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I'm a PhD student in physics in a European country. I'm about to have my PhD defence in about 6 weeks. I have 3 published papers and one manuscript ready for submission. My thesis is also finished (more or less). About 6 months ago I found several errors in one of my published papers. I should have spotted these errors much earlier because they were pretty obvious, but it took around one year after the article was published until I spotted the errors. Luckily, I was able to fix these errors and we submitted a corrigendum to the article which has now been published. I also included the correct data in my thesis.

I'm very worried that this will affect the outcome of my defence. My committee and my opponent will read my thesis, but also my publications. They will probably spot all the errors in the original article and ask me why I didn't spot these mistakes earlier. Even though we have published a corrigendum, it still took a long time after publication before I found these errors. I'm very worried that they will not give me my degree because of this. That would be a nightmare for me. My supervisor said that it should be fine, but I'm still very worried.

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    No one can say but those who will be judging your work. But, I think that your advisor is giving good advice and will support you if there is any difficulty. People make mistakes. It is good that you corrected them yourself. – Buffy Apr 28 at 12:53
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    Welcome to Academia SE. Please have a look at these questions as to whether any answers your question. If not, please edit your question to briefly explain why and particularly share some details about your errors: 1) How severe were they? 2) Were they different incarnations of the same problem or completely distinct? – Wrzlprmft Apr 28 at 12:53
  • In your country, can publications influence the outcome of your defence? Sure, your committee and opponent might read them, but can they influence the outcome? – user2768 Apr 28 at 14:26
  • Yes, in my country you need to publish at least 3 articles. The articles will be appended at the end of the printed thesis. So the opponent and the committee will most definitely read them – Martensite Apr 28 at 16:12
  • I think you have overestimated how closely they will have read your work. Just have a “sound bite” response for if it happens to come up. Practice answering this question to a friend and see if your answer comes off as smart/thoughtful/genuine. – Dawn Apr 28 at 18:46

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