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Nailing and distribution of your thesis

Please note: Temporary routines apply as a result of the spread of the new corona virus.

Read about the temporary routines here

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, it has to be approved for nailing by a faculty representative.

“Må spikas”

You are to book an appointment with a faculty representative appointed by the Committee for 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 3 statutory copies to the KI University Library in Solna or Flemingsberg (3 copies also of a licentiate dissertation).

Nailing of theses while the University Library (KIB) in Solna is closed due to renovation

During autumn 2019 and spring 2020, the university library in Solna will be closed due to renovation. A temporary pop-up library will instead open on Retzius väg 13B (Floor 3) on campus Solna. As a doctoral student, you are welcome to the pop-up library to nail your thesis, but you can also book an appointment for the nailing process. The bookable time slots are in the afternoon, after the pop-up library has closed for the day. The library in Flemingsberg is open as usual. Here you can nail your thesis at any time during regular opening hours.


To make research conducted at Karolinska Institutet even more accessible, the Committee for 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, you will receive an email from notifying you that it is time to e-publish your thesis and informing you on 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 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 send a copy to your opponent, the Examination Board and the Defence chairperson.

Press release

If you would like 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

The Dissertation Committee

Questions about the public defence application