Common Qs About The Viva: Does Publishing Before The Viva Help?

I’ve been talking to PhD candidates about viva prep for over four years, and there are some questions that regularly come up at workshops. I’ve started answering some of these on this blog, but thought it might be useful to answer some of the most frequently asked questions all of this week. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please give me some questions for future posts!

Does publishing before the viva help?

I think that this question comes up a lot because some postgraduate researchers have been told that that is what academia is all about. It’s true that peer review of journal articles is a backbone of academic research, but PhDs are assessed on material presented in the thesis. The award of PhD is based on the merits of the research in the thesis, and by extension the talents and competence of the person who did it (the PhD candidate).

Given all of that, does publishing before the viva help?