I would like to know what people think about putting lists of figures, schemes, and tables in PhD theses. Do you think it is necessary or just seems like "page filler".

I would also like people's thoughts on putting a list of conference talks. In some fields (e.g., computer science) this is very important, however, in chemistry (my subject) publications are more important. However, giving conference talks can be considered a good thing so I am thinking about putting it into my thesis.

To note, my university has no guidelines on these so it is probably flexible.

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    Putting a list of conference talks in a thesis seems like a complete misunderstanding of what the thesis is supposed to be, unless it has a much different role in chemistry. This is the sort of thing that goes in your CV. Mar 2, 2018 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


Ok, there are two questions here, so let's go one by one:

For the list of figures I think you can put them without problem. They take maybe one or two pages, and that shouldn't make a significant difference that could be considered "page filling". If two pages are 10% of your whole thesis, then you still have work to do.
Especially if you refer to figures during your thesis, it is great to have a list, including page number, instead of having to search every time.

About conference talks: In my understanding (coming from a mathematical background), a PhD thesis is a long, more detailed (and hopefully really good) research paper, that might be read by other scientists. Thus, putting in conference talks seems like begging for a better grade, like "see how great I am, I even went to these conferences", something that has no place in a scientific work.
While going to conferences is surely important, I think it should not be put into the thesis but mentioned at a different place. As your advisor is surely aware of the conferences you visited, ask him how to best communicate this fact to the committee.


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