How do you usually name the chapter of a cumulative dissertation (PhD thesis) that describes the research? A cumulative dissertation basically has two part: One part includes (published) research papers and the other part is an explanatory chapter that motivates the research and summarizes the it.

So basically I thought of the following: 'Background chapter' 'Frame chapter' (that would be the direct translation of the German term

I'd apprciate every comment. Thanks in advance.

Thanks for the current answer. Are there any other suggestions. I'd be happy to hear any comment on that.

2 Answers 2


If your thesis advisor and you settled for a cumulative dissertation, s/he may have examples by previous PhD candidates in the shelf which meet the standards by your local department. Or offers a suggestion, like e.g., theory if the papers share a significant portion of background.


Some places, such as Heidelberg, simply call it a "Summary". Others indicate that the Summary must place the papers in their "Scientific Context". I would favor the latter. But a specific university might provide specific guidance on this, as might an advisor.

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