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TAMK Student's Handbook

Instructions for article-based thesis

TAMK’s guidelines on article-based theses


At TAMK, an article-based thesis stands for a thesis whose key part is published in a field-related scientific magazine. The article-based thesis is a useful way of learning how to write scientific articles.

As a rule, article-based theses are only written in master’s degrees at TAMK. The student, commissioner and supervisor already have to agree on writing an article-based thesis at the beginning of the thesis process.

The thesis may include one or several scientific articles which present research or development results. The publication channel is selected in a supervision discussion based on the field and nature of the thesis. The library’s opinion should also be asked in selecting the magazine in order to avoid subsequent payments and other unwanted consequences.

The article-based thesis is assessed in accordance with TAMK’s general assessment criteria. Bases for assessment have to be available on request for a year after assessment (principle of publicity). The article manuscript is stored for that time as agreed on in the degree programme.

Article-based thesis authors also write a maturity test. It may be an expert blog or an article but it may not present the same results as the article manuscript sent to the scientific magazine.

Thesis contract

The article-based thesis calls for a thesis contract which includes the potential publication channel (scientific magazine), authors and authorship (see TENK’s description of authorship). As a rule, the student or students are the responsible authors and the supervisor is the last author. The thesis commissioner or cooperation partner is considered in the contract on a case-by-case basis. If the commissioner organisation’s research permit is needed for the thesis, the article publication, ownership and authorship are agreed on in the same connection.

Students commit themselves to continue the manuscript process with the support of the supervisor and potential research project group after their graduation. If students however notify in written that they want to give up finishing the article, the supervising teacher may take the role of the responsible author.

Article-based report structure

The thesis report resembles the traditional thesis report. It includes an article or article manuscript, so-called enhanced research plan (a minimum of 10 pages) and references. This usually means an introduction, literature review and theoretical bases which discuss the thesis background, possibly method and conclusions in more detail than the article. The report also includes a reflection on the thesis process.

The article and thesis report do not need to be written in the same language but articles are primarily published in TAMK’s degree languages, ie in Finnish or English.

Introduction, reference framework and conclusions

The structure of the article-based thesis report may be as follows:

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. Literature review, topic definition, objective and purpose

4. Article(s) (usually results)

5. Conclusions and discussion

6. References

6. Appendices

The thesis results are usually described in the article(s) because the results and analyses published in the article have to be unpublished. If there are several articles, the report presents how they are connected to one another and what entity they form.

The conclusions and discussion sections analyse and critically evaluate the thesis implementation, process and ethicality and present justified development suggestions. The results and their reliability are discussed in the conclusions and discussion sections if the results are published before the thesis report.


One article is enough in publication classes A or B. Article manuscripts have to follow the publishing magazine’s guidelines. The article may be a peer-reviewed scientific article (publication class A) or a non-peer-reviewed scientific article (publication class B). Individual articles may only be offered to one publication channel at a time and the results have to be unpublished. Before sending the article manuscript to the magazine, the supervisor should check that all thesis permits and contracts are in order. The thesis report manuscript (without the unpublished articles) is entered to TurnitIN.

Article manuscript, publication and Theseus

The article manuscript may be approved to a part of the thesis before its publication. The article manuscript is not entered to the TurnitIN system in order not to endanger its publication. In this case, all other thesis sections except for the article are included in the Theseus version.

If the article(s) have not been published, it should be stated in the thesis abstract and the thesis report is entered to the restricted collection of Theseus. The article manuscript is not entered into Theseus because article results have to be unpublished. If the student wants to add the published article to Theseus later, the library does it on the student’s or co-author’s request. If the article is approved for publication before the thesis is entered to Theseus, the bibliographical data of the article are marked into the report (see report guidelines).

If the article has already been published before the thesis is finished, the entire thesis report is entered to Theseus, as usual. The publisher’s permit is however needed for republication of the article in the thesis. In the same connection, it is also agreed on which version of the article is published (eg published version, final draft). Tampere University Library provides further instructions on this (link: article-based theses).

Assessment of article-based theses

TAMK’s general assessment criteria are used in assessment of article-based theses. The assessment is based on the article or article manuscript and thesis report. If there are several authors, it has to be demonstrated clearly which part of the research, development and article was completed and written by each author for assessment purposes.

Guidelines for teachers

The thesis is always the student’s work and demonstration of the student’s professional competence. The supervisor must however have strong competence in writing of scientific and professional articles, publication and different publication channels.

The teacher gives the grade on the thesis. After grading, the student(s) are given feedback on the article manuscript and the supervisor possibly writes a section to the article. If the article is written together with the supervisor and the student gives up the role of responsible author, the supervisor sends the article to the magazine for publication and finishes the process with the editorial staff. Because of legal protection of the supervisor and student, the article-based thesis must have a second inspector or assessor.

Further information:

Article publication permits in the thesis process:

Authorship in research publications:

Writing of scientific articles:

Reliable publication channels (open publications):

Published: 25.1.2022
Updated: 9.5.2022