all types of dissertations, a doctoral dissertation is the most serious and large-scale scientific work, carried out according to the requirements established by the Higher Attestation Commission (HAC). The result of defending a doctoral dissertation is the award of the most valuable degree in the scientific community - a doctor of science. Work on a doctoral dissertation is preceded by long-term scientific activity, doctoral studies, defended master's and candidate's dissertations. The topic of the doctoral dissertation should be relevant and not previously explored, contain solutions to existing scientific problems. In the article, we will consider the basic requirements for a doctoral dissertation.
From candidate to doctor
After successfully defending a Ph.D. thesis, scientists are faced with the question of what's next. And then one more step, having risen to which, the candidates become doctors of science. Of course noteveryone chooses this thorny path, but for enthusiasts, discoverers, for those who feel the strength in themselves to draw significant conclusions or propose solutions to certain problems, a doctoral dissertation is a natural continuation of scientific work, and for someone even the work of a lifetime. A doctoral degree requires in-depth theoretical knowledge and a solid research background. It sets before scientists somewhat different goals than works of a lower order. In particular, one of the following requirements for a doctoral dissertation must be satisfied:
- doctoral thesis should be equated with scientific achievement;
- the thesis should solve important problems (political, socio-economic, cultural, economic);
- the dissertation should contain evidence-based solutions (technical, technological, etc.), the implementation of which will positively affect the development of the country.
Doctors of science are prepared in doctoral studies, admission to which is carried out on a competitive basis. The scientific council of the university makes a decision on enrollment on the basis of the submitted documents. The Regulations on doctoral studies in the Russian Federation set out the requirements for employees sent to doctoral studies. First, the employee must have a Ph.D. degree, or a degree obtained abroad, which gives the same privileges as a Ph.D. degree in Russia. Secondly, the employee must have a certain experience of scientific and (or)pedagogical work (at least five years). The length of service in the organization sending the employee must be at least one year. Thirdly, the employee must provide a scientific portfolio: a list of published works, patents for inventions, certificates, etc. And, finally, the employee must have a detailed dissertation plan.
You can get a doctorate degree without a PhD. It is necessary to become an applicant in an organization or department of an educational institution that has a doctorate. To coordinate the work of the applicant, a scientific consultant will be appointed, whose opinion and experience will be useful when writing the work. Applicants, as a rule, are employees of universities and scientific institutions.
This is due to the fact that the preparation of a thesis takes place in parallel with work, and the applicant does not need additional training - he is aware of most issues and can conduct independent research work. Thus, doctoral students and applicants differ in the organizational process of scientific research, but the requirements for a doctoral dissertation for both remain unchanged. Since a doctoral degree implies a significant contribution of a scientist to the development of a particular scientific field, the requirements for this work are very, very serious. In particular, this concerns the relevance and novelty of the study, the content, hypotheses and justifications.
At the request of the HAC todoctoral dissertations, the main scientific results of the dissertation should be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals recommended by the HAC. The number of publications in the field of humanities and social sciences, cultural studies and art history, as well as socio-economic sciences should be at least 15. In other areas of knowledge - at least 10. Other evidence of scientific activity can be an alternative to publications: patents, certificates for discoveries, etc..
Doctoral thesis: design requirements
The basic requirements for the design of a doctoral work are regulated by GOST of 2011. It applies to dissertations in the form of a special manuscript and a scientific report (also a doctoral dissertation can be a published monograph). Most often, a doctoral paper is a special manuscript that has a classic structure for scientific work: title page, table of contents, introduction, main part, conclusion, list of references. These are required components. Optional elements include the following: a list of abbreviations and conventions, a terminological dictionary, a list of illustrative material and appendices. The requirements for the design of doctoral dissertations by the Higher Attestation Commission, or rather, its structural components, are listed in detail in the aforementioned GOST. The number of chapters, paragraphs and subparagraphs is determined by the dissertation in accordance with the logic of the narrative. It is important that all points, and even more so the topic of the dissertation, correspond to the content of the work, otherwise the dissertation will not beadmitted to protection. According to the requirements of the Higher Attestation Commission, the volume of a doctoral dissertation is arbitrary. Recommended length is approximately 300 pages excluding appendices, Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing, and 14 point size.
An important part of the dissertation is the abstract - a kind of summary of the work done. In the abstract, the dissertator puts the main ideas of the scientific work and key conclusions. The abstract should be clear, logical, rich, and must necessarily reflect the essence of the dissertation work. Readers of the abstract should conclude that the work is indeed of scientific interest and contains fundamental discoveries. As a rule, only opponents evaluate the full text of the dissertation, but most of the reviews will be on the abstract. The requirements for the abstract of a doctoral dissertation are also described in GOST of 2011 (content and design). Printing of the abstract is carried out in a typographical way in the amount determined by the dissertation council. The volume of the abstract should be approximately 44-55 pages. At the end of the abstract, a list of own publications that are directly related to the topic of the work is indicated. If some articles are written in co-authorship, then this must be indicated so as not to be accused of plagiarism. Distribution of the abstract to the organizations established by the Higher Attestation Commission, and to additional places selected by the dissertation student and his supervisor, should be made no later than a month before the defense.
The official opponents and the opposing organization play a key role in dissertation evaluation. Opponents are appointed by the dissertation council from among competent representatives in the scientific discipline in which the dissertation is written. The doctoral defense provides for three official opponents with a doctoral degree, while, based on the requirements for opponents of a doctoral dissertation, only one of them can be a member of the dissertation council that accepted the work for defense. Ideally, official opponents should be employees of different organizations. Opponents cannot be:
- employees of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation;
- members and heads of expert councils of the Higher Attestation Commission
- chairman, his deputy and scientific secretary of the dissertation council, which allowed the dissertation to be defended;
- dissertation supervisors;
- dissertation co-authors for publications related to the thesis;
- rectors and vice-rectors of universities;
- heads of organizations and their deputies;
- employees of the departments where the dissertation was carried out, the departments where the dissertator conducted or ordered research work, as well as employees of laboratories, sectors or departments that are the place of work of the dissertation.
After reading the dissertation and publications of the applicant, the opponents send written reviews about the work to the dissertation council and a conclusion is made that the dissertation meets all the requirements. In custodythe following positions are evaluated:
- relevance of the topic;
- validity of scientific statements submitted for defense;
- authenticity and novelty of the conclusions and recommendations made in the dissertation.
Opponents are obliged to impartially evaluate the qualitative component of the dissertation, highlight the advantages and disadvantages in terms of structure and content, and determine the author's contribution to science. The applicant receives copies of the reviews no later than ten days before the defense. In addition to official opponents, dissertation councils appoint an opposing organization that is active in the relevant scientific field. The head of the organization or his deputy leave a review on the dissertation, in which they evaluate the significance of the results obtained for scientific and industrial activities.
The final chord on the way to obtaining a doctoral degree is the defense of a dissertation. This is a responsible and exciting stage, the final result depends on successful preparation for it. Sewing Order:
- First of all, the chairman of the dissertation council announces the required level of strength declared for defense.
- The data of the applicant, supervisor, opponents and the opposing organization are provided, the documents provided by the applicant are listed.
- The applicant makes a defense speech and answers questions from those present at the defense.
- Supervisor characterizes the applicant.
- Scientistthe secretary reads out the opinion of the opposing organization and the reviews of the author's abstract, which came to the organization's mail. The applicant must first respond to the comments of the opposing organization.
- Speech by official opponents and applicant's responses to their comments.
- After answering the feedback and questions from opponents, the main discussion on scientific research begins, in which all persons present at the defense take part.
- Council members decide by secret ballot whether or not a PhD candidate is worthy.
- In case of a positive decision, the dissertator's attestation file (a number of documents established by the HAC) is sent to the HAC within a month. At the request of the Higher Attestation Commission, the defense of a doctoral dissertation must be recorded, and the record of the meeting of the dissertation council must then be attached to the attestation file.
The PhD degree is issued within six months.
Writing and defending a doctoral dissertation is a long process consisting of several stages. There are certain requirements for doctoral dissertations that must be adhered to so that efforts are not in vain. After the work is written and the required number of publications is available, the organization in which the dissertation was carried out makes a preliminary examination of the work. After receiving a positive conclusion, the dissertation is submitted to the dissertation council with all related documents, the list of which must be checked with the academic secretary. Council decides on admissionto the defense, approves the official opponents and the opposing organization, agrees on the circulation of the abstract and the list of places for additional distribution of the abstract (the mandatory list is approved by the Higher Attestation Commission), appoints the date and time of the defense. Opponents and the opposing organization make a review of the dissertation and abstract. The final step is protection. In case of a positive outcome, the dissertator's attestation file is sent to the Higher Attestation Commission, and within six months he receives the coveted diploma of a doctor of science.