The Past, Present and Future of the PhD Thesis. Nature 535(7610):7.
The Past, Present and Future of the PhD Thesis [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Writing a PhD thesis is a personal and professional milestone for many researchers. But the process needs to change with the times. [Excerpt] According to one of those often-quoted statistics that should be true but probably isn't, the average number of people who read a PhD thesis all the way through is 1.6. And that includes the author. More interesting might be the average number of PhD theses that the typical scientist – and reader of Nature – has read from start to finish. Would it reach even that (probably apocryphal) benchmark? What we know for sure is that the reading material keeps on coming, with tens of thousands of new theses typed up each year. [] [...] [] [...] The goal of PhD assessment everywhere remains, rightly, to demonstrate that a student has conducted, and can communicate, independent, original research. But the way in which that's achieved can and should be improved. [] For one thing, it doesn't have to involve a vast printed volume. A lot of students could do themselves, their supervisors, their examiners and their wider audience a favour by keeping it crisp and short. Postgraduate supervisors should stress this at the beginning. And it's important to make the work in the thesis available to future researchers by publishing or sharing the data in some form. To contribute to the world beyond the author's immediate circle, a PhD thesis should be read and used, and not just serve as a shelf ornament or doorstop. [] [...]
@article{naturePresentFuturePhD2016,
  title = {The Past, Present and Future of the {{PhD}} Thesis},
  author = {{Nature}},
  date = {2016-07},
  journaltitle = {Nature},
  volume = {535},
  pages = {7},
  issn = {0028-0836},
  doi = {10.1038/535007a},
  url = {http://mfkp.org/INRMM/article/14090955},
  abstract = {Writing a PhD thesis is a personal and professional milestone for many researchers. But the process needs to change with the times.

[Excerpt] According to one of those often-quoted statistics that should be true but probably isn't, the average number of people who read a PhD thesis all the way through is 1.6. And that includes the author. More interesting might be the average number of PhD theses that the typical scientist -- and reader of Nature -- has read from start to finish. Would it reach even that (probably apocryphal) benchmark? What we know for sure is that the reading material keeps on coming, with tens of thousands of new theses typed up each year.

[] [...]

[] [...] The goal of PhD assessment everywhere remains, rightly, to demonstrate that a student has conducted, and can communicate, independent, original research. But the way in which that's achieved can and should be improved.

[] For one thing, it doesn't have to involve a vast printed volume. A lot of students could do themselves, their supervisors, their examiners and their wider audience a favour by keeping it crisp and short. Postgraduate supervisors should stress this at the beginning. And it's important to make the work in the thesis available to future researchers by publishing or sharing the data in some form. To contribute to the world beyond the author's immediate circle, a PhD thesis should be read and used, and not just serve as a shelf ornament or doorstop.

[] [...]},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14090955,~to-add-doi-URL,education,research-metrics,rewarding-best-research-practices,scientific-communication,scientific-community-self-correction,scientific-knowledge-sharing,technology-mediated-communication},
  number = {7610}
}
Downloads: 0