Journal Papers in a Thesis1
With the approval of your advisor, co-advisor (if any), and thesis committee, you may include manuscripts published in,
accepted by, submitted to, and/or prepared for submission to scholarly journals and proceedings (or modified from those
versions). As in a traditional thesis, the collection of papers should address related topics. You must be a primary author
of the papers (i.e., a person principally involved in the data selection or collection, the data analysis or interpretation, and
the writing of the papers). If you choose this option, the content of each paper will be similar to or the same as what you
submit to the journal/proceedings, but you will organize your thesis as described below, format each paper as described
below, and follow all of the format requirements for style, margins, font, text spacing, and page numbers as specified in
Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) documents.
Thesis Organization for a Thesis Containing Journal Papers
Each paper will appear as a separate chapter in the thesis (see “Formatting a Journal Paper for Inclusion in a
Thesis,” below). In addition, a general introduction chapter must appear at the beginning of the thesis and a
general conclusion chapter must appear at the end of the thesis (preceding any overall appendices that may be
included). Additional chapters and an overall reference section may also be included. See Figure 1 for a sample
Table of Contents showing a typical organization of a thesis containing journal papers.
General Introduction. Since each thesis at Mines must be organized as a complete and cohesive document, you
must begin your thesis with a general introduction in which you state the research problem and address the
background and significance of the research topic. In addition, since a component of most theses is an extensive
discussion of previous work on the subject, and since many journals do not encourage in-depth literature review
sections within journal papers, you may include a literature review either as part of the general introduction or as a
separate chapter. For the general introduction:
• Format the main heading of this chapter exactly like other top level (chapter) headings of the thesis.
• Within the general introduction, you may include a subsection, entitled “Thesis (or Dissertation) Organization,”
which contains an explanation about the inclusion of papers and specific information about the organization of
• List any references cited in this chapter either at the end of this chapter or at the end of the thesis.
General Conclusion(s). In addition to summarizing the results, the general conclusion(s) chapter should contain
a discussion of the results as they apply to the research problem detailed in the general introduction. You may also
include suggestions for additional research in this chapter.
Figure 1. Sample table of contents for a thesis containing papers
1 Adapted with permission from Iowa State University.
Additional Material. You may include additional details on background, methods, and procedures used in the
journal paper: 1) as an appendix to the journal paper to which it applies; or, if it is of a more general nature, 2) as a
separate chapter within your thesis; or 3) as an appendix to the thesis.
References. References may appear at the end of the chapter in which they are cited (with no page break
between the end of the chapter’s text and its reference list). The reference style you use in each chapter must be
consistent with the style used in the rest of the thesis. If you choose to list references at the end of a chapter, all
chapters must include a reference list. In this case, there would be no general reference list at the end of the thesis.
Alternatively, you may list all references from all chapters in a comprehensive listing at the end of the thesis.
Formatting a Journal Paper for Inclusion in a Thesis
Each paper will appear as a separate chapter in the thesis. Write the journal paper for submission to the journal
and then reformat it as described below:
• Delete any separate manuscript cover and/or title page.
• Use the paper’s title as the main chapter heading, inserted at the top of the page and formatted the same as
other main headings in the thesis. (You may include any information normally on the title page of a journal paper
on the first page of the chapter, either as a subtitle or as footnotes, as shown in Figure 2.).
• Beneath the paper’s title, indicate the publishing status and the name(s) of the author(s) as they will appear in
the journal (see Figure 2 for samples of the first page of a journal paper chapter).
• If a paper has multiple authors, include an explanation of your role and/or the co-authors’ roles in the research
and/or preparation of the journal paper. This explanation may appear directly under the authors’ names, as a
footnote on the first page of the paper, or in the Thesis Organization section of the General Introduction chapter
where you introduce your papers.
• Begin the text of the paper (Abstract or Introduction) on the same page as the title, beneath the author(s)’ name(s)
following the text requirements outlined earlier. Follow the same formatting as in the rest of the thesis, but begin
each new section of the paper (including the references) immediately below the end of the preceding section (i.e.
eliminate extra white space, so pages look as they would in a typical book).
(a) First page of journal paper chapter with the
(b) First page of journal paper chapter with
minimum amount of information included
additional information included
Figure 2. Samples of the first page of journal paper chapter