I am just wondering how many publications did anyone had when submitting their thesis? My supervisor told me I need at least 3 to be "sure" that I will pass the viva. I have reached this number now plus an additional one from 2 years ago during my MSc time. He reckons two more and I am there. Any other experience?
PhD and publications are two entirely separate matters. They are not related. Whilst you may publish things from your thesis, having publications does NOT guarantee you passing the viva. I know many people who have passed their Viva with 0 publications and have subsequently published. Similarly I know people who have dropped out of their PhD programmes but still published things. I think you and your supervisor need to get the facts straight.
I had several conference papers but no actual publications - and still passed. It depends largely on the type of thesis you produce. My friend did a very experimental scientific one, in which many the chapters were easily identifiable as papers - they documented separate experiments whcih could be treated as concrete pieces of work that just happened to contrubite to an overall thesis.
However a thesis using qualitative methods is different. There is usually an ongoing theoretical concept throughout and it is more difficult to treat chapters as potential independent publications. More ideas may grow from it, but you often need to re-tell the context every time you plan a paper, which makes it more time consuming. Nearly 14 months on I'm still only in the process of sumbitting a paper from mine.
It varies enormously. It's not unusual to have no publications. I was advised to aim for 4 (but I have an experimental project so that is not unusual). I've just been looking at a borrowed thesis from a postdoc in a very close field in another dept. I was curious to see the standard since our fields are so close. She has, no kidding, 16 papers, 10 of which were first author - from her thesis. It's enough to make you weep.
Sometimes it's better not to make comparisons!
Yeah, why not say, 20 does not cut it anymore. How about 50? Or 60? Who cares about quality, let's just publish like there is no tomorrow.
The question really is, what is realistic with pressures rising to complete PhDs in 36 months. It's not like in 1985, nowadays departments will pressurise students to submit and complete the thesis, even 4 years is an exception. If they want 30 publications on top of that, they can just f off.
Maybe we should be a little more careful about what we post. There are a lot of people on here who are looking for comfort and moral support whilst working hard to finish their Phd in 3-4 years. making threads about how many papers we should publish just adds unecessary pressure to people who dont need it.
I hardly think Liverbird is boasting - 4 publications is not huge amount during PhD time (particularly for anyone science-based). People do publish many, many more, and then some people do 1/2 or none. It depends very much on the subject and future career plans.
However, it's not fair to attempt to censor someone.
But....what concerns me is this theory of requiring X amount publications to 'pass the viva'...there is absolutely no connection there. While I have heard having publishing often tells the examiner the candidate is of a 'publication standard' it has no direct bearing on the PhD. In fact, it's quite often the people who do no publications and spend all their time on their PhD that pass it first.
Well, I think although publications will most definately help your long term career (i.e. you are looked on more favourably by potential employers if you have publications), I would not rely on this to pass your viva. It seems, so long as you can defend your thesis with or without publications you should pass (assuming your thesis is at a high standard). As you already have 3 publications under your belt, I would concentrate on knowing my thesis inside out, why you made certain decisions, why you used certain methodologies as opposed to others etc ... Any other publications you achieve will be a bonus but should not be your entire focus ;)
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