Evaluation criteria of doctoral dissertations

The main criteria for evaluation of doctoral dissertations or licentiate theses are:

  1. scientific significance of the research results as well as
  2. contribution of the candidate to the research.

Additionally the following specific criteria are used:

  • Starting point of the research:
    • scientific level, formulation and motivation of the research problem
    • theoretical basis of the research and connection to the previous research
    • scientific, societal and practical relevance of the research
  • Research process:
    • command of the research field, knowledge and use of the literature
    • command, definition and clarity of the concepts
    • success of the choices and solutions during the research process and possibility to evaluate them
    • command and suitability of the methods
    • quality and carefulness of the research
  • Research results:
    • new knowledge and the results gained in the research work
    • sufficiency of the research contribution of the candidate
    • consistent foundation of the results on the data
    • significance of the research results in the own research field
    • coherence, stylistic and linguistic form of the presentation
  • Evaluation criteria concerning only the doctoral dissertations:
    • in an article-based dissertation: level and forums of the publications
    • defence in the public examination

Also the compliance of good scientific practice in the research process and documentation will be taken into account in the evaluation.

The doctoral dissertations are graded as follows:

Field Doctoral Dissertation
  • Geography and Human Geography
  • History
  • Social Sciences
  • laudatur (excellent)
  • eximia cum laude approbatur (excellent)
  • magna cum laude approbatur (very good)
  • cum laude approbatur (good)
  • non sine laude approbatur (good)
  • lubenter approbatur (satisfactory)
  • approbatur (adequate)
  • improbatur
  • Business
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Health Economics
  • Health Management Sciences
  • Health and Human Services Informatics
  • pass with distinction
  • pass
  • fail

The Procedure concerning the evaluation of doctoral dissertations

The doctoral candidate applies for permission to defend his/hers doctoral dissertation in public by filling a form and issues it and the dissertation manuscript in pdf-format to the address: jatko-opinnaytteet.yhka@uef.fi.

The request for public defence -form should also be sent to:

Ms Maria Venäläinen, Aurora building, offire 2101, Joensuu Campus

Postal address:

University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies


Please make sure, that your dissertation has checked for plagiarism before leaving it to the Faculty.

The main supervisor proposes two pre-examiners for the review of the dissertation who are appointed by the Dean. Ms. Venäläläinen delivers the thesis to the pre-examiners who should give their statements within two months of the appointment.

After the statements have come the doctoral candidate is reserved an opportunity to reply to them and he/she should inform whether he/she accepts the statements or wants to interrupt the procedure. If the candidate accepts the statements the Dean awards the permission to public defense.

The opponent should give his/hers statement within two weeks of the public defense. Also in this stage the doctoral candidate is reserved an opportunity to reply to the statement. The faculty council evaluates the dissertation on the basis of the statement(s) by the opponent(s).



Publishing the doctoral dissertation

Dissertations in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies are published either in "Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Dissertations in Social Sciences and Business Studies" or in other scientific series or by commercial publisher. When publishing in the Faculty's series, you are obliged to follow the Faculty's instructions for publishing as well as the series' template.

If the dissertation is published by other publisher, you are following their instructions. The faculty will purchase a minimum of 20 copies of a dissertation. In these cases, please contact Administrative Secretary Maria Venäläinen  (or Communications Officer Eija Fabritius as her stand-in) in order to define the number of copies needed and to handle the invoicing.

In either case, you will find further information from faculty's publishing instructions (below).

Permissions for re-printing

In the case of an article based thesis containing published articles, articles in or accepted to press or is based on published articles, the candidate is responsible for aquiring the reprinting permissions from the original publisher. In the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies all articles are published as a part of the dissertation, if they haven't got any legal obstacles. So please, ask permission to both printed and e-version at the same time. The model for the request is found from library's websites.

The same principles are followed with essay-based dissertations.


After the Faculty Council has given the doctoral candidate permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination, the dissertation can be published. Please contact the editor of the series in this point at he latest. You can enter your dissertation in the series by filling out a publishing agreement (same agreement for both printed and e-version). Please send agreement form in two pieces and possible permissions for reprinting to the editor of the faculty's dissertation series, who will apply the isbn-numbers for your book. Please notice that that the date of public examination should be agreed before applying the isbn-numbers. Also the title of the book should be final at this point.

When published in the faculty's series, the dissertation must follow the template and instructions of the series.

Please reserve enough time for finalizing your thesis! The recommended time between faculty council's permission for public examination and public examination date is at least 2 months. 

Ask further advice from the editor at any time of the process.

Editors of the series

Editor in chief: Professor, Ph.D. Kimmo Katajala, Department of Geographical and historical studies, Joensuu campus, ph. +358 50 549 3058

Editor: Ph.D. Helena Hirvonen, email: helena.anneli.hirvonen@uef.fi

emails: firstname.lastname@uef.fi


In the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies the candidate must handle the printing process with the printing office. The candidate can choose the printing house independently, the competetive tendering is recommended. The candidate can apply support from the faculty afterwards towards the receipts. The maximum support from the faculty is 1500 euros.

The number of copies in first edition in the faculty's series is 55 pieces, from which the library's share is 12 pcs, candidates share is 30 pcs and the faculty's share is 7 pcs. 6 pcs are delivered automatically to the National Library of Finland. Further information about delivery and printing process in whole are found from the Faculty's instructions (above).

Before the dissertation can be printed, the layout/proof must be approved by the editor and the candidate. The editor should see also the last version of the layout, but it is recommended that it has been sent to the editor for check up also before sending it to the printing house.


The dissertation must be published at least 10 days before the public examination. Please check the distribution instructions from faculty's publishing instructions (above) and agree the delivery with the printing office.

We have a tradition in the Faculty, that all candidates will give their dissertation personnally (if possible) to the Rector of their Campus and to the Dean of the Faculty. Please reserve time for visit from Rector's and Dean's secretaries.


Faculty's support for printing costs

The candidate can apply support for the printing and editing costs of the dissertation from the faculty. The support is granted afterwards towards the receipts. The application should be made within 2 months after the public examination date. The maximum support for publications costs is 1500 euros.