The dissertation is the cornerstone of the research project.
There are two main types of dissertations: one is the monograph, the other the cumulative or paper-based dissertation and even a third option exists combining these two. The quality requirements for all dissertations are the same. The perfect option depends on the research subject and should by all means be discussed with the supervisor beforehand.
A monograph represents a comprehensive, self-contained paper of a research topic that must not contain any previous theses or papers which have already been published. However, parts of the monograph may be published in advance provided this is clearly stated. Great care must be taken to ensure that contractual agreements with the publisher do not prohibit publication during the doctoral procedure.
As an alternative to a consistent monographic dissertation, cumulative dissertations are summarized as a collection of several publications. At Hochschule Geisenheim University the cumulative dissertation consists of at least two scientific publications (peer-reviewed) and at least one manuscript approved for publication. The doctoral student must be the lead author of at least two of these peer-reviewed publications.
In paper-based dissertations including co-authored publications the 1st authorship / shared 1st authorship must be clearly documented as well as the candidate's own contribution to each paper. These own contributions are to be formally listed upon submission of the dissertation. From the very start, careful attention must be paid to name contributors or other institutions involved (e.g. co-authors, partner universities, Hochschule Geisenheim University) using common citation and referencing.
For the publication of a cumulative dissertation, copyrights and exisiting contracts with publishers must be strictly adhered to.
This dissertation option combines the characteristics of a monograph with those of a cumulative dissertation: It is a collection of papers that may already have been published for submission as part of a monograph with its structure being similar to that of a cumulative dissertation. However, in contrast to the latter there are no minimum requirements for the number of publications.