Doctorate: It is an academic degree of the highest level. Traditionally, the award of a doctorate implies recognition of the candidate as an equal by the university faculty under which he or she has studied. There are essentially three types of doctorates: research, first-professional (USA only), and honorary. Research doctorates are nearly always awarded in recognition of academic research that is of a publishable standard (even if not actually published) and represents at least a modest contribution to human knowledge. It is usually assessed by submission and defense of a doctoral thesis or dissertation, though in some cases a coherent body of published literature can be accepted instead. Honorary doctorates are awarded for a substantial contribution to a field but this need not be academic in character.