Nailing and distribution of your thesis

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The act of making a thesis public is called “nailing”. The purpose of nailing is to give people a chance to read your thesis in advance so that they might pose relevant questions during your public defence. Before this can be done, however, you will have to have it approved for nailing by a faculty representative.

“Må spikas”

You are to book an appointment with a faculty representative appointed by the Board of Doctoral Education to endorse your thesis  with the words “Må spikas” (may be nailed) in good time before your public defence. The faculty representative is to make sure that the printed thesis accords with the public defence application, and should be sent a copy of the forms 9 (D1-D6), 10 (FD:1-2) and, if amendments have been made, 12:1 and 12:2 in advance. Do not forget to take a printed copy of your thesis with you!

Faculty representatives

Faculty member Instructions (pdf in Swedish)

Statutory copies for the library

You are to deliver 7 statutory copies to the KI University Library in Solna or Flemingsberg (three copies of a licentiate dissertation), which will then distribute some of them to selected libraries around the country. The remaining copies are retained at KI for distribution by individual request for six months, after which you may collect any copies left over.


To make the research conducted at Karolinska Institutet even more accessible, the Board of Doctoral Education has decided that all doctoral theses and licentiate dissertations at KI are to be published/nailed electronically in KI Open Archive.

  • Once the Examination Board has reviewed and approved your defence application, you will receive an email to this effect from notifying you that it is time to e-publish your thesis and informing you how to proceed.
  • Follow the instructions in the email and upload your files.
  • You should receive a second email from within 24 hours informing you that you may now take your statutory copies to the University Library in Solna/Huddinge for nailing.

If you have any queries, write to or call 08-524 84 000.

Nail and cord

You will be handed the nail and cord required for nailing your thesis by the University Library in Solna or Flemingsberg (Information desk) on submitting your statutory copies. Remember to take the signed and endorsed (“Må spikas”) copy of your thesis with you.


You are required to nail your thesis in the KI University Library in Solna or Flemingsberg by no later than three weeks before your public defence. A hammer is available on loan from the library for this purpose. You must then make sure to remove your thesis by no later then a week after your public defence (immediately afterwards if you so wish).


On the same day as you nail your thesis, you are also to present a copy to your opponent, the Examination Board and the Dissertation Committee chairperson.

Press release

If you want a press release to be issued about your thesis, contact the Communications and Public Relations Office, whose job it is to notify the media of new research from KI.

More about the publicising of research

Questions about the public defence application

The Dissertation Committee


Administrative Officer - the Dissertation Committee

Gunilla Hovén Malinowski

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 860 22

Administrative Officer - the Dissertation Committee

Catherine Bollö

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 863 62


Doctoral education