If even after going through the process of preparing your dissertation for publication, it's not accepted, consider it part of the learning process, says University of Tennessee psychologist Gordon Burghardt, PhD, editor of Comparative Psychology. The important thing is not to lose heart and to listen to what the editors and reviewers are telling you, so you can get it right the next time. Of course, even if you write your dissertation with publication in mind, you will still need to make major revisions to trim content and appeal to a broader audience than your doctoral committee.
Pollard provides a step-by-step guide for preparing a dissertation for publication in The Internet Journal of Mental Health Vol. The first thing students need to realize, he says, is that editing your dissertation means more than cutting out enough words to fit a journal's page-count.
In contrast, scholarly articles are very exclusive, excluding everything that isn't germane to the core topic. Some institutions are turning away from this traditional model, allowing students to write several publishable articles that they then tie together with an overarching introduction and discussion, says VandenBos.
Even then, many students have a considerable amount of work to do to transform their dissertation into a journal article, notes Pollard, who suggests taking a multipronged approach:. Many journals have their own style and submission requirements, so picking a journal and writing to its requirements from the get-go will save time, Pollard advises. Through suggestions of mentors and peers, develop a list of potential journals, including some that may be outside your field but related in some way to your research.
Pare your list down based on recommendations from your dissertation committee, says VandenBos. Be realistic, but optimistic when choosing what level of journal to submit to, he says.
Prune and prioritize content. Create a list of bullet points of your major facts and findings and select the most important ones by asking yourself: Does the reader really need to know this?
Does the reader already know this? Is this so important that the reader needs to be reminded of it? Selecting core findings was the hardest part for Simon Fraser University psychologist Deborah Connolly, PhD, who wrote a plus-page "monster" for her dissertation at the University of Victoria. If you want, you can order them all from most to least important, but start by just focusing on the top five.
If you can't find just five, you may want to break your dissertation into several different articles, says Burghardt. If there's a small finding that's particularly timely, students could even pull out the essential data and methods and write up an extremely concise research brief for some publication as prestigious as Science or Nature, he says.
I typically give my co-authors maximum a month to send their feedback. The feedback is usually limited, so I might need just a morning to make a few changes, and then submit. Now that you have -hopefully- worked well with your thesis committee members, and implemented their advice to deliver the final draft of your dissertation, is there any part of your research that particularly benefited from their input? If you are planning to write a paper on this topic, consider inviting this committee member to be a co-author.
Writing with authors other than your supervisor will improve your writing, and is typically well-received in most fields. Publishing with different authors shows that you can work across research groups and universities and that you are ready to reach out into the world.
Some papers will roll out from your dissertation in just a few writing sessions. For other papers you'll be sweating and sighing as you try to force a piece of research into a stand-alone narrative.
Don't get mad at yourself or your work - just accept this fact as it is. And if the frustration becomes too much, head to the gym, grab some chocolate or do whatever typically relieves your stress. Have you published several papers from the work in your dissertation?
Editing your dissertation means more than cutting out enough words to fit a journal's page-count. "I can remember when I first thought about publishing my own dissertation," says Gary VandenBos, PhD, APA's publisher. "I was terrified.
Writing a dissertation without a publication is like going to the trouble of making a cake but not baking it. No one can taste your cake, no one can benefit from your hard work—of course, no one can criticize your work either. But without a publication, or two or three, the dissertation is not technically a total success.
Submitting Your Dissertation or Thesis to ProQuest There are a number of items to consider as you prepare to submit your graduate work. If your university does not participate in ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination program, you can still submit your work to us; use this form to request a publishing agreement. Publishing Your Dissertation Online: What’s a New Ph.D. to Do? Early this week, the American Historical Association (AHA) released a controversial statement that strongly advised graduate programs and libraries to adopt a policy allowing the embargoing of the publication of completed dissertations online for up to six years.
Your dissertation – why publish? Publishing a dissertation as an article in an academic journal can look fabulous on your CV, particularly if you would like an academic career. If you have produced important material from your research then it can be a great help to others if you publish it. This LibGuide will provide guidance on how to prepare and submit your dissertation for publication by ProQuest Dissertation Publishing.