Published: 07-06-2023 10:38 | Updated: 08-06-2023 07:25

Smoother e-nailing process reduces stress for doctoral students

At KI, doctoral theses are made public through e-nailing, which means that the thesis is published online in KI Open Archive no later than three weeks before the defence. Now, the e-nailing process has become smoother for you as a doctoral student. Lars Nordesjö from the library's publication support explains how.

Portrait of Lars Nordesjö.
Librarian Lars Nordesjö works with Publication Support at Karolinska Institutet University Library.

At the beginning of May, new procedures for e-nailing theses were introduced at Karolinska Institutet. Tell us more!

– The new procedure is that the printing company US-AB sends a PDF file of the introductory overview and printed copies of the thesis directly to KIB instead of the doctoral student having to do this. KIB also ensures that the PDF file is uploaded and becomes visible in the publication database KI Open Archive.

What are the improvements for doctoral students?

– Now the doctoral student does not have to bring his or her thesis to the library in order for e-nailing to take place. In the past, it was often a stress to deliver copies before the deadline for e-nailing. We are already noticing that it is less stressful in this final stage before the defence.

– Another change is that the doctoral students get nails and string for the physical nailing directly from the printing company when they pick up their books. Previously it was collected from KIB.

What do doctoral students still need to do themselves to have their thesis e-nailed?

– The doctoral student still needs to register their thesis in KI Open Archive, but the PDF file of the introductory overview is uploaded by KIB. Information about registration will be sent out by the dissertation committee and KIB when the time comes.

Comic strip. First part shows PhD student rushing to deliver thesis to the library. Ending illustrates KI's new process, where the printing company delivers the thesis for the student, while she relaxes.
Image by Karolinska Institutet University Library. Illustration contains modified graphics from

Did you know?

  • KI produces about 350 theses per year - the most of any higher education institution in Sweden!
  • The introductory overview is the summarising part of a thesis, which otherwise consists of a number of published articles or manuscripts of articles.
  • In order for everyone to be able to read the thesis in advance and ask questions at the public defence, it must be made public well in advance of the defence. This is called nailing. At KI, this is done through e-nailing, which means that the thesis is published online no later than three weeks before the defence.
  • Previously, theses were published through physical nailing, i.e. a printed copy of the thesis was nailed to a board in a public space. Most KI doctoral students still do this in connection with the e-nailing, but it is no longer mandatory. KIB has nail boards in both of its libraries, where most theses presented at KI hang.