I am a physics student and I am presently writing my Master thesis.

My work has been a theoretical/numerical analysis of data produced by a simulation written by my advisor.

I would like to write explicitly somewhere that I wrote all the programs for the data analysis and performed the analysis itself, but the simulation code has been written by my advisor.

Where/how should I include this remark?

The thesis is structured as follows:

  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Appendices
  • Acknowledgements
  • Bibliography
  • Why do you want to explicitly say that you wrote/did the data analysis work yourself? Unless you state otherwise (e.g., by providing a citation), it's typically assumed that everything you report in your thesis was your own work. As for your supervisor's simulation code, unless there's a citation for it, or you intend to include a url to the code, I'd be inclined to just leave it as an acknowledgement
    – Ian_Fin
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:49
  • @Ian_Fin Yes, of course it is assumed. I just meant that I want the different contributions to be clear.
    – valerio
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:51
  • 2
    Short answer: wherever you first mention the data, you can mention how the data was produced.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


Usually that is included in the Preface, which comes in the beginning of the thesis. Some call it 'Declaration of Authorship' instead of 'Preface'. See for example these guidelines.


Unless otherwise stated, it is reasonable to expect the reader to assume that everything discussed in your thesis is your own work. Therefore I do not see a need to explicitly state your own involvement in data analysis.

Concerning your supervisor's code, there are a few options.

  • One thing to consider is whether the code has been published, or has previously been used in other published work. If this is the case then you should cite the publication(s) in the text.
  • Is the code available online? If so, I would likely provide a footnote providing the url. You could mention in the footnote that your supervisor is the author, but perhaps the code already contains a reference to its author.
  • If the answer to the previous two questions is no, then I would likely mention in the acknowledgements that the supervisor had authored the code.

A caveat

In some cases there's a distinction between writing code and creating the process that the code performs. For example, imagine I write a piece of code that performs a one sample t-test. I am the author of the code, but I'm not the creator of the t-test. I'm assuming that if your supervisor's code is implementing someone else's ideas then that person is being appropriately credited as well.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .