Doctoral research, by definition, usually involves a contribution to knowledge. This requirement is often made explicit in the various university policies which define the nature of their doctoral degrees.
As an examiner of dissertations, this is one of the elements to which I am alert when examining a dissertation. Given that I have to make a judgement as to whether the dissertation has made a contribution to knowledge, I look for evidence. This evidence not only helps in my decision making, but by alerting research supervisors to the agenda of evidence that I use to establish that a dissertation has made a contribution to knowledge, this draws attention to what they might be looking for when they read their research student’s final draft dissertation before it is submitted to the examiners.
1. The argument that there is a contribution to knowledge.
When a research student reviews the literature related to…
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