As you may remember the Fachschaft Doktorat published an article about the guidelines for a thesis by publication (or cumulative dissertation) in the htu_info No 03/3013 . Now the guidelines have been modified (published in the bulletin of TU Wien ).
The modification concerns § 1 of the guidelines: Agreement on a cumulative dissertation. Effective from 1 October 2014 the cumulative dissertation has to be an agreement between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor AND has to be approved by the dean of studies. Until 30 September 2014 the cumulative dissertation was only an agreement between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor.
The most important reason for this modification is that for a lot of supervisors and the deans of studies the decision whether a dissertation is a monograph or a cumulative dissertation is a matter of quality management. The guidelines say that a cumulative dissertation should contain an least three peerreviewed articles published in an academic journal or a book with academic lectorate. The problem is, that it depends on the research field, number of authors and the journals how many articles are considered enough for the thesis. Due to the fact that the deans of studies are responsible for the quality management of the academic sector at an university, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs decided that they have to approve the intention to write a dissertation in the cumulative form. The decision to write the thesis as a monograph needs no approval by the dean of studies, because this has always been and still is the normal case at TU Wien.
The agreement between doctoral candidate and supervisor and the approval by the dean of studies can be an informal written agreement. There are no special forms for this. Please keep in mind that finally the dean of studies decides whether the doctoral candidate is allowed to write a cumulative dissertation or not. If you would like to write a cumulative dissertation, please reach an agreement with your supervisor and dean of studies early enough.
Richtlinie für kumulative Dissertationen: http://www.tuwien.ac.at/dle/universitaetskanzlei/richtlinien_und_verordnungen/