Doctoral Theses Composed of Individual Papers
At least three current papers will be accepted as a doctoral thesis provided that the findings of these works in aggregate fulfill the requirements placed on a doctoral thesis, that the findings of the individual papers are not temporally too far apart, and that there is an intrinsic scientific relationship between the findings of each paper.
The submitted papers must have a common introduction that provides information about the current status of the pertinent research and about the issues examined here, the findings, and the relevant contribution to scientific research (§5 Art. 2). All of the papers must have been written by a sole author, whereby a contribution from the supervisor of the thesis does not count as co-authorship.
If any of the papers was written in co-authorship, the exact contribution of the doctoral candidate must be defined in the introduction so that the ability of the candidate to carry out scentific research is clearly recognizable.
About the Introduction:
The introduction itself is an explicit part of the doctoral thesis and will be subject to assessment. It should provide an overall framework, which draws together the indivdiual papers, stating the motivation behind the study and an overview of the relevant literature on the subject - in as far as such an overview is not already a component of the individual papers. The introduction should also indicate the need for research on the topics involved and the findings from the individual studies should be reflected on as a whole. The implications and their limitations must also be stated.
The structure and scope of the introduction are individually variable. The important point is that doctoral candidates must demonstrate that they have a broader grasp of the issues addressed and are capable of reflecting on both the theoretical and practical implications of their work in a much more comprehensive way than a journal paper with a page limit might allow.