Guidelines for the submission of doctoral theses

Guidelines drawn up by the University Library and the Doctoral Studies Office on the submission of doctoral theses on paper (in accordance with the UNE 50136:1997 standard) and in electronic format.

Submission of a printed copy of a thesis



Structure and sections


Doctoral theses have four main sections and include the following:

1. Front matter

Cover (optional)

  • The front cover must feature a title, a subtitle (if applicable) and the name of the autor. 

  • The spine must feature the title, the name of the author and the volume number

  • If the thesis has more than one volume, then the total number of volumes must be given.

    • Example: Vol.3 of 5 Vol.

Title page

  • The title page must feature the main details of the work:

    • Title and subtitle of the thesis. We recommend that you use as few words as possible and avoid the use of abbreviations, acronyms, codes, symbols and formulas that are not  commonly used.
    • Name of the author/: to make it easier to identify the author of the thesis, we recommend that you use a Unique Author Identifier .
    • Name and location of the institution where the defence will take place.
    • Name of the supervisor
    • Doctoral programme
    • Departament, School and/or Faculty
    • Location and date (month and year)
    • Qualification aspired to. Example: Thesis presented to obtain the qualification of Doctor from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
    • Total number of volumes of the work and number of the relevant volume. Example (Vol.3 of 5 Vol.)

Errata sheet

  • Errata, should they exist, must be indicated and corrected on one side of a page after the front cover, with the title "Erratum" or "Errata".


  • It enables the reader to rapidly identify the basic content of the thesis.

  • It must always be written in the language of the thesis and in English (in English it must be entitled Abstract). It should not contain more than 150 words.

  • It must include keywords (no more than 10) before or after the abstract.

Preface or prologue

  • Introductory text (before the main body text) that must include the reasons for which the research was carried out, the subject, the purpose and the aims, as well as the acknowledgments.

Table of contents

  • This contains the titles of the main sections of the thesis, the appendices and the page numbers where they can be found.

  • If the thesis has more than one volume, each of these should have its own table of contents, as well as one for the complete work.

List of figures and tables

  • The references for images, drawings, photographs, maps, illustrations, tables and so on must be given in separate lists.

List of abbreviations and symbols

  • if the thesis contains signs, unit symbols, abbreviations or acronyms, these must be listed in glossary form.

Glossary (if necessary)

  • Terms that require explanation must be defined in a glossary. The existence of a glossary does not mean that explanations may be omitted in the text the first time that the term appears


2. Body matter or main text of the work


  • You must relate the thesis to previous research on the subject (state of knowledge) and present the aim, methodology and hypothesis of the work

Chapters and sub-chapters

  • The main text must start on the front side of a page.

  • The text must be divided into numbered parts. chapters and/ or sections.

  • Each section must start on a new page.


  • A list of books and other publications that were consulted to produce the work, that is, the bibliographic references. For further information please consult the  bibliography section.

  • To generate bibliographies automatically, a regerence manager such as Refworks. can be used.

Quotations and citations

  • A quotation is an copy of some text found in another document and it is always palced between quotation marks  “  ”.

  • These quotations must have a correlative number between parenthesis (  ).

  • At the foot of the current page or on a page at the end of the document entitled "References", you must provide the full bibliographic citation of the quotation.


3. Appendices

  • The appendices provide more detailed information, more complete explanations of the methods and techniques summarised in the text, recommended reading, maps, plans, diagrams, data and any other complementary information to aid comprehension of the work.

  • The pagination must be correlative and must follow that of the main text.

  • Each appendix must be identified with the word Appendix, followed by a capital letter, beginning with the letter A. 

  • Each appendix must start on a new page.


4. Back matter: index/indices

  • A list of the significant words and the page numbers where they can be found. 

  •  If there is more than one volume, the volume number must be given before the page number.

  •   The types of index must be clearly indicated by the title, e.g. general, toponymic, etc.


 Writing the text

Some recommendations for good writing:

  • Avoid complex phrases: be brief and concise.
  • Write paragraphs of 4-8 lines or 30-80 words.
  • Use punctuation marks correctly.
  • Use a spelling and grammar checker.

The Language and Terminology Service of the UPC offers grants each year for the revision of doctoral theses written in Catalan:

Graphic design

Two fundamental typeface styles should be used:

  • Titles of significance ( chapters, sections):  use a sans serif typeface such as Arial or  Helvetica

  • Lesser titles (sub_sections): for these titles and the text in general, use a serif  typeface, such as Times. We suggest a range of sizes, distributed according to the level of the information:





Title of the work












Sub-section 1




Sub-section 2




Main text




Dedication, motto, index




Title of table or figure




Text of table or figure




Acknowledgments page










Margins, paragraphs and pagination
  • Space between lines: we recommend line spacing of 1.5 to make reading easier.

  • Margins for A4 paper: top 20 mm; bottom 25 mm; left 25 mm; right 20 mm.                                                                   

External submission of the printed document
  • You must use A4 paper, printed in portrait / vertical format  (210x297 mm), which is the general standard and also the default format in most word processors.

  • The thesis may be either spiral bound or bound with a hard cover.

  • If there is more than one volume, we recommend that you:

    • Highlight the essential information.
    • If you are providing complementary material in a different format, such as CDs, DVDs, plans and so on, this material must be identified as an appendix and, if possible, it is best to palce it in the back cover of the corresponding volume.


Submission of an electronic version of the thesis

When authors deposit their doctoral theses at the Doctoral Studies Office, the must also provide an electronic version (on CD-ROM/DVD) that is identical to the printed version. The following criteria must be taken into account::



  • PDF is preferred (but other formats such as Word, Open Office and HTML are also accepted).


  • On the outside of the CD/DVD, you must the name of the author of the thesis and the year of publication, or use the following cover caratula_TDX.odt

  • In the file containing the thesis, the first page must contain the name of the author, the title and the department, and/or identify the title of the thesis and the name of the author in the page header.


  • The file submitted, which will be incorporated into the TDX repository, must not have any type of technological protection.

Name and file size

  • If the size of the thesis file is larger than 10 MB, we recommend that you divide it into different files, keeping chapters together.


  • The CD/DVD must contain a Word file of the abstract of the thesis in Catalan or Spanish and English, and must be no more than 150 words long.


   Publication of doctoral theses in the TDX repository  


TDX is the cooperative repository that holds the fulls text of the doctoral theses submitted at Catalan and Spanish universities. The aim of TDX is to disseminate the results of university research around the world using the Internet, offering authors a tool that increases visibility and access to their work.

All of the theses stored in TDX must be the original versions deposited at the Doctoral Studies Office just before their defence. They can either be digitised copies of the printed versions or the digital versions that have been submitted to the Doctoral Studies Office since 2005.

  • Required documentation

    • Thesis dissemination contract:  it must be filled in and signed in duplicate.
    • Topics and keywords sheet: mark the subject of the doctoral thesis on the list of topics and write a maximum of 10 keywords to identify its content.

All of this documentation must be sent to:

Doctoral Studies Office

  • Digitisation of doctoral theses 

Those  authors who presented their doctoral theses before 2004 and would like to have them incorporated into the TDX repository can contact their library to request that the thesis be digitised.

Each year, the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Ctalonia (CBUC) offers grants for the digitisation of doctoral theses