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Preliminary review

As from November 2020, LTH introduced preliminary reviews of doctoral theses prior to the public defences. 


All doctoral theses at LTH must be submitted for a preliminary review prior to the public defence. This page collects practical information that will serve as a complement to the defined guidelines for the preliminary review above.

The purpose of the preliminary review is for the reviewers, i.e. the faculty opponent and members of the examining committee, to give feedback whether the thesis is of sufficient quality to be presented at a public defence. A pass at a preliminary review is not a pre-approval of the thesis and does not guarantee a pass at a public defence.


The preliminary review takes place after the examining committee and opponent have been decided. The preliminary review must be completed six weeks before the date of the public defence, at the latest. The preliminary review is expected to take two weeks and hence the manuscript must be sent to the reviewer no later than eight weeks before the date of the public defence.

Distributing the manuscript for review

A manuscipt of the thesis is to be sent to the reviewers. The manuscript may be more developed than the version submitted for the registration of the public defence. For compilation theses, also include the papers in at least manuscript form.

The manuscript is distributed to the reviewers using the tool for registration of the public defence.

In the event of changes of faculty opponent or members of the examining committee late in the process, it is not compulsory for the new reviewer(s) to take part of the preliminary review.

Managing responses from the reviewers

The reviewers should respond whether the doctoral thesis is suitable for assessment or advise against a public defence. The responses are sent either by e-mail or by filling in the preliminary review form which is sent along with the thesis from the public defence system. Advice against public defence must be justified by the reviewer. If a reviewer does not communicate any result of the review, even after a reminder, it should be interpreted as a positive response.

If advice against a public defence is given, it should be considered as a recommendation to postpone the public defence. However, it is allowed to proceed with the public defence despite advice against it. The decision to proceed is made, after a dialogue between the doctoral student, the main supervisor and the head of department or study director. The Research Programmes leader (FU-ledare), who coordinates the department, must be informed if a reviewer advises against a public defence.

The system for registration of a public defence is used to manage the responses from the reviewers.

Further instructions

See the PDF ”Public defence manual” linked on this site for further instructions. 

Public defence system - Manual

This manual describes how to book, register and how to implement a preliminary review of the public defence.

Public defence system - Manual (PDF, 594 kB, new tab)

Preliminary review for members of the examining committee and faculty opponent

The following form is used by the reviewers for preliminary review.

Page Manager: | 2021-09-20