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Instructions for the Public Defence of Doctoral Theses at Åbo Akademi University

Confirmed by the Chancellor 30 June 2003

Public examination of doctoral thesis

Doctoral theses are subjected to public examination. The examination takes place by permission of the
Faculty Board.

Manuscript for doctoral thesis

A student who is registered for studies within a post-graduate programme at the Faculty and who wishes to
present his or her thesis for the doctoral degree, submits his or her thesis manuscript to the Faculty for a
preliminary examination.

A number of scientific publications or manuscripts and a summary of these, presenting the aim, methods
and results of the research, or another work that fulfils corresponding scientific criteria can also be accepted
as a doctoral thesis. The publications may also include co-publications, in which case the independent
contribution to these by the author of the thesis must be shown.

If the manuscript is acceptable and in accordance with the regulations on language use in the Examination
Decree, the Faculty Board decides on the organisation of a preliminary examination of the thesis manuscript.

Preliminary examination of doctoral thesis

The Faculty Board appoints at least two preliminary examiners, who preferably should have the
qualifications of a Docent or corresponding scientific merits, and of whom at least one mainly works outside
of the Faculty. Ineligibility to be preliminary examiner is defined by the regulations in 10 § in the Law on
Administrative Procedures (598/1982). A person supervising the thesis cannot function as its preliminary
examiner. The author of the manuscript must be given a chance to lodge a complaint with the Faculty Board
about the choice of preliminary examiners.

Within a time assigned by the Faculty Board, the preliminary examiners are jointly or separately to submit a
written statement with motivations for the granting or rejection of permission to publicly defend the thesis.
The time within which the preliminary examiners are to submit their statement must not, without particular
reason, exceed two months.

The author of the manuscript must be given the opportunity to respond to the statement of the preliminary
examiners before the Faculty Board makes its decision on the permission to publicly defend the thesis.

One or both of the preliminary examiners may suggest that permission for a public defence should be
granted after certain changes have been made in the manuscript. The author may respond to these
suggestions, or make all or some of the changes. After this, the Faculty Board, having given due
consideration to the suggested changes and possible consequent response by the author, will
decide on the granting of permission to publicly defend the thesis. If the author is not willing to make the
changes suggested in the preliminary examination, the Faculty Board decides on granting or rejecting the
permission for a public defence or on a new preliminary examination. The Faculty Board can set the making
of changes to the manuscript as a prerequisite for a new preliminary examination.

Publication of doctoral thesis

When permission for a public defence has been granted and after the manuscript has undergone language
revision according to that stipulated in the Language Instructions, the doctoral candidate (the author) should
publish his or her thesis. The thesis can be published in either printed or digital form. Also in the latter case,
a defence edition must be printed according to section 3 below.

At least 9 copies of printed theses and complete, printed article theses should be submitted to Åbo Akademi
(6 copies for the permanent archives, 1 copy for exhibiting and 2 for the Åbo Akademi Library). In addition,
at least 26 copies of printed theses and printed summaries of article theses should be submitted to Åbo
Akademi (1 copy for the Chancellor, 1 for the Rector, 1 for the Information Office and 23 copies for the
public). Furthermore, the number of copies of the thesis or summary needed for the public defence and the
assessment are submitted to the Faculty. The number of copies of the thesis or summary defined by the
Library Board is delivered to the Library.

Of a thesis published digitally, a defence edition of at least 35 copies should be printed (1 copy each for the
Chancellor, Rector, Information Office, exhibiting, the Åbo Akademi Library, the Finnish National Library,
members of the Faculty Board who have defended their theses, the Opponent and Respondent, and
remaining copies for the public).

The thesis, in its final form, is to be made available to the University and the public at least ten days prior to
its public defence. The Dean may, for particular reasons, shorten this time to no less than five days.

Arranging the public defence

The Faculty Board decides on the time and place for the public defence and posts the decision on the
University's notice boards no later than fourteen days before the defence.

The Faculty Board appoints one or two Opponents (official examiners) for the public defence. The
Opponents should preferably have the qualifications of a Docent or corresponding scientific merits.
Ineligibility to be Opponent is defined by the regulations in 10 § in the Law on Administrative Procedures
(598/1982). A preliminary examiner who mainly works outside the Faculty can also be Opponent. The
Supervisor of the thesis cannot be Opponent. The doctoral candidate must be given a chance to lodge a
complaint with the Faculty Board about the choice of Opponent.

The Faculty Board appoints a Professor or Docent to be Custos (invigilator) at the public defence. The
Faculty Board can appoint an Examination Committee with the task of preparing the Faculty Board's
decision on the assessment of the thesis.

The Opponent must receive a copy of the printed thesis or its manuscript at least thirty days before the
public defence.

The public defence

As a rule, the language of the public defence is Swedish. A native Finnish Respondent (doctoral candidate)
always gives his or her lectio praecursoria (opening lecture) in Swedish.

The Faculty Board decides separately for each public defence on the use of a language other than Swedish.
The Custos can permit the use of a language other than Swedish in the case of extra opposition.
The main part of the public defence consists of the Respondent's lectio praecursoria, the Opponent's general
statement on the thesis, the Opponent's detailed examination of the thesis and the Respondent's defence, and
the Opponent's overall opinion on the thesis. This part must not take more than four hours. After this, the
audience may also present comments on the thesis (extra opposition). The total length of the public defence
must not exceed five hours.

Detailed instructions on the procedure at the public defence are given in the Appendix.

Assessment of doctoral thesis

Within a month of the public defence, the Opponent or Opponents must submit a written explanatory
statement assessing the thesis and its defence to the Faculty Board. If an Examination Board has been
appointed, its statement is also submitted to the Faculty Board within a month of the defence.

The thesis and its defence are assessed by the Faculty Board. Those members of the Faculty Board who will
participate in the assessment must attend the public defence and in case of impediment inform the Dean of
this. The thesis, including its public defence, is assessed on the grading scale for doctoral theses set by the
Faculty Board.

Before the assessment of a doctoral thesis, the author must be given the opportunity to respond to the
statement submitted by the Opponent.

The author may, within 14 days after he or she has been informed of the decision on the assessment of his or
her doctoral thesis, apply for a correction of this decision by the Rector, who, before making a decision in
the case, may consult experts.

Coming into force

These Instructions come into force on 1 August 2003.

By the coming into force of these Instructions, the Instructions for Public Defence of Doctoral Theses at Åbo
Akademi University (confirmed on 2 October 1986, validity prolonged on 1 August 1998) are cancelled.

APPENDIX

The Procedure at the Public Defence of a Doctoral Thesis

- The Respondent, the Custos and the Opponent enter, in said order, the auditorium in which the public
defence is going to take place.

- They wear evening dress (white tie) with a black waistcoat, academic dress or a black suit or dress
without decorations. If the Custos and the Opponent have a Doctor's degree, they carry their doctoral
hats in their left hand when entering the auditorium. The hat is placed on the table (with the lyre
towards the audience) during the public defence.

- The Respondent, the Custos and the Opponent take their seats in the order in which they enter, after
which the Custos rises to announce that the public defence has commenced. He or she states which
subject the defence refers to, and in Swedish introduces the Respondent, the Opponent and him- or
herself, and, where applicable, states that permission has been granted for some language other than
Swedish to be used during the defence. The Custos concludes the announcement with the words "On
behalf of the Faculty of xx I declare that the public defence of the doctoral thesis has commenced". After
this the Custos takes a seat and makes a sign to the Respondent to rise.

- The Respondent delivers a lectio praecursoria on a subject pertaining to the thesis. The lectio might, for
example, present the research area and the research work and the method used for the thesis. The lectio
is started with the words "Honoured Custos, honoured Opponent, Ladies and Gentlemen". The
Respondent may sit down after this opening phrase. The lectio should last 15-20 minutes.

- On completion of the lectio, the Respondent may submit a list of misprints to the Opponent. This list
may also be distributed to the audience.

- The Respondent completes his or her lectio, standing, with the words: "I call upon the Opponent
appointed by the Faculty Board to make any comments that he or she finds that my thesis gives rise to."
This phrase is said in the language used in the defence. The Respondent remains standing.

- The Opponent rises and makes a brief (no more than 15 minutes) general statement, in which the
Opponent elucidates the nature of the subject dealt with in the thesis and its importance to research. An
evaluation of the thesis itself should not occur at this stage. After this announcement is made, the
Opponent and the Respondent take their seats.

- At the beginning of the actual examination, the Opponent deals with general and methodological
questions and other aspects which are important for the assessment of the thesis, after which he or she
proceeds to the examination in detail. The Opponent should aim to pose clearly defined questions and to
engage in an active dialogue with the Respondent.

- The Custos presides and sees to it that the Respondent is given the opportunity to reply immediately to
every comment and that the comments are not beside the point. The Custos calls to order if the
Opponent and the Respondent repeatedly speak at the same time.

- If the examination appears to become protracted, the Custos may suspend the public defence for a brief
interval.

- The Opponent concludes the examination by rising and giving an overall opinion of the thesis. The
Respondent also rises and listens to the opinion standing.

- The Respondent, still standing, conveys his or her thanks for the comments that the Opponent has
presented. After this the Opponent and the Respondent take their seats.

- The Respondent, still seated, addresses the audience with the following words: "I call upon those
present, who for their part would like to comment on my thesis to ask the Custos for permission to
speak."

- If no one else wishes to speak or if the time prescribed for the defence has elapsed, the Custos rises to
announce the public defence completed with the words: "The public defence of the doctoral thesis is
hereby completed."