Big mistake in submitted draft - freaking out


So I have just been going through my things in my office and had a sudden realisation that I included an older draft of my interview guides as an appendix in my thesis. It is similar to the one used but the final version was much better. I am so embarassed that I have done this. I was just so focused on the thesis being just right that I kind of disregarded the appendices and it has been two years since I finished my fieldwork so I just didn't realise until I was going through stuff in folders. I am such an idiot!


What stage are you at? When you say submitted do you mean that you have submitted your thesis to the examiners? Have you an upcoming viva? Or have you already passed?

The key point is whether you have time/opportunity to replace the old version of the appendix with the new one for your own satisfaction.

If you have already passed though it doesn't matter. And if you are between submission and viva your examiners probably won't even notice/care.


I have just submitted it for examination. I'm really hoping they won't notice. Seeing the final version that should have been included has made me realise how amateur the first version that I have included sounds. I guess they are very, very similar but the questions are just worded a lot better and organised better in the final version. I really hope it isn't an issue.


If you're between submission and viva then you have the opportunity to correct it post-viva. What you should be doing anyway is drawing up a list of typos/corrections that you spot as you go through the thesis. Then you can do what I did, which is to hand that list to the examiners when your viva starts. Then you simply offer to make those corrections along with any they spot.

They probably haven't picked up on it. Honestly. But for your own happiness and for posterity's sake it should be easy for you to correct post-viva before final bound corrected copy is handed in.

Have you found other mistakes? Make a list of them. I spotted quite a few things my examiners totally missed. And all were easy to fix at the same time, post-viva.


Thanks. I just handed in last week and my viva has been provisionally scheduled for the 10th of October but they have said that could change if the examiner' s reports come back late. I was planning on having a bit of distance from it for a couple of weeks and then going back into it while I sort out some part time work and immigration stuff as my visa is about to expire too. Hopefully it won't be a big deal. I guess at least I have noticed it now.


It won't be a big deal. And if your viva is not until October then I wouldn't recommend you do any significant preparation for it until much much nearer then. Like September for example! You need to reread your thesis before your viva, preferably summarising it, and tackling potential questions. And you should do that only a short time before the viva happens, so it's fresh in your mind.

Don't worry about this thing you've spotted. It won't be a problem. And don't worry if - or more likely when! - you spot other things.


Thanks. I emailed my supervisor and she just replied and said exactly the same thing! :-)


It is always such a 'shocking' moment to realise there is a mistake in your submitted thesis, I was so disappointed when I was compiling my typos/errors list. It really won't be a major issue, the content is there but just not in the format you were hoping for. As recommended, I did create a list of typo/error changes to hand out at viva but to be honest we didn't really touch on those. The external had a small list for me to complete as minor corrections and I have also dealt with my longer list aswell. We all have mistakes in our theses and I am told you probably still find one or two years later when flicking through it :$

Glad you have a a potential viva date to work towards now.


Quote From dunni73:

I am told you probably still find one or two years later when flicking through it :$

Oh you do. I'm well over a year post-viva and final pass, and I'm still finding mistakes in my final "corrected" thesis ;-)