The degree of Doctor of Literature (LittD) is a higher doctorate and one of the University's most prestigious qualifications. It is awarded only to individuals who have achieved special excellence in their original contributions to linguistic, literary, social or historical knowledge. An intending candidate should be a graduate of the University of Otago or have had some formal association with the University. There is no requirement for coursework or a supervised piece of original research. Rather, a candidate must lodge a formal application, including three copies of the work upon which the application is based: typically, books published by major companies, papers published in peer reviewed serials and, if approved by the Senate, unpublished reports. Copies of the submitted work will be sent to subject experts of national and international eminence for examination. Conferral of the LittD indicates the high esteem in which the candidate's work is held by his or her peers in New Zealand and internationally.