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How to cite a PhD thesis in Harvard

Harvard PhD thesis citation

To cite a PhD thesis in a reference entry in Harvard style include the following elements:

  • Author(s) of the PhD thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J.) of up to three authors with the last name preceded by 'and'. For four authors or more include the first name followed by et al., unless your institution requires referencing of all named authors.
  • Year of submission: Give the year in round brackets.
  • Title of the PhD thesis: Give the title as presented in the source. Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  • Degree description: Type of degree.
  • Degree-awarding institution: Give the name of the institution.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a PhD thesis in Harvard style:

Author(s) of the PhD thesis . ( Year of submission ) Title of the PhD thesis . Degree description . Degree-awarding institution .

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Harvard style guidelines in action:

A PhD thesis with one author

Confait, M. F . ( 2018 ) Maximising the contributions of PHD graduates to national development: the case of the Seychelles . PhD thesis . Edith Cowan University .

An unpublished PhD thesis

Bowkett, D . ( 2015 ) Investigating the ligandability of plant homeodomains . Unpublished PhD thesis . University of Oxford .

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This citation style guide is based on the Cite Them Right (10 th edition) Harvard referencing guide.

More useful guides

  • Harvard Referencing: Theses
  • Referencing with Harvard: Thesis or dissertation
  • Citing and referencing: Theses/Dissertations

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To be made up of:

  • Year of submission (in round brackets).
  • Title of thesis (in italics).
  • Degree statement.
  • Degree-awarding body.
  • Available at: URL.
  • (Accessed: date).

In-text citation: 

(Smith, 2019)

Reference List:  

Smith, E. R. C. (2019). Conduits of invasive species into the UK: the angling route? Ph. D. Thesis. University College London. Available at: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072700 (Accessed: 20 May 2021).

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How to Cite a Dissertation in Harvard Style

Published by Alaxendra Bets at August 27th, 2021 , Revised On September 25, 2023

What is a Dissertation?

In the UK, countries of Western Europe, as well as New Zealand and Australia, the term ‘ dissertation ’ is used instead of a ‘thesis.’ The majority of the remaining countries in the world prefer to use ‘thesis’ instead of ‘dissertation.’

Both represent the same thing, though: a full-length, academic piece of writing that students must submit after their undergraduate, post-graduate (Master), or PhD studies.

More specifically, a dissertation can refer to:

  • Large-scale research as part of a degree.
  • An article based on a small-scale study as part of a degree.
  • A review of another study, research or an accumulation of both.
  • Other full-length body texts are a requirement of the student’s degree program, no matter which level it is.

1.    Basic Format

In Harvard, the following in-text citation format is used for the dissertation:

(Author Surname, Year Published)

For example, ‘Occasionally the talent for drawing passes beyond mere picture-copying and shows the presence of a real artistic capacity of no mean order. (Darius, 2014)’

In Harvard, the following reference list entry format is used for the dissertation:

Author Surname, Author Initials. (Year Published). Title of the dissertation in italics. Level. Institution Name.

For example, reference list entry for the above source would be:

Darius, H. (2014). Running head: SAVANT SYNDROME – THEORIES AND EMPIRICAL FINDINGS . University of Skövde, University of Turku.

However, a slightly different format is also used in some institutions. According to that, in-text citations are done in the following way:

Author surname Year, p.#

For instance, Exelby (1997, p. 3) described the process … OR … processing gold (Exelby 1997, p. 3).

But in the case of reference list entries, these ‘other’ institutions recommend naming the dissertation title not in italics but in single quotation marks. The format would then be:

Author Surname, Initials Year of Publication, ‘Title of thesis in single quotation marks’, Award, Institution issuing degree, Location of the institution.

So, according to this format, the above example’s reference list entry would be:

Exelby, HRA 1997, ‘Aspects of Gold and Mineral Liberation’, PhD thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld.

Whichever format is followed largely depends on one’s institutional guidelines. The format specified by the university is the one that should be followed. Furthermore, it should be followed consistently throughout a manuscript.

2.    Citing a Dissertation Published Online

The format for both in-text and reference list entries is the same for online and print dissertations. For example:

  • In-text citation: (Ram 2012) OR (Ram 2011, p. 130)
  • Reference list entry: Ram, R 2012, ‘Development of the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities’, PhD thesis, The University of Sydney, viewed 23 May 2014, <http://hdl.handle.net/2123/8208>.

An important point to note: While referencing dissertations published online, the URL may or may not be enclosed within < > symbols. Whichever format is chosen, it should be used consistently throughout the text.

3.    Citing an Unpublished Dissertation

This type of dissertation also uses the same formatting for in-text and reference list entries in Harvard style. For example:

  • In-text citation: (Sakunasingha 2006) OR (Sakunasingha 2006, p. 36)
  • Reference list entry: Sakunasingha, B 2006, ‘An empirical study into factors influencing the use of value-based management tools’, DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do i cite my dissertation.

To cite your dissertation, follow your chosen citation style (e.g., APA, MLA). Generally, include author name, year, title, and source details. For APA: Author. (Year). Title. Source. For MLA: Author. “Title.” Degree, University, Year.

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Author Surname, Author Initial. (Year Published). Title. In: Publication Title. [online] City: Publisher, p.Pages Used. URL [Accessed Date Accessed].

To Cite the court case in Harvard Style; the names of the parties, case type, the volume, the page or case number; and date should be known

To cite a speech in Harvard style, you must know the speaker name, date and speech title, and the URL of the speech.

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Back to Academic Integrity guide

Reference : Author, Initial. (Year of submission) Title of thesis . Degree statement. Degree-awarding body.         

Example : Allen, S. J. (2009) The social and moral fibre of Celtic Tiger Ireland . Unpublished PhD thesis. University College Dublin.

In-Text-Citation :

  • Author Last name (Year)
  • (Author Last name, Year)
  • Allen (2009) disagrees with this…..
  • As argued elsewhere (Allen, 2009)….

Still unsure what in-text citation and referencing mean? Check here . 

Still unsure why you need to reference all this information? Check here . 

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Cite A Dissertation in Harvard style

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Use the following template or our Harvard Referencing Generator to cite a dissertation. For help with other source types, like books, PDFs, or websites, check out our other guides. To have your reference list or bibliography automatically made for you, try our free citation generator .

Reference list

Place this part in your bibliography or reference list at the end of your assignment.

In-text citation

Place this part right after the quote or reference to the source in your assignment.

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Leeds Harvard: Thesis or dissertation

Reference examples.

Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title . Type of qualification, academic institution.

Dang, V.A. 2007 . Three essays in financial economics . Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds.

Citation examples

Author and date.

When the author name is not mentioned in the text, the citation consists of the author’s name and the year of publication in brackets.

It was emphasised that citations in the text should be consistent (Jones, 2017).

If you have already named the author in the text, only the publication year needs to be mentioned in brackets.

Jones (2017) emphasised that citations in the text should be consistent.

Three or more authors

If a source has three or more authors, the name of the first author should be given, followed by the phrase "et al."

It was emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent (Jones et al., 2017).

Jones et al. (2017) emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent.

Leeds Harvard does not use ibid to refer to previously cited items. If you are citing the same item twice in a row (i.e. you do not cite any other items in the text between the two citations) you must write the full citation again. As usual, if you are directly quoting or paraphrasing specific ideas, you should include a page number (if there is one). 

Jones et al. (2017, p.24) emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent and argued that referencing is a key part of academic integrity (2017, p.27). Furthermore, having a broad range of references in a text is an indicator of the breadth of a scholar's reading and research (Jones et al., 2017, p.14).

When to include page numbers

You should include page numbers in your citation if you quote directly from the text, paraphrase specific ideas or explanations, or use an image, diagram, table, etc. from a source.

"It was emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent" (Jones, 2017, p.24).

When referencing a single page, you should use p. For a range of pages, use pp.

p.7 or pp.20-29.

If the page numbers are in Roman numerals, do not include p. before them.

(Amis, 1958, iv)

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When you're referencing with Leeds Harvard you may come across issues with missing details, multiple authors, edited books, references to another author's work or online items, to name a few. Here are some tips on how to deal with some common issues when using Leeds Harvard.

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Use recognised abbreviations for universities and degrees. According to the NWU manual for master’s and doctoral studies, the following terms are used:

For international theses and dissertations use the terms on the title page. Full stops are optional in the abbreviations for qualifications, eg: M.Sc. or MSc (Magister Scientiae), Ph.D. or PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Harvard referencing theses and dissertations

Saah, P. 2017. Exploring Mintzberg’s managerial roles of academic leaders at a selected higher education institution in South Africa . Mafikeng: North-West University. (Mini-dissertation – MBA). Text reference: (Saah, 2017:103).

Doctoral theses and master’s dissertations are widely available on institutional repositories. Include the permanent link (“handle”) to the thesis / dissertation in the reference list.

Note: when giving a permanent link, a date of access is not necessary.

Harvard referening theses and dissertations

International theses / dissertations accessed from a commercial database e.g. ProQuest:

Carroll, A.R. 2018. Ecosystems, communities, and species: understanding mammalian response to ancient carbon cycle perturbations . Ann Arbor, MI: University of New Hampshire. (Dissertation – PhD). http://nwulib.nwu.ac.za/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.nwulib.nwu.ac.za/docview/2058145688? accountid=12865 Date of access: 13 Apr. 2019. Text reference: (Carroll, 2018:59).

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Thesis - online

Thesis - print.

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The title is not italicised and is placed in single 'quotation marks'.

Author, AA Year of preparation of thesis, ‘Title of thesis', award (g.g PhD, Masters, etc), Institution issuing degree, Location of institution, viewed date, <URL>.

Adam, B 2016, 'Cosmic warfare: changing models of the universe and C.S. Lewis's defence of truth and meaning', PhD thesis, James Cook University, viewed 17 April 2017, <https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/52960/>.

In-text citation:

Adam (2016) suggests that  …

Author, AA Year of preparation of thesis, ‘Title of thesis', award (g.g PhD, Masters, etc), Institution issuing degree, Location of institution.

Ward, I 1998, 'Sedimentary history of the Pandora wreck and surrounds', M.A. thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Ward (1998) described the process …

… processing gold (Ward 1978)

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Acknowledgement of Country

PhD Thesis Guide

This phd thesis guide will guide you step-by-step through the thesis process, from your initial letter of intent to submission of the final document..

All associated forms are conveniently consolidated in the section at the end.

Deadlines & Requirements

Students should register for HST.ThG during any term in which they are conducting research towards their thesis. Regardless of year in program students registered for HST.ThG in a regular term (fall or spring) must meet with their research advisor and complete the  Semi-Annual PhD Student Progress Review Form to receive credit.

Years 1 - 2

  • Students participating in lab rotations during year 1, may use the optional MEMP Rotation Registration Form , to formalize the arrangement and can earn academic credit by enrolling in HST.599. 
  • A first letter of intent ( LOI-1 ) proposing a general area of thesis research and research advisor is required by April 30th of the second year of registration.
  • A second letter of intent ( LOI-2 ) proposing a thesis committee membership and providing a more detailed description of the thesis research is required by April 30th of the third year of registration for approval by the HST-IMES Committee on Academic Programs (HICAP).
  • Beginning in year 4, (or after the LOI-2 is approved) the student must meet with their thesis committee at least once per semester.
  • Students must formally defend their proposal before the approved thesis committee, and submit their committee approved proposal to HICAP  by April 30 of the forth year of registration.
  • Meetings with the thesis committee must be held at least once per semester. 

HST has developed these policies to help keep students on track as they progress through their PhD program. Experience shows that students make more rapid progress towards graduation when they interact regularly with a faculty committee and complete their thesis proposal by the deadline.

Getting Started

Check out these resources  for finding a research lab.

The Thesis Committee: Roles and Responsibilities

Students perform doctoral thesis work under the guidance of a thesis committee consisting of at least three faculty members from Harvard and MIT (including a chair and a research advisor) who will help guide the research. Students are encouraged to form their thesis committee early in the course of the research and in any case by the end of the third year of registration. The HST IMES Committee on Academic Programs (HICAP) approves the composition of the thesis committee via the letter of intent and the thesis proposal (described below). 

Research Advisor

The research advisor is responsible for overseeing the student's thesis project. The research advisor is expected to:

  • oversee the research and mentor the student;
  • provide a supportive research environment, facilities, and financial support;
  • discuss expectations, progress, and milestones with the student and complete the  Semi-Annual PhD Student Progress Review Form each semester;
  • assist the student to prepare for the oral qualifying exam;
  • guide the student in selecting the other members of the thesis committee;
  • help the student prepare for, and attend, meetings of the full thesis committee, to be held at least once per semester;
  • help the student prepare for, and attend, the thesis defense;
  • evaluate the final thesis document.

The research advisor is chosen by the student and must be a faculty member of MIT* or Harvard University and needs no further approval.  HICAP may approve other individuals as research advisor on a student-by-student basis. Students are advised to request approval of non-faculty research advisors as soon as possible.  In order to avoid conflicts of interest, the research advisor may not also be the student's academic advisor. In the event that an academic advisor becomes the research advisor, a new academic advisor will be assigned.

The student and their research advisor must complete the Semi-Annual PhD Student Progress Review during each regular term in order to receive academic credit for research.  Download Semi Annual Review Form

*MIT Senior Research Staff are considered equivalent to faculty members for the purposes of research advising. No additional approval is required.

Thesis Committee Chair

Each HST PhD thesis committee is headed administratively by a chair, chosen by the student in consultation with the research advisor. The thesis committee chair is expected to:

  • provide advice and guidance concerning the thesis research; 
  • oversee meetings of the full thesis committee, to be held at least once per semester;
  • preside at the thesis defense; 
  • review and evaluate the final thesis document.

The thesis committee chair must be well acquainted with the academic policies and procedures of the institution granting the student's degree and be familiar with the student's area of research. The research advisor may not simultaneously serve as thesis committee chair.

For HST PhD students earning degrees through MIT, the thesis committee chair must be an MIT faculty member. A select group of HST program faculty without primary appointments at MIT have been pre-approved by HICAP to chair PhD theses awarded by HST at MIT in cases where the MIT research advisor is an MIT faculty member.**

HST PhD students earning their degree through Harvard follow thesis committee requirements set by the unit granting their degree - either the Biophysics Program or the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

** List of non-MIT HST faculty approved to chair MIT thesis proposals when the research advisor is an MIT faculty member.

In addition to the research advisor and the thesis committee chair, the thesis committee must include one or more readers. Readers are expected to:

  • attend meetings of the full thesis committee, to be held at least once per semester;
  • attend the thesis defense; 

Faculty members with relevant expertise from outside of Harvard/MIT may serve as readers, but they may only be counted toward the required three if approved by HICAP.

The members of the thesis committee should have complementary expertise that collectively covers the areas needed to advise a student's thesis research. The committee should also be diverse, so that members are able to offer different perspectives on the student's research. When forming a thesis committee, it is helpful to consider the following questions: 

  • Do the individuals on the committee collectively have the appropriate expertise for the project?
  • Does the committee include at least one individual who can offer different perspectives on the student's research?  The committee should include at least one person who is not closely affiliated with the student's primary lab. Frequent collaborators are acceptable in this capacity if their work exhibits intellectual independence from the research advisor.
  • If the research has a near-term clinical application, does the committee include someone who can add a translational or clinical perspective?  
  • Does the committee conform to HST policies in terms of number, academic appointments, and affiliations of the committee members, research advisor, and thesis committee chair as described elsewhere on this page?

[Friendly advice: Although there is no maximum committee size, three or four is considered optimal. Committees of five members are possible, but more than five is unwieldy.]

Thesis Committee Meetings

Students must meet with their thesis committee at least once each semester beginning in the fourth year of registration. It is the student's responsibility to schedule these meetings; students who encounter difficulties in arranging regular committee meetings can contact Julie Greenberg at jgreenbe [at] mit.edu (jgreenbe[at]mit[dot]edu) .

The format of the thesis committee meeting is at the discretion of the thesis committee chair. In some cases, the following sequence may be helpful:

  • The thesis committee chair, research advisor, and readers meet briefly without the student in the room;
  • The thesis committee chair and readers meet briefly with the student, without the advisor in the room;
  • The student presents their research progress, answers questions, and seeks guidance from the members of the thesis committee;

Please note that thesis committee meetings provide an important opportunity for students to present their research and respond to questions. Therefore, it is in the student's best interest for the research advisor to refrain from defending the research in this setting.

Letters of Intent

Students must submit two letters of intent ( LOI-1 and LOI-2 ) with applicable signatures. 

In LOI-1, students identify a research advisor and a general area of thesis research, described in 100 words or less. It should include the area of expertise of the research advisor and indicate whether IRB approval (Institutional Review Board; for research involving human subjects) and/or IACUC approval (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee; for research involving vertebrate animals) will be required and, if so, from which institutions. LOI-1 is due by April 30 of the second year of registration and and should be submitted to HICAP, c/o Traci Anderson in E25-518. 

In LOI-2, students provide a description of the thesis research, describing the Background and Significance of the research and making a preliminary statement of Specific Aims (up to 400 words total). In LOI-2, a student also proposes the membership of their thesis committee. In addition to the research advisor, the proposed thesis committee must include a chair and one or more readers, all selected to meet the specified criteria . LOI-2 is due by April 30th of the third year of registration and should be submitted to HICAP, c/o Traci Anderson in E25-518.

LOI-2 is reviewed by the HST-IMES Committee on Academic Programs (HICAP) to determine if the proposed committee meets the specified criteria and if the committee members collectively have the complementary expertise needed to advise the student in executing the proposed research. If HICAP requests any changes to the proposed committee, the student must submit a revised LOI-2 for HICAP review by September 30th of the fourth year of registration. HICAP must approve LOI-2 before the student can proceed to presenting and submitting their thesis proposal. Any changes to the thesis committee membership following HICAP approval of LOI-2 and prior to defense of the thesis proposal must be reported by submitting a revised LOI-2 form to HICAP, c/o tanderso [at] mit.edu (Traci Anderson) . After final HICAP approval of LOI-2, which confirms the thesis committee membership, the student may proceed to present their thesis proposal to the approved thesis committee, as described in the next section.

Students are strongly encouraged to identify tentative thesis committee members and begin meeting with them as early as possible to inform the direction of their research. Following submission of LOI-2, students are required to hold at least one thesis committee meeting per semester. Students must document these meetings via the Semi- Annual PhD Student Progress Review form in order to receive a grade reflecting satisfactory progress in HST.ThG.

Thesis Proposal and Proposal Presentation

For MEMP students receiving their degrees through MIT, successful completion of the Oral Qualifying Exam is a prerequisite for the thesis proposal presentation. For MEMP students receiving their degrees through Harvard, the oral qualifying exam satisfies the proposal presentation requirement.

Proposal Document

Each student must present a thesis proposal to a thesis committee that has been approved by HICAP via the LOI-2 and then submit a full proposal package to HICAP by April 30th of the fourth year of registration. The only exception is for students who substantially change their research focus after the fall term of their third year; in those cases the thesis proposal must be submitted within three semesters of joining a new lab. Students registering for thesis research (HST.THG) who have not met this deadline may be administratively assigned a grade of "U" (unsatisfactory) and receive an academic warning.

The written proposal should be no longer than 4500 words, excluding references. This is intended to help students develop their proposal-writing skills by gaining experience composing a practical proposal; the length is comparable to that required for proposals to the NIH R03 Small Research Grant Program. The proposal should clearly define the research problem, describe the proposed research plan, and defend the significance of the work. Preliminary results are not required. If the proposal consists of multiple aims, with the accomplishment of later aims based on the success of earlier ones, then the proposal should describe a contingency plan in case the early results are not as expected.

Proposal Presentation

The student must formally defend the thesis proposal before the full thesis committee that has been approved by HICAP.

Students should schedule the meeting and reserve a conference room and any audio visual equipment they may require for their presentation. To book a conference room in E25, please contact Joseph Stein ( jrstein [at] mit.edu (jrstein[at]mit[dot]edu) ).

Following the proposal presentation, students should make any requested modifications to the proposal for the committee members to review. Once the committee approves the proposal, the student should obtain the signatures of the committee members on the forms described below as part of the proposal submission package.

[Friendly advice: As a professional courtesy, be sure your committee members have a complete version of your thesis proposal at least one week in advance of the proposal presentation.]

Submission of Proposal Package

When the thesis committee has approved the proposal, the student submits the proposal package to HICAP, c/o Traci Anderson in E25-518, for final approval. HICAP may reject a thesis proposal if it has been defended before a committee that was not previously approved via the LOI-2.

The proposal package includes the following: 

  • the proposal document
  • a brief description of the project background and significance that explains why the work is important;
  • the specific aims of the proposal, including a contingency plan if needed; and
  • an indication of the methods to be used to accomplish the specific aims.
  • signed research advisor agreement form(s);
  • signed chair agreement form (which confirms a successful proposal defense);
  • signed reader agreement form(s).

Thesis Proposal Forms

  • SAMPLE Title Page (doc)
  • Research Advisor Agreement Form (pdf)
  • Chair Agreement Form (pdf)
  • Reader Agreement Form (pdf)

Thesis Defense and Final Thesis Document

When the thesis is substantially complete and fully acceptable to the thesis committee, a public thesis defense is scheduled for the student to present his/her work to the thesis committee and other members of the community. The thesis defense is the last formal examination required for receipt of a doctoral degree. To be considered "public", a defense must be announced to the community at least five working days in advance. At the defense, the thesis committee determines if the research presented is sufficient for granting a doctoral degree. Following a satisfactory thesis defense, the student submits the final thesis document, approved by the research advisor, to Traci Anderson via email (see instructions below).

[Friendly advice: Contact jrstein [at] mit.edu (Joseph Stein) at least two weeks before your scheduled date to arrange for advertising via email and posters. A defense can be canceled for insufficient public notice.]

Before the Thesis Defense 

Committee Approves Student to Defend: The thesis committee, working with the student and reviewing thesis drafts, concludes that the doctoral work is complete. The student should discuss the structure of the defense (general guidelines below) with the thesis committee chair and the research advisor. 

Schedule the Defense: The student schedules a defense at a time when all members of the thesis committee will be physical present. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the IMES/HST Academic Office.

Reserve Room: It is the student's responsibility to reserve a room and any necessary equipment. Please contact imes-reservation [at] mit.edu (subject: E25%20Room%20Reservation) (IMES Reservation) to  reserve rooms E25-140, E25-141, E25-119/121, E25-521. 

Final Draft: A complete draft of the thesis document is due to the thesis committee two weeks prior to the thesis defense to allow time for review.  The thesis should be written as a single cohesive document; it may include content from published papers (see libraries website on " Use of Previously Published Material in a Thesis ") but it may not be a simple compilation of previously published materials.

Publicize the Defense:   The IMES/HST Academic Office invites the community to attend the defense via email and a notice on the HST website. This requires that the student email a thesis abstract and supplemental information to  jrstein [at] mit.edu (Joseph Stein)  two weeks prior to the thesis defense. The following information should be included: Date and time, Location, (Zoom invitation with password, if offering a hybrid option), Thesis Title, Names of committee members, with academic and professional titles and institutional affiliations. The abstract is limited to 250 words for the poster, but students may optionally submit a second, longer abstract for the email announcement.

Thesis Defense Guidelines

Public Defense: The student should prepare a presentation of 45-60 minutes in length, to be followed by a public question and answer period of 15–30 minutes at discretion of the chair.

Committee Discussion:  Immediately following the public thesis presentation, the student meets privately with the thesis committee and any other faculty members present to explore additional questions at the discretion of the faculty. Then the thesis committee meets in executive session and determines whether the thesis defense was satisfactory. The committee may suggest additions or editorial changes to the thesis document at this point.

Chair Confirms Pass: After the defense, the thesis committee chair should inform Traci Anderson of the outcome via email to tanderso [at] mit.edu (tanderso[at]mit[dot]edu) .

Submitting the Final Thesis Document

Please refer to the MIT libraries  thesis formatting guidelines .

Title page notes. Sample title page  from the MIT Libraries.

Program line : should read, "Submitted to the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the the requirements for the degree of ... "

Copyright : Starting with the June 2023 degree period and as reflected in the  MIT Thesis Specifications , all students retain the copyright of their thesis.  Please review this section for how to list on your title page Signature Page: On the "signed" version, only the student and research advisor should sign. Thesis committee members are not required to sign. On the " Accepted by " line, please list: Collin M. Stultz, MD, PhD/Director, Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology/ Nina T. and Robert H. Rubin Professor in Medical Engineering and Science/Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The Academic Office will obtain Professor Stultz's signature.

Thesis Submission Components.  As of 4/2021, the MIT libraries have changed their thesis submissions guidelines and are no longer accepting hard copy theses submissions. For most recent guidance from the libraries:  https://libguides.mit.edu/mit-thesis-faq/instructions  

Submit to the Academic Office, via email ( tanderso [at] mit.edu (tanderso[at]mit[dot]edu) )

pdf/A-1 of the final thesis should include an UNSIGNED title page

A separate file with a SIGNED title page by the student and advisor, the Academic Office will get Dr. Collin Stultz's signature.

For the MIT Library thesis processing, fill out the "Thesis Information" here:  https://thesis-submit.mit.edu/

File Naming Information:  https://libguides.mit.edu/

Survey of Earned Doctorates.  The University Provost’s Office will contact all doctoral candidates via email with instructions for completing this survey.

Links to All Forms in This Guide

  • MEMP Rotation Form (optional)
  • Semi-Annual Progress Review Form
  • Letter of Intent One
  • Letter of Intent Two

Final Thesis

  • HST Sample thesis title page  (signed and unsigned)
  • Sample thesis title page  (MIT Libraries)
  • Formatting Your Dissertation
  • Introduction

Harvard Griffin GSAS strives to provide students with timely, accurate, and clear information. If you need help understanding a specific policy, please contact the office that administers that policy.

  • Application for Degree
  • Credit for Completed Graduate Work
  • Ad Hoc Degree Programs
  • Acknowledging the Work of Others
  • Advanced Planning
  • Dissertation Submission Checklist
  • Publishing Options
  • Submitting Your Dissertation
  • English Language Proficiency
  • PhD Program Requirements
  • Secondary Fields
  • Year of Graduate Study (G-Year)
  • Master's Degrees
  • Grade and Examination Requirements
  • Conduct and Safety
  • Financial Aid
  • Registration

On this page:

Language of the Dissertation

Page and text requirements, body of text, tables, figures, and captions, dissertation acceptance certificate, copyright statement.

  • Table of Contents

Front and Back Matter

Supplemental material, dissertations comprising previously published works, top ten formatting errors, further questions.

  • Related Contacts and Forms

When preparing the dissertation for submission, students must follow strict formatting requirements. Any deviation from these requirements may lead to rejection of the dissertation and delay in the conferral of the degree.

The language of the dissertation is ordinarily English, although some departments whose subject matter involves foreign languages may accept a dissertation written in a language other than English.

Most dissertations are 100 to 300 pages in length. All dissertations should be divided into appropriate sections, and long dissertations may need chapters, main divisions, and subdivisions.

  • 8½ x 11 inches, unless a musical score is included
  • At least 1 inch for all margins
  • Body of text: double spacing
  • Block quotations, footnotes, and bibliographies: single spacing within each entry but double spacing between each entry
  • Table of contents, list of tables, list of figures or illustrations, and lengthy tables: single spacing may be used

Fonts and Point Size

Use 10-12 point size. Fonts must be embedded in the PDF file to ensure all characters display correctly. 

Recommended Fonts

If you are unsure whether your chosen font will display correctly, use one of the following fonts: 

If fonts are not embedded, non-English characters may not appear as intended. Fonts embedded improperly will be published to DASH as-is. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that fonts are embedded properly prior to submission. 

Instructions for Embedding Fonts

To embed your fonts in recent versions of Word, follow these instructions from Microsoft:

  • Click the File tab and then click Options .
  • In the left column, select the Save tab.
  • Clear the Do not embed common system fonts check box.

For reference, below are some instructions from ProQuest UMI for embedding fonts in older file formats:

To embed your fonts in Microsoft Word 2010:

  • In the File pull-down menu click on Options .
  • Choose Save on the left sidebar.
  • Check the box next to Embed fonts in the file.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Save the document.

Note that when saving as a PDF, make sure to go to “more options” and save as “PDF/A compliant”

To embed your fonts in Microsoft Word 2007:

  • Click the circular Office button in the upper left corner of Microsoft Word.
  • A new window will display. In the bottom right corner select Word Options . 
  • Choose Save from the left sidebar.

Using Microsoft Word on a Mac:

Microsoft Word 2008 on a Mac OS X computer will automatically embed your fonts while converting your document to a PDF file.

If you are converting to PDF using Acrobat Professional (instructions courtesy of the Graduate Thesis Office at Iowa State University):  

  • Open your document in Microsoft Word. 
  • Click on the Adobe PDF tab at the top. Select "Change Conversion Settings." 
  • Click on Advanced Settings. 
  • Click on the Fonts folder on the left side of the new window. In the lower box on the right, delete any fonts that appear in the "Never Embed" box. Then click "OK." 
  • If prompted to save these new settings, save them as "Embed all fonts." 
  • Now the Change Conversion Settings window should show "embed all fonts" in the Conversion Settings drop-down list and it should be selected. Click "OK" again. 
  • Click on the Adobe PDF link at the top again. This time select Convert to Adobe PDF. Depending on the size of your document and the speed of your computer, this process can take 1-15 minutes. 
  • After your document is converted, select the "File" tab at the top of the page. Then select "Document Properties." 
  • Click on the "Fonts" tab. Carefully check all of your fonts. They should all show "(Embedded Subset)" after the font name. 
  •  If you see "(Embedded Subset)" after all fonts, you have succeeded.

The font used in the body of the text must also be used in headers, page numbers, and footnotes. Exceptions are made only for tables and figures created with different software and inserted into the document.

Tables and figures must be placed as close as possible to their first mention in the text. They may be placed on a page with no text above or below, or they may be placed directly into the text. If a table or a figure is alone on a page (with no narrative), it should be centered within the margins on the page. Tables may take up more than one page as long as they obey all rules about margins. Tables and figures referred to in the text may not be placed at the end of the chapter or at the end of the dissertation.

  • Given the standards of the discipline, dissertations in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning often place illustrations at the end of the dissertation.

Figure and table numbering must be continuous throughout the dissertation or by chapter (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc.). Two figures or tables cannot be designated with the same number. If you have repeating images that you need to cite more than once, label them with their number and A, B, etc. 

Headings should be placed at the top of tables. While no specific rules for the format of table headings and figure captions are required, a consistent format must be used throughout the dissertation (contact your department for style manuals appropriate to the field).

Captions should appear at the bottom of any figures. If the figure takes up the entire page, the caption should be placed alone on the preceding page, centered vertically and horizontally within the margins.

Each page receives a separate page number. When a figure or table title is on a preceding page, the second and subsequent pages of the figure or table should say, for example, “Figure 5 (Continued).” In such an instance, the list of figures or tables will list the page number containing the title. The word “figure” should be written in full (not abbreviated), and the “F” should be capitalized (e.g., Figure 5). In instances where the caption continues on a second page, the “(Continued)” notation should appear on the second and any subsequent page. The figure/table and the caption are viewed as one entity and the numbering should show correlation between all pages. Each page must include a header.

Landscape orientation figures and tables must be positioned correctly and bound at the top so that the top of the figure or table will be at the left margin. Figure and table headings/captions are placed with the same orientation as the figure or table when on the same page. When on a separate page, headings/captions are always placed in portrait orientation, regardless of the orientation of the figure or table. Page numbers are always placed as if the figure were vertical on the page.

If a graphic artist does the figures, Harvard Griffin GSAS will accept lettering done by the artist only within the figure. Figures done with software are acceptable if the figures are clear and legible. Legends and titles done by the same process as the figures will be accepted if they too are clear, legible, and run at least 10 or 12 characters per inch. Otherwise, legends and captions should be printed with the same font used in the text.

Original illustrations, photographs, and fine arts prints may be scanned and included, centered between the margins on a page with no text above or below.

Use of Third-Party Content

In addition to the student's own writing, dissertations often contain third-party content or in-copyright content owned by parties other than you, the student who authored the dissertation. The Office for Scholarly Communication recommends consulting the information below about fair use, which allows individuals to use in-copyright content, on a limited basis and for specific purposes, without seeking permission from copyright holders.

Because your dissertation will be made available for online distribution through DASH , Harvard's open-access repository, it is important that any third-party content in it may be made available in this way.

Fair Use and Copyright 

What is fair use?

Fair use is a provision in copyright law that allows the use of a certain amount of copyrighted material without seeking permission. Fair use is format- and media-agnostic. This means fair use may apply to images (including photographs, illustrations, and paintings), quoting at length from literature, videos, and music regardless of the format. 

How do I determine whether my use of an image or other third-party content in my dissertation is fair use?  

There are four factors you will need to consider when making a fair use claim.

1) For what purpose is your work going to be used?

  • Nonprofit, educational, scholarly, or research use favors fair use. Commercial, non-educational uses, often do not favor fair use.
  • A transformative use (repurposing or recontextualizing the in-copyright material) favors fair use. Examining, analyzing, and explicating the material in a meaningful way, so as to enhance a reader's understanding, strengthens your fair use argument. In other words, can you make the point in the thesis without using, for instance, an in-copyright image? Is that image necessary to your dissertation? If not, perhaps, for copyright reasons, you should not include the image.  

2) What is the nature of the work to be used?

  • Published, fact-based content favors fair use and includes scholarly analysis in published academic venues. 
  • Creative works, including artistic images, are afforded more protection under copyright, and depending on your use in light of the other factors, may be less likely to favor fair use; however, this does not preclude considerations of fair use for creative content altogether.

3) How much of the work is going to be used?  

  • Small, or less significant, amounts favor fair use. A good rule of thumb is to use only as much of the in-copyright content as necessary to serve your purpose. Can you use a thumbnail rather than a full-resolution image? Can you use a black-and-white photo instead of color? Can you quote select passages instead of including several pages of the content? These simple changes bolster your fair use of the material.

4) What potential effect on the market for that work may your use have?

  • If there is a market for licensing this exact use or type of educational material, then this weighs against fair use. If however, there would likely be no effect on the potential commercial market, or if it is not possible to obtain permission to use the work, then this favors fair use. 

For further assistance with fair use, consult the Office for Scholarly Communication's guide, Fair Use: Made for the Harvard Community and the Office of the General Counsel's Copyright and Fair Use: A Guide for the Harvard Community .

What are my options if I don’t have a strong fair use claim? 

Consider the following options if you find you cannot reasonably make a fair use claim for the content you wish to incorporate:

  • Seek permission from the copyright holder. 
  • Use openly licensed content as an alternative to the original third-party content you intended to use. Openly-licensed content grants permission up-front for reuse of in-copyright content, provided your use meets the terms of the open license.
  • Use content in the public domain, as this content is not in-copyright and is therefore free of all copyright restrictions. Whereas third-party content is owned by parties other than you, no one owns content in the public domain; everyone, therefore, has the right to use it.

For use of images in your dissertation, please consult this guide to Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media , which is a great resource for finding images without copyright restrictions. 

Who can help me with questions about copyright and fair use?

Contact your Copyright First Responder . Please note, Copyright First Responders assist with questions concerning copyright and fair use, but do not assist with the process of obtaining permission from copyright holders.

Pages should be assigned a number except for the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate . Preliminary pages (abstract, table of contents, list of tables, graphs, illustrations, and preface) should use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.). All pages must contain text or images.  

Count the title page as page i and the copyright page as page ii, but do not print page numbers on either page .

For the body of text, use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) starting with page 1 on the first page of text. Page numbers must be centered throughout the manuscript at the top or bottom. Every numbered page must be consecutively ordered, including tables, graphs, illustrations, and bibliography/index (if included); letter suffixes (such as 10a, 10b, etc.) are not allowed. It is customary not to have a page number on the page containing a chapter heading.

  • Check pagination carefully. Account for all pages.

A copy of the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate (DAC) should appear as the first page. This page should not be counted or numbered. The DAC will appear in the online version of the published dissertation. The author name and date on the DAC and title page should be the same. 

The dissertation begins with the title page; the title should be as concise as possible and should provide an accurate description of the dissertation. The author name and date on the DAC and title page should be the same. 

  • Do not print a page number on the title page. It is understood to be page  i  for counting purposes only.

A copyright notice should appear on a separate page immediately following the title page and include the copyright symbol ©, the year of first publication of the work, and the name of the author:

© [ year ] [ Author’s Name ] All rights reserved.

Alternatively, students may choose to license their work openly under a  Creative Commons  license. The author remains the copyright holder while at the same time granting up-front permission to others to read, share, and (depending on the license) adapt the work, so long as proper attribution is given. (By default, under copyright law, the author reserves all rights; under a Creative Commons license, the author reserves some rights.)

  • Do  not  print a page number on the copyright page. It is understood to be page  ii  for counting purposes only.

An abstract, numbered as page  iii , should immediately follow the copyright page and should state the problem, describe the methods and procedures used, and give the main results or conclusions of the research. The abstract will appear in the online and bound versions of the dissertation and will be published by ProQuest. There is no maximum word count for the abstract. 

  • double-spaced
  • left-justified
  • indented on the first line of each paragraph
  • The author’s name, right justified
  • The words “Dissertation Advisor:” followed by the advisor’s name, left-justified (a maximum of two advisors is allowed)
  • Title of the dissertation, centered, several lines below author and advisor

Dissertations divided into sections must contain a table of contents that lists, at minimum, the major headings in the following order:

  • Front Matter
  • Body of Text
  • Back Matter

Front matter includes (if applicable):

  • acknowledgements of help or encouragement from individuals or institutions
  • a dedication
  • a list of illustrations or tables
  • a glossary of terms
  • one or more epigraphs.

Back matter includes (if applicable):

  • bibliography
  • supplemental materials, including figures and tables
  • an index (in rare instances).

Supplemental figures and tables must be placed at the end of the dissertation in an appendix, not within or at the end of a chapter. If additional digital information (including audio, video, image, or datasets) will accompany the main body of the dissertation, it should be uploaded as a supplemental file through ProQuest ETD . Supplemental material will be available in DASH and ProQuest and preserved digitally in the Harvard University Archives.

As a matter of copyright, dissertations comprising the student's previously published works must be authorized for distribution from DASH. The guidelines in this section pertain to any previously published material that requires permission from publishers or other rightsholders before it may be distributed from DASH. Please note:

  • Authors whose publishing agreements grant the publisher exclusive rights to display, distribute, and create derivative works will need to seek the publisher's permission for nonexclusive use of the underlying works before the dissertation may be distributed from DASH.
  • Authors whose publishing agreements indicate the authors have retained the relevant nonexclusive rights to the original materials for display, distribution, and the creation of derivative works may distribute the dissertation as a whole from DASH without need for further permissions.

It is recommended that authors consult their publishing agreements directly to determine whether and to what extent they may have transferred exclusive rights under copyright. The Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) is available to help the author determine whether she has retained the necessary rights or requires permission. Please note, however, the Office of Scholarly Communication is not able to assist with the permissions process itself.

  • Missing Dissertation Acceptance Certificate.  The first page of the PDF dissertation file should be a scanned copy of the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate (DAC). This page should not be counted or numbered as a part of the dissertation pagination.
  • Conflicts Between the DAC and the Title Page.  The DAC and the dissertation title page must match exactly, meaning that the author name and the title on the title page must match that on the DAC. If you use your full middle name or just an initial on one document, it must be the same on the other document.  
  • Abstract Formatting Errors. The advisor name should be left-justified, and the author's name should be right-justified. Up to two advisor names are allowed. The Abstract should be double spaced and include the page title “Abstract,” as well as the page number “iii.” There is no maximum word count for the abstract. 
  •  The front matter should be numbered using Roman numerals (iii, iv, v, …). The title page and the copyright page should be counted but not numbered. The first printed page number should appear on the Abstract page (iii). 
  • The body of the dissertation should be numbered using Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, …). The first page of the body of the text should begin with page 1. Pagination may not continue from the front matter. 
  • All page numbers should be centered either at the top or the bottom of the page.
  • Figures and tables Figures and tables must be placed within the text, as close to their first mention as possible. Figures and tables that span more than one page must be labeled on each page. Any second and subsequent page of the figure/table must include the “(Continued)” notation. This applies to figure captions as well as images. Each page of a figure/table must be accounted for and appropriately labeled. All figures/tables must have a unique number. They may not repeat within the dissertation.
  • Any figures/tables placed in a horizontal orientation must be placed with the top of the figure/ table on the left-hand side. The top of the figure/table should be aligned with the spine of the dissertation when it is bound. 
  • Page numbers must be placed in the same location on all pages of the dissertation, centered, at the bottom or top of the page. Page numbers may not appear under the table/ figure.
  • Supplemental Figures and Tables. Supplemental figures and tables must be placed at the back of the dissertation in an appendix. They should not be placed at the back of the chapter. 
  • Permission Letters Copyright. permission letters must be uploaded as a supplemental file, titled ‘do_not_publish_permission_letters,” within the dissertation submission tool.
  •  DAC Attachment. The signed Dissertation Acceptance Certificate must additionally be uploaded as a document in the "Administrative Documents" section when submitting in Proquest ETD . Dissertation submission is not complete until all documents have been received and accepted.
  • Overall Formatting. The entire document should be checked after all revisions, and before submitting online, to spot any inconsistencies or PDF conversion glitches.
  • You can view dissertations successfully published from your department in DASH . This is a great place to check for specific formatting and area-specific conventions.
  • Contact the  Office of Student Affairs  with further questions.

CONTACT INFO

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Dissertation (thesis): how to cite in Harvard style?

Create a spot-on reference in harvard, general rules.

According to the Harvard citation style, the same template is used for referencing a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation in a list of bibliographic references:

Author , ( year ).  Title . Work type , University .

NB: Fill in the 'Work type' field the type of work and the academic grade, for instance, 'Ph.D. thesis'.

If the text of the work can be accessed online, use the following template for your reference:

Author , ( year ). Title . Work type , University . [Viewed date viewed ]. Available from: URL

NB: The text '[online]' is not given after the title of the work, in contrast to the references to a book , a journal article , etc.

Examples in a list of references

Middleton,   H.   J., (2020). *ABA syncretism patterns in pronominal morphology . Ph.D. thesis, University College London. [Viewed 12 January 2021]. Available from: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105591/

Reed,   B.   H., (1992). The genetic analysis of endoreduplication in Drosophila melanogaster. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.

Other citation styles:

  • What is APA Style (7th ed.)?
  • Examples of bibliographic references in APA (7th ed.)
  • APA 7 vs APA 6: key differences
  • How to cite authors?
  • How to format the references page with APA (7th ed.)?
  • In-text citations
  • Archival document
  • Book chapter
  • Conference paper
  • Dictionary/encyclopedia/dictionary entry/encyclopedia article
  • Dissertation (thesis)
  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article
  • Press release
  • Religious text
  • Social media post
  • Software / mobile app
  • Video (online)
  • Video game / computer game
  • What is MLA Style (8th ed.)?
  • Examples of references in works cited in MLA (8th ed.)
  • How to format the works cited page in MLA (8th ed.)?
  • What is Chicago Style?
  • Examples of bibliographic references in Chicago Style – notes and bibliography (17th ed.)
  • How to format the bibliography page?
  • Notes and in-text citations
  • Examples of bibliographic references in Chicago Style – author-date (17th ed.)
  • What is Harvard referencing style?
  • Examples of bibliographic references in Harvard style
  • Online video
  • What is IEEE Style?
  • Examples of bibliographic references in IEEE Style
  • How to format the references pages in IEEE Style?
  • What is Vancouver Style?
  • Examples of bibliographic references in Vancouver Style
  • Free Tools for Students
  • Harvard Referencing Generator

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Doctoral Thesis Guidelines

Introduction

Preparing to Submit the Thesis

Application for the Degree Oral Final Examination – Signature Page

Online Submission of the Thesis

ETDs @ ProQuest ORCID Harvard Author Agreement Redaction Embargoes Surveys

Distribution of the Thesis

Open Access After Submission Bound Thesis Fee Additional Bound Copies

Copyright and Publishing Considerations

Understanding Your Copyright and Fair Use Copyright Registration Acknowledging the Work of Others Use of Copyrighted Material Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work

Formatting Guidelines

Text Margins Pagination Title Title Page Abstract Body of Thesis Figures and Tables Footnotes Bibliography Supplemental Material  

Citation & Style Guides

Thesis Submission Checklist

INTRODUCTION All DrPH degree candidates at the Harvard Chan School are required to successfully complete and submit a thesis to qualify for degree conferral. This website provides information on the requirements for how to format your thesis, how to submit your thesis, and how your thesis will be distributed.  Please follow the submission and formatting guidelines provided here. Back to top

PREPARING TO SUBMIT THE THESIS The electronic submission of your thesis and the original Signature Page are due on the dates specified on the Harvard Chan School’s Academic Calendar Summary for each degree awarding period (November, March, and May). These items must be submitted using the ETDs @ ProQuest tool in order for the degree to be voted. No exceptions will be made to this rule. Back to top

Application for the Degree There are three degree granting periods: November, March, and May. To apply for graduation, students must complete the Application for Degree on the my.Harvard portal by the deadline posted on the Harvard Chan School’s Academic Calendar .

Deadline extensions are not possible. Students who miss the deadline must apply for the subsequent degree conferral date (November, March, or May). The student is responsible for meeting submission deadlines. Back to top

Oral Final Examination — Signature Page All Doctoral Committee members are required to sign the Signature Page at the time of the Doctoral Final Oral Examination indicating their final approval of the thesis.

A scanned copy of the Signature Page should appear before the title page of the PDF online submission of the thesis; no page number should be assigned to the Signature Page. The title on the Signature Page must read exactly as it does on the title page of the thesis. The Signature Page will be included in all copies of the thesis.

Click here for instructions on how to merge the Signature Page into the thesis PDF.

The Signature Page for DrPH students must be formatted as follows:

This Doctoral Thesis, [ Title of Doctoral Project ], presented by [ Student’s Name ], and Submitted to the Faculty of The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Public Health , has been read and approved by:

______________________________________ (typed name below line – signature above)

________________________________________ (typed name below the line – signature above)

Date : [ Doctoral Project Official Approval Date (month day, year) ]

Back to top

ONLINE SUBMISSION OF THE THESIS  

ETDs @ ProQuest All DrPH candidates are required to submit a digital copy of the thesis to the Registrar’s Office as a PDF file via ETDs @ ProQuest by the deadline established for each degree conferral date. Theses must be submitted in their final format, as described in the section Formatting Guidelines . Students must check their formatting carefully before submitting. Formatting errors will prevent the students’ theses from being accepted and approved.

The online-submission tool can be found at:  http://www.etdadmin.com/hsph.harvard

A how-to video for submitting a thesis via ETDs is available on the Countway Library website .

ORCID ETDs @ ProQuest supports ORCIDs.  ORCIDs are persistent digital identifiers that link you to your professional activity.  You may register for an ORCID either before or during submission if you do not yet have one.  To do so, you may go here .

The Harvard Library ORCID page provides information about the value of having an ORCID iD and how Harvard plans to use ORCID data. Additionally, please visit the Harvard ORCID Connect site to connect your existing ORCID iD to Harvard University.

Harvard Author Agreement When submitting work through ETDs @ ProQuest, you will be consenting to the Harvard Author Agreement , which grants the University a non-exclusive license to preserve, reproduce, and display the work. This license, which is the same the Harvard Chan School faculty use under the School’s Open Access Policy, does not constrain your rights to publish your work subsequently. Back to top

Redaction Very few theses require redaction, which is the process of obscuring or removing sensitive information for distribution. ETDs @ ProQuest does support redacted versioning for these very rare cases where there is sensitive or potentially harmful material in the thesis (e.g., commercially sensitive information, sensitive personal data, risk of harmful retribution, etc.).

If your work is one such rare instance, then you may select the “I think I need to submit a redacted version of my thesis” on the file upload screen. You will then be prompted to contact the Office for Scholarly Communication, which will help you with your request. Back to top

Embargoes To forestall any potential challenges that a student may face in the publication process (e.g., if the candidate has a publication pending with a publisher or has previously published some of the content in the thesis and there is a publisher’s embargo that must be honored), the Harvard Chan School has instituted a default one-year embargo for submissions through ETDs @ ProQuest.   The embargo starts on the date of the thesis submission deadline. With an embargo, the full text of the thesis will be unavailable for view or download for a limited period of time.  The citation and abstract for the work, however, will be publicly available.

If a student would like to make her/his work available immediately by opting out of the embargo process, she/he may do so by selecting the No Embargo option during the submission process.

If, due to extenuating circumstances, a student is required to embargo part or all of their work beyond one year, she/he must request an extension during the submission process. An extension can be requested for up to two years. This request is subject to the approval of the student’s department chair(s) and the University Librarian.

Any embargo applied to the DASH version of the thesis will be applied to the Countway Library and Harvard Chan School department versions of the work.

Students do not need to take any action to remove an embargo.  The embargo will automatically be lifted in DASH at the end of the selected and approved period.  If a student would like to change the duration of his/her embargo request, then please contact the Registrar’s Office at [email protected] or 617-432-1032. Back to top

Surveys The School of Public Health is asked to participate in the Survey of Earned Doctorates. This is an annual census of research doctorate recipients in the United States.  Data collected from these surveys are used to make federal policy decisions regarding graduate education.

Students are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates upon submission of their thesis. A Certificate of Completion will be sent to you, as well as to the Registrar’s Office.

Please click here to complete your survey.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE THESIS

Open Access For information on open access, we recommend the Office of Scholarly Communication’s (OSC) Director Peter Suber’s brief introduction . He has also written about providing open access to theses . The OSC has produced several videos of Harvard faculty and students discussing open access. Two may be of particular interest: the first features Professors Gary King and Stuart Shieber , and the second features a recent Harvard graduate, Ben Finio . Back to top

After Submission Once you have applied for your degree and submitted your thesis online, it is checked for compliance by the Registrar’s Office and, if accepted, is piped to the following downstream systems:

  • DASH : Your work will be sent to DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), Harvard’s open access repository. Search engines index DASH, which means your work will be more discoverable and more frequently cited. You will be making DASH access decisions for your work at the point of submission. This will be the access copy of the thesis.
  • HOLLIS : The metadata about your work will be sent to HOLLIS . This will make your work discoverable through the Harvard Library catalog.
  • DRS2 : Your work will be stored in Harvard Library’s digital preservation repository, DRS2 . This will be the preservation copy of the thesis.

By default, theses will be made available through DASH one year after students submit their theses via ETDs @ Harvard for degree completion (see Embargoes ). DASH is operated by Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication and is the University’s central service for openly distributing Harvard’s scholarly output.

Note that any embargo applied to the DASH version of the thesis will be applied to the Countway Library and department versions of the work. Back to top

Bound Thesis Fee Currently we are not receiving bound thesis copies.  Doctoral students will not be charged bound thesis fees. Back to top

Additional Bound Copies Students may secure extra copies of their work for their own purposes.  These additional copies may be purchased through  Acme Bookbinding . or through ETDs @ ProQuest . Back to top

COPYRIGHT AND PUBLISHING CONSIDERATIONS

Understanding Your Copyright and Fair Use The Office for Scholarly Communication has created copyright-related resources for your reference.

The first addresses your copyrights and identifies some considerations when publishing (see “ Planning to publish? ”). It is important that you envision any future use you may like to make of your work. Any publishing contract you sign can affect your potential future uses, such as use in teaching, posting your work online on either a personal or departmental website, or any potential future publication. Before you sign a publication agreement, you can negotiate with a publisher to secure licensing terms that best suit your needs. It is important that you read any contract you sign and keep a copy for your own records.

The second resource discusses fair use (see “ Fair use ”), what it is, the laws that have determined its shape over time, and tips for ensuring that use of third-party material (including quotes, images, music, film, etc.) in your thesis is fair. Back to top

Copyright Registration Your work is copyrighted as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form. You are not required to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office to enjoy protection of your work. However, if you choose to do so, you may register your work with the Copyright Office online . Back to top

Acknowledging the Work of Others Students are responsible for acknowledging any facts, ideas, or materials of others used in their own work. Students should refer to the statement on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in the Harvard Chan School’s Student Handbook . Back to top

Use of Copyrighted Material A thesis is a scholarly work, and as such use of third party material is often essential. Fair use applies to the reproduction of any third party material, including your own previously published work, that you may use in your thesis.

If you have questions about copyright and fair use, please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication . Back to top

Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work When submitting an article for publication that you intend to use in your thesis, you should secure permission to do so (along with permission to reuse your own work as you would like) from your publisher in your publishing agreement. If the default contract does not let you retain these rights already, then you should use an author addendum to secure these rights (see “ Planning to publish? ”).

You may use your own previously published material as part of your thesis with the permission of the publisher. Again, refer to your publication agreement for details. If your contract does not specify these rights, then contact the publisher to negotiate this use. Back to top

FORMATTING GUIDELINES The following are instructions on how to format your thesis. If, after reading the instructions here, you have additional questions about the requirements, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (617) 432-1032; [email protected]. Back to top

Text   All text should be double-spaced on one side of the page with footnotes single-spaced. The font size should be at least 10 point, but no larger than 12 point.  The font and font size should be consistent throughout.  All text should be black. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Margins The margins of the thesis must be 1 inch on all sides. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Pagination Students’ theses must follow the pagination guidelines as illustrated below. It is customary not to have a page number on the page containing a chapter/paper heading. Drawings, charts, graphs, and photographs should be referred to as figures and should be numbered consecutively within the text of the thesis with Arabic numerals. Each figure should carry a suitable caption; e.g., Fig. 42. Arrangement of Experimental Equipment. Check pagination carefully and account for all pages.

All page numbers should be consecutive and centered at either the bottom or top of the page.
 Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Title The title of the thesis should be brief and should indicate the general subject treated. Nine words are usually sufficient to describe the investigation. Students are strongly encouraged to embed keywords into their title, so that the title will be retrievable on computerized listings. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Title Page The title page must contain the following information, well-spaced and centered on the page:

For DrPH Students:

TITLE OF DOCTORAL THESIS

STUDENT’S NAME

A Doctoral Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

for the Degree of Doctor of Public Health

Harvard University

Boston, Massachusetts.

Date (the month in which degree will be awarded, year of graduation (e.g., May 2021)

Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Abstract The abstract should not exceed 350 words. It should immediately follow the Title Page, and should state the problem, describe the methods and procedures used, and give the main results or conclusions of the research. The abstract should be double-spaced. The author’s name and the title of the thesis, as well as the name of the thesis advisor, should be included on the abstract page. The author’s name should be right justified, the title of the thesis centered, and “Thesis Advisor: Dr. ____________” should be left-justified at the top of the abstract page.

Thesis Advisor: Dr. [Advisor’s name]                                                    [Author’s name]

[Title of thesis]

           The text of the abstract, not to exceed 350 words, should be double-spaced.  The first line of each paragraph is indented.  Full justification of the text is not recommended.

Students will also be required to submit a text version of the abstract via the online-submission tool. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Body of Thesis The thesis should consist of manuscripts suitable for publication in a scientific medium appropriate to the candidate’s field and/or approved reprints of the published work(s) (see Steps for Using Published and To-Be Published Work and Use of Copyrighted Material ).

Technical appendices should be added where necessary to demonstrate full development of the thesis material. Papers published under joint authorship are acceptable provided the candidate has contributed a major part to the investigation. The degree candidate is expected to be senior author on at least one of the papers. In the case of manuscripts published under joint authorship, the co-authors or the advisor may be consulted by the readers or the CAD to clarify the nature and extent of the candidate’s contribution. In addition to evaluating the quality and significance of the work, those responsible for accepting the thesis [the Department(s) and Doctoral Project Committee] may determine whether the format is suitable for publication in a scientific medium appropriate to the degree candidate’s field(s). Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Figures and Tables Figures and tables must be placed as close as possible to their first mention in the text. They may be placed on a page with no text above or below, or they may be placed directly in the text. If a figure or table is alone on a page with no narrative, it should be centered within the margins of the page.

Figures and tables referred to in the text may not be placed at the end of the chapter or at the end of the thesis. Figure and table numbering must be either continuous throughout the thesis or by paper (e.g., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2). For example, there cannot be two figures designated in a thesis as “Figure 5.”

Headings of tables should be placed at the top of the table. While there are no specific rules for the format of table headings and figure captions, a consistent format must be used throughout the thesis. (See Citation and Style Guides )

Captions of figures should be placed at the bottom of the figure. If the figure takes up the entire page, the figure caption should be placed alone on the preceding page and centered vertically and horizontally within the margins. Each page receives a separate page number. When a figure or table title is on a preceding page, the second and subsequent pages of the figure or table should say, for example, “Figure 5 (Continued).” In such an instance, the list of figures or tables will list the page number containing the title. The word “Figure” should be written in full (not abbreviated), and the “F” should be capitalized (e.g., Figure 5). In instances where the caption continues on a second page, the “(Continued)” notation should appear on the second and any subsequent page. The figure/table and the caption are viewed as one entity and the numbering should show correlation between all pages. Each page must include a header.

Horizontal figures and tables must be positioned correctly and bound at the top, so that the top of the figure or table will be at the left margin (leave a 1 inch margin on the long edge of the paper above the top of the table).

Figure and table headings/captions are placed with the same orientation as the figure or table when on the same page. When on a separate page, headings/captions are always placed in vertical orientation, regardless of the orientation of the figure or table. Page numbers are always placed as if the figure were vertical on the page.

Figures created with software are acceptable if the figures are clear and legible. Legends and titles created by the same process as the figures will be accepted if they too are clear, legible, and run at least 10 or 12 characters per inch. Otherwise, legends and captions should be printed with the same font used in the text. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Footnotes Footnotes are reserved for substantive additions to the text and should be indicated by an asterisk in the text. Extensive use of footnotes is not encouraged. The footnote should be placed at the bottom of the page. A horizontal line of at least two inches should be typed above the first footnote on any page. Footnotes should be placed so that at least one inch is left at the bottom of the page. Use single-spacing within footnotes. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Bibliography To document the sources of information, a bibliography must be included at the end of the papers or thesis. References may be numbered or listed alphabetically. If references in the bibliography are numbered, then corresponding in-text references should be indicated by listing the number in parentheses after the name of the author.

Bibliographic Example:

23. Gibbs, C.S.: Filterable virus carriers. J. Bact., 23, 1932, 113.

In-Text Example:

“. . . as Gibbs (23) has stated.”

The initial number should be omitted if references are listed alphabetically.

Within any bibliographic section there should be consistency and adherence to an acceptable journal style for a bibliography. Each reference in the bibliography must contain the name of the author, title of the paper, name of publication, volume, date, and first page.

More than one publication by the same author in the same year should be indicated both in the bibliography and in the text by the use of underlined letters, etc., after the date of publication. The standard system of abbreviation used by the Quarterly Cumulative Index should be followed for the abbreviations of journal titles.

If students’ individual papers have different bibliographic styles, then it is not necessary to change the bibliographic style of one to match the other. Consistency within each bibliographic section is the most important element. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

Supplemental Material Supplemental figures and tables must be placed at the end of each chapter/paper in an appendix. If additional digital information (including text, audio, video, image, or datasets) will accompany the main body of the thesis, then it should be uploaded as supplemental material via the ETDs @ Harvard online submission tool. Back to top  |  Back to Formatting Guidelines

CITATION & STYLE GUIDES

  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • Crews, Kenneth D. Copyright Law and the Doctoral Dissertation. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, 2000.
  • Day, Robert A. and Barbara Gastel. How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper. 6th ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006.
  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. Strunk, William. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2005.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.
  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago
  • Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. 7th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

THESIS SUBMISSION CHECKLIST ☐ Is the Signature Page unnumbered and positioned as the first page of the PDF file? ☐ Is there a blank page after the Signature Page? ☐ Does the body of the thesis begin with Page 1? ☐ Is the pagination continuous? Are all pages included? ☐ Is every page of the thesis correctly numbered? ☐ Is the placement of page numbers centered throughout the manuscript? ☐ Is the Title Page formatted correctly? ☐ Is the author’s name, in full, on the Title Page of the thesis and the abstract? ☐ Does the author’s name read the same on both and does it match the Signature Page? ☐ Is the abstract included after the Title Page? ☐ Does the abstract include the title of the thesis, the author’s name, and the thesis advisor(s)’ name? ☐ Is the title on the abstract the same as that on the title page? ☐ Are the margins 1” on all sides? ☐ Is the font size 10-12 point? ☐ Are all charts, graphs, and other illustrative materials perfectly legible? ☐ Do lengthy figures and tables include the “(Continued)” notation? ☐ Has all formatting been checked? ☐ Is the Survey of Earned Doctorates  completed? ☐ Has the Survey of Earned Doctorates’ confirmation email or certificate been uploaded to ETDs @ Harvard?

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Reviewing the Literature: Why do it?

  • Personal: To familiarize yourself with a new area of research, to get an overview of a topic, so you don't want to miss something important, etc.
  • Required writing for a journal article, thesis or dissertation, grant application, etc.

Literature reviews vary; there are many ways to write a literature review based on discipline, material type, and other factors.

Background:

  • Literature Reviews - UNC Writing Center
  • Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students  - What is a literature review? What purpose does it serve in research? What should you expect when writing one? - NCSU Video

Where to get help (there are lots of websites, blogs , articles,  and books on this topic) :

  • The Center for writing and Communicating Ideas (CWCI)
  • (these are non-STEM examples: dissertation guidance , journal guidelines )
  • How to prepare a scientific doctoral dissertation based on research articles (2012)
  • Writing a graduate thesis or dissertation (2016)
  • The good paper : a handbook for writing papers in higher education (2015)
  • Proposals that work : a guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals (2014)
  • Theses and dissertations : a guide to planning, research, and writing (2008)
  • Talk to your professors, advisors, mentors, peers, etc. for advice

READ related material and pay attention to how others write their literature reviews:

  • Dissertations
  • Journal articles
  • Grant proposals
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  • Last Updated: Sep 13, 2023 2:15 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/CCB

Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy

IMAGES

  1. Harvard Referencing Style & Format: Easy Guide + Examples

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  2. Harvard References Guidelines and Examples

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  3. Harvard Reference List Blog

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  4. Harvard referencing phd dissertation pdf

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  5. Guide to do proper harvard referencing in assignment and dissertation

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  6. Master Thesis Harvard Style

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VIDEO

  1. Zotero A to Z in Bengali বাংলা

  2. How to citation and reference on Research Article

  3. Harvard Referencing

  4. How to add Reference in Thesis using Mendeley

COMMENTS

  1. How to cite a PhD thesis in Harvard

    To cite a PhD thesis in a reference entry in Harvard style include the following elements:. Author(s) of the PhD thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J.) of up to three authors with the last name preceded by 'and'. For four authors or more include the first name followed by et al., unless your institution requires referencing of all named authors.

  2. Guides and databases: Harvard: Thesis or dissertation

    This guide introduces the Harvard referencing style and includes examples of citations. Welcome Toggle Dropdown. A-Z of Harvard references ; Citing authors with Harvard ; ... Title of thesis (in italics). Degree statement. Degree-awarding body. Available at: URL. (Accessed: date). In-text citation: (Smith, 2019)

  3. How to Cite a Dissertation in Harvard Style

    In Harvard, the following reference list entry format is used for the dissertation: Author Surname, Author Initials. (Year Published). Title of the dissertation in italics. Level. Institution Name. For example, reference list entry for the above source would be: Darius, H. (2014).

  4. Find Dissertations and Theses

    How to search for Harvard dissertations. DASH, Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is the university's central, open-access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.Most Ph.D. dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH.; Check HOLLIS, the Library Catalog, and refine your results by using the Advanced ...

  5. Theses

    Theses. Reference: Author, Initial. (Year of submission) Title of thesis. Degree statement. Degree-awarding body. Example: Allen, S. J. (2009) The social and moral fibre of Celtic Tiger Ireland. Unpublished PhD thesis. University College Dublin. Allen (2009) disagrees with this…..

  6. Cite A Dissertation in Harvard style

    Cite A Dissertation in Harvard style. Use the following template or our Harvard Referencing Generator to cite a dissertation. For help with other source types, like books, PDFs, or websites, check out our other guides. To have your reference list or bibliography automatically made for you, try our free citation generator.

  7. Research Guide for CES Visiting Scholars

    To find doctoral dissertations from North American universities and some European institutions, search: ... Harvard dissertations and theses. As above, most of these from 1997 are available via ProQuest. ... This database references over 55,000 dissertations and theses held at Austrian Universities; select dissertations are available online. ...

  8. How to Cite Theses and Reports in Harvard Style

    Format for citing a printed thesis: Harvard style. Surname, Initial (s). (Year of publication) Title. Award and type of qualification. Awarding body. For example: Robak, M. (2016) Practicing What We're Taught: An Analysis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Medical Education of Compassionate Care at Harvard Medical School. PhD thesis.

  9. Thesis or dissertation

    Jones et al. (2017, p.24) emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent and argued that referencing is a key part of academic integrity (2017, p.27). Furthermore, having a broad range of references in a text is an indicator of the breadth of a scholar's reading and research (Jones et al., 2017, p.14).

  10. Theses and dissertations

    According to the NWU manual for master's and doctoral studies, the following terms are used: For international theses and dissertations use the terms on the title page. Full stops are optional in the abbreviations for qualifications, eg: M.Sc. or MSc (Magister Scientiae), Ph.D. or PhD (Philosophiae Doctor). Saah, P. 2017.

  11. Library Guides: Harvard referencing style: Thesis or dissertation

    Harvard referencing style; Thesis or dissertation; Search this Guide Search. Harvard referencing style. Harvard; In-text citations and reference list; Articles; Books; ... S.S.E. 2011, 'Tax compliance and small and medium enterprise operators: an intra-cultural study in New Zealand', PhD thesis, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New ...

  12. PDF Guidelines for The PhD Dissertation

    Most dissertations are 100 to 300 pages in length. All dissertations should be divided into appropriate sections, and long dissertations may need chapters, main divisions, and even subdivisions. Students should keep in mind that GSAS and many departments deplore overlong and wordy dissertations.

  13. Library Guides: Harvard Referencing (2002 version): Thesis

    Harvard Referencing (2002 version) Guide to citing & referencing in this author, date style for JCU students. Harvard Style - the basics ... Adam, B 2016, 'Cosmic warfare: changing models of the universe and C.S. Lewis's defence of truth and meaning', PhD thesis, James Cook University, viewed 17 April 2017, <https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au ...

  14. PhD Thesis Guide

    HST PhD students earning their degree through Harvard follow thesis committee requirements set by the unit granting their degree - either the Biophysics Program or the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). ** List of non-MIT HST faculty approved to chair MIT thesis proposals when the research advisor is an MIT faculty member. Readers

  15. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    Spanning from the 'theses and quaestiones' of the 17th and 18th centuries to the current yearly output of student research, they include both the first Harvard Ph.D. dissertation (by William Byerly, Ph.D. 1873) and the dissertation of the first woman to earn a doctorate from Harvard (Lorna Myrtle Hodgkinson, Ed.D. 1922).. Other highlights include:

  16. Formatting Your Dissertation

    Most dissertations are 100 to 300 pages in length. All dissertations should be divided into appropriate sections, and long dissertations may need chapters, main divisions, and subdivisions. Page and Text Requirements Page Size. 8½ x 11 inches, unless a musical score is included; Margins. At least 1 inch for all margins; Spacing. Body of text ...

  17. Dissertation (thesis): how to cite in Harvard style?

    According to the Harvard citation style, the same template is used for referencing a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation in a list of bibliographic references: Author, ( year ). Title. Work type, University. NB: Fill in the 'Work type' field the type of work and the academic grade, for instance, 'Ph.D. thesis'.

  18. Find Dissertations and Theses

    To find Harvard affiliate dissertations: DASH - Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard - DASH is the university's central, open access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.Most PhD dissertations submitted from March 2012 forward are available online in DASH.; HOLLIS Library Catalog - you can refine your results by using the Advanced ...

  19. Free Harvard Referencing Generator [Updated for 2024]

    A Harvard Referencing Generator is a tool that automatically generates formatted academic references in the Harvard style. It takes in relevant details about a source -- usually critical information like author names, article titles, publish dates, and URLs -- and adds the correct punctuation and formatting required by the Harvard referencing style.

  20. Writing your Dissertation

    Writing your Dissertation. Overleaf's unofficial Harvard PhD Thesis and Dissertation template was created 3 years ago, please consult the Form of the PhD Dissertation for specifics on formatting your dissertation. We recommend reviewing this sample dissertation and the Top Ten Common Errors provided by the Registrar's Office.

  21. Doctoral Thesis Guidelines

    The Signature Page for DrPH students must be formatted as follows: This Doctoral Thesis, [ Title of Doctoral Project ], presented by [ Student's Name ], and Submitted to the Faculty of The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Public.

  22. Open access to electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)

    Citation. Peter Suber, Open access to electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), SPARC Open Access Newsletter, July 2, 2006.

  23. Literature Review

    Writing a graduate thesis or dissertation (2016) The good paper : a handbook for writing papers in higher education (2015) Proposals that work : a guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals (2014) Theses and dissertations : a guide to planning, research, and writing (2008) Talk to your professors, advisors, mentors, peers, etc. for advice