In other words, how much improvement of the submitted thesis (and presented in front of the evaluation board) is allowed, if you want to later publish the thesis at a normal publisher of dissertations (with ISBN and sell on Amazon)? Is there a conflict here? Should it be exactly the same thesis, or if mistakes are found, or recommendations given, they can be implemented, no matter how much different from the submitted and approved thesis? I'm interested in at least a general view on this, at european level. I imagine there are country differences...

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    Are you planning on submitting the thesis for publication as your thesis? I've known lots of people who have published their theses in journals, with modifications based on new knowledge, other feedback from reviewers, etc. – Chris Gregg Jul 10 '13 at 14:58
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    Some European universities require PhD students to publish their thesis as a book, with an ISBN, before the defense. For those students, the book is the official version of the thesis. So the short answer is nothing! – JeffE Jul 10 '13 at 18:32
  • Basically what I have now is an improved version, which my professor insisted on publishing, because he thinks is good. Due to some financial issues and the fact that several partners were involved, I had to sustain the thesis earlier than foreseen. At my university for the defense only a few copies are printed, without ISBN, and also an electronic version is handed over. The defended thesis was good enough, but the results were so nice, that they diserved to be put in the best light… so this is the conflict I have... – J.R. Jul 11 '13 at 18:44
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    I guess the solution is to publish the book and say it is based on the dissertation, and that it has the improvements suggested by prof. X in the view of a publishing. Is this right? Or, what do you suggest? – J.R. Jul 11 '13 at 18:45

It depends mostly on whether publishing your thesis as a book is a requirement in the PhD process or not. As JeffE notes in his comments, publishing the thesis as a book may be a university requirement before you get your PhD. Though, in the cases that I know, publication is after the defense, and you are allowed to make smaller modifications to the originally defended version, as long as the thesis reviewers agree to these.

Things would be different if publication is not part of the PhD requirements (maybe you have your certificates already in your hands). It's your work, and unless there are specific regulations to the contrary, I'd assume you can do whatever you like with it. In particular also publish a derived work as a book. In this case, I'd still recommend to state that it is based on your thesis (not your thesis), and discuss it with your PhD advisor.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Yes I have the certificate in my hands, and I did not find any regulations or requirements regarding publication at my home university. My supervisor gave me the same advice, to say it is based on the thesis. – J.R. Jul 17 '13 at 10:47

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