TAYJ032 PhD by publication: writing integrative chapter 1 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Postgraduate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Yliopiston yhteiset tohtoriopinnot
Doctoral School

General description

Learning outcomes: The student learns about the PhD by publication guidelines of their respective faculty and understands how the formats of and expectations toward the integrative chapter vary across disciplines. The student understands the purpose of the integrative chapter and develops an outline of his/her integrative chapter, bearing in mind its core task to a) construct a meaningful connection between the individual articles and b) define the overall analytical contribution of the PhD thesis.


A PhD by publication usually consists of a set of papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals or edited volumes, and an integrating chapter. While this format of PhD completion is gaining in prominence, the genre of the integrative chapter still varies greatly across disciplines. The amount and quality of support provided by faculties and supervisors are in many cases inadequate (Nikander & Piattoeva 2017).

In this 2-day course we discuss the integrative chapter as a meta narrative that not only reiterates the theoretical and methodological choices, and the empirical results, reported in the individual papers, but also, and more importantly, builds a narrative that explains how the individual papers link to each other and how they address the research objectives of the entire PhD. The task of the integrative chapter is thus to enable the doctoral student to distance from the individual publications to, first, consider and clarify their specific roles and contributions and, second, to develop the argument that connects all of the individual publications into a coherent whole.

The course consists of a lecture, two course assignments (first before Day 1 and second in between the meetings), and two seminar meetings. The lecture discusses the purpose of the integrative chapter and provides practical tips on various aspects of the writing process. The seminars and course assignments offer hands-on possibilities to exchange knowledge and experiences across disciplines, and develop and discuss the preliminary outline of one’s integrative chapter.

This course is intended for PhD students across disciplines who have started - or are about to start - writing their integrative chapter.

Dates: 10.5. & 28.5.2019, at 12-16 o’clock

Place: Pinni B4113

Enrolment through Nettiopsu. Max number of participants 30. Priority is given to those who have started - or are about to start - writing their integrative chapter. Otherwise selection method is draw.

Teacher: Nelli Piattoeva, New Social Research programme

Structure: pre-course assignment; lecture 2h+seminar 2h (Day 1); course assignment (to be given at the lecture); seminar 4h (Day 2).

Pre-course assignment (summarize your answers/reflections in writing, approx. 1p.). Deadline 3.5.2019 (return through course Moodle)

1)    Read the PhD by publication guidelines of your faculty, including guidelines for the integrative chapter (if available). Consider your current state of affairs in relation to the guidelines – have your fulfilled the formal requirements of the PhD by publication; consider the extent to which the existing guidelines are clear, or not, in helping your practical work on the integrative chapter. Which questions remain unanswered?

2)    Interview a colleague who has successfully defended a PhD by publication. Request tips by asking some of the following questions: What was the best (and the worst!) advice they received while working on/preparing for writing the integrative chapter; What was crucial in helping them start the writing process and develop the logic that brought the individual publications into a functional whole? Which moments were particularly difficult and what helped them to overcome the challenges? In hindsight, what other advice would they give to someone who is about to write their integrative chapter?


Course assignment (to be completed in the time between Day 1 and Day 2)

1)    Find 1 recent PhD by publication defended at your faculty or in your discipline at another university. Read the integrative chapter and reflect on how the author explains the individual contributions of the publications, and the overall contribution of the PhD built on the individual texts. Does the integrative chapter succeed in constructing a successful connecting narrative? What particular strategies are especially fruitful for the task? If the integrative chapter is not convincing – what made you come to this conclusion, what could have been done differently, in your opinion?

2)    Prepare an outline of your integrative chapter in the following manner. Table of contents and, in about two paragraphs a) define the overall analytical contribution of the PhD thesis. b) describe how the individual articles address the contribution and connect to one another.


Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Nelli Piattoeva, Teacher responsible


10-May-2019 – 28-May-2019