Minimum national standards for the award of the doctoral degree in the field of Sociology, as set out in Annex No 25 - Commission for Sociology, Political and Administrative Sciences, of OMEN No 5110 of 17 September 2018

The following minimum standards must be met in order to be awarded a doctoral degree:

publication of at least two articles in journals indexed in international databases (BDI) or at least two book chapters in volumes published by a publisher in category A1 (publishers with international prestige) or A2 (publishers with recognized prestige), of Annex no. 25 to the Order of the Minister of National Education and Scientific Research no. 6.129/2016 on the approval of the minimum standards necessary and mandatory for the conferral of teaching titles in higher education, professional degrees in research and development, the quality of doctoral supervisor and the habilitation certificate

recognised international databases (BDI): ISI Web of Science, SCOPUS, EBSCO, ProQuest, CEEOL, Ulrich, ERIH, Index Copernicus, CSA, GESIS, IBSS, SAGE, OVID, ECOLIT, Psychlit, PubMEd, Elsevier, Springerlink, Persee, DOAJ, Jstor, SSRN, REPEC, Informa, Project MUSE and HEIN Online.

Guidelines - pdf version

This guideline complements the specific regulations of the Council for Doctoral Studies (CSUD) of the University of Oradea and those related to the regulation of doctoral activity in Romania, with the aim of contributing to the quality of doctoral theses elaborated within the Doctoral School of Sociology of the University of Oradea. The recommendations and summary rules included in this document are in accordance with the rules and customs of scientific writing applicable in the social sciences at this time.

The recommendations, norms, rules contained in this guideline are intended for PhD coordinators, members of the mentoring teams and specialist committees and, above all, PhD students. At the same time, the recommendations will be used by the members of the mentoring committees for the evaluation of doctoral theses.

Content of doctoral theses in sociology, political science, administrative sciences and communication sciences

The doctoral thesis is a scientific work and presents original results of the research work carried out by the doctoral student during the doctoral internship.

In the social sciences, it is compulsory to include in the doctoral thesis the results of the doctoral student's own empirical research.

It is also compulsory to include in the doctoral thesis the results of at least one empirical research carried out by the doctoral student during the doctoral thesis.

Regardless of the type of empirical research - fundamental, applied, etc. - the PhD thesis should contribute to the theoretical construction in the field or topic addressed. The literature review, interpretation of results and conclusions must explicitly refer to the theoretical issues of the topic/field addressed.

Strictly theoretical papers, whose content is based solely on the theoretical analysis and/or reflections of the author, are not eligible. It is also not allowed to assimilate the documentation or literature review part with the research itself (e.g. as a literature review).

Similarly, strictly empirical theses, which describe the results of research without at least a theoretical problem at its core and whose results do not contribute to the resolution of such a problem, are not admissible.

About PhD thesis authorship and academic integrity

The research and results included in doctoral theses and undertaken by the doctoral student must be strictly the result of the doctoral student's intellectual work, carried out under the coordination of the coordinating professor(s). The use of other authors' results can only be made with honest citation of the respective authors.

If the doctoral student has received a scholarship, grant, sponsorship, etc., which has the purpose of financially supporting the doctoral student's work, it is the student's duty to fulfil the obligations regarding the publicity of the support or the sponsor that are incumbent on him/her by the funding contract.

Research based on secondary analysis of data collected in other empirical studies - with a detailed description of both the authors of the research whose results are used and the methods, techniques and instruments used to collect data from those studies (sampling procedures, frequency and treatment of non-response, items, scales, validity and fidelity issues, etc.) - is permitted.

The following practices are prohibited and considered unethical in terms of the fairness of the doctoral thesis:

Plagiarism in any form and to any extent; for a definition of plagiarism please refer to the material prepared by the National Ethics Commission and available at
This includes self-plagiarism - the partial or complete inclusion in the doctoral thesis of texts published in academic journals or volumes by the doctoral candidate. Exempted from this rule of prohibition of self-plagiarism are texts published in this way and which bear the explicit mention of having been prepared during the doctoral internship, as well as texts, analyses, reports, presentations which have become public before the thesis was defended, but which have not been published in scientific journals or volumes of a scientific nature and which are clearly related to the doctoral research activity of the doctoral student. A doctoral candidate who uses in his/her doctoral thesis parts of text taken from his/her own publications must mention in a footnote the original reference.
The previous category (plagiarism) also includes the preparation of the thesis or parts of it by other authors, either clandestine (ghostwriters) or explicit, in the form of co-authorship. It is acceptable to use in doctoral theses texts from papers that the doctoral candidate has published during the doctoral thesis as a co-author, if the doctoral candidate is the first author or if it is mentioned in a note that the doctoral candidate had the main contribution to the writing of the thesis.
Presentation in the thesis only of results of research carried out prior to the doctoral period: this phrase refers to the presentation of results of previous research as results of doctoral research. This rule does not prohibit the use of results of research prior to the doctoral thesis for bibliographic documentation or even for empirical analysis, as in the case of secondary analysis, with honest mention of the time of the study, the person responsible for the research, the methodology and the owner of the data.
The presentation as the doctoral student's own of the results of research carried out by research teams, which are such that the results included in the thesis cannot be attributed solely to the doctoral student author, is permitted only with honest presentation of the contribution of the other members of the research team/collaborators. Where tools or databases are used in secondary analyses, it is the doctoral candidate's obligation to indicate the authors of these items used in their own doctoral research.
Before the conclusions, the thesis must include a section/subsection on how research ethics issues were addressed in the conduct of the research.

Writing the doctoral thesis

The dissertation consists of the following components, arranged in the paper in the following order: table of contents, introduction, literature review, description of methodology, presentation, interpretation and discussion of results, presentation of research limitations, conclusions, bibliography, appendices. To these may be added any sections provided for by the regulations of the partner Doctoral Schools if the doctoral thesis is prepared in cotutelle. These sections may be entitled differently and may be merged as subsections within larger sections.

The PhD thesis in the social sciences must be between 150-200 pages in length (12 to 1.5 line font, 2.5 cm margins) or 375,000-550,000 characters, including spaces, including tables, graphs, and figures. These sizes do not include appendices.

Doctoral theses must be proofread for grammar and technical writing prior to public presentation. Negligence in this respect may justify rejection of the thesis. If the paper contains more than 5 typing or grammatical errors/page it is automatically rejected.

The dissertation will include in an appendix all the material necessary to interpret the results of the dissertation from the point of view of scientific validity and accuracy, which could not be included in the other chapters of the dissertation: research instruments, transcripts of interviews or observation notes, maps, intermediate statistical tables. If the volume or format of these Appendices does not allow them to be attached to the text of the thesis, they must be made available to the Supervisory Committee and the members of the public presentation committee in electronic or printed format. The doctoral candidate must also publish the databases or specify where they can be accessed, if they are not subject to an embargo or prohibition arising from proprietary rights to the data.

The doctoral dissertation must use a relevant, up-to-date critical apparatus. The assessment of the quality of the critical apparatus of a doctoral thesis is primarily the responsibility of the coordinator, the supervising team and the committee at the public defence. In social science doctoral theses, Chicago-style (French style) or Harvard-style citation (one of the known variants is APA style) may be used. Given the specificities of social science publications, we strongly recommend using Harvard style. For correct and consistent management of bibliographical references, we recommend the use of a specialist program (such as EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, etc.).

The following rules should be observed when managing bibliographic references:
The minimum number of entries in the critical apparatus of a PhD thesis must be 75. Excessive citation must also be avoided by including in the text references that are unnecessary in the economy of the work.
All ideas, results, etc. which are not the product of the intellectual work of the thesis author must be accompanied by a reference to the author(s).
The citation style must be used consistently throughout the dissertation and it is unacceptable to combine several styles.
All references in the text must be matched in the bibliographic list and vice versa.
As good documentation is one of the mandatory components of a solid PhD thesis, references should be made to the original source as far as possible. Indirect references by apud are also not encouraged.