• Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental Management
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Healthcare Admin
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Social work
  • Special Education
  • Sports Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Adult Education
  • Business Intelligence
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Technology
  • Homeland Security
  • Information Systems Security
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • Management Information Systems
  • Nonprofit Management
  • School Counseling
  • Academic Publishing Guide
  • Building a Graduate School Resume or CV
  • Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree
  • Expert Guide to Studying Abroad
  • FAQ: Online Master's Degrees
  • Grad School Guide Book
  • Graduate School for Students with Disabilities
  • Green Graduate Degrees
  • How to Be a Successful Grad Student
  • How to Choose the Right Graduate Program
  • How to Get a Master's Degree in an Unrelated Field
  • How to Transfer College Credits in Grad School
  • How to Write a Winning Personal Statement
  • Inside Graduate Admissions
  • Ivy League Grad Schools
  • Master's Degrees for Veterans
  • Master's Degree for Women
  • Mental Health in Grad School
  • Progressive LGBTQ Graduate Degrees
  • Should You Apply for a Graduate School Assistantship?
  • Surviving Grad School with a Family
  • Taking a Gap Year Before Grad School
  • Women in STEM Graduate Resources
  • Writing a Successful Statement of Purpose
  • Alternative Ways to Pay for School
  • The Best Part-Time Jobs During Grad School
  • Company Funded Graduate School
  • FAFSA For Grad Students
  • Financial Aid Resources
  • Graduate Student Loans
  • Paying for Your Master's Degree
  • Paying Off Student Loans
  • Paying for Your PhD
  • Fellowship Opportunities
  • LGBTQ Scholarships
  • MBA Scholarships
  • Scholarship Resources
  • Scholarships for Veterans
  • Scholarships for Women
  • Crushing the GRE Guidebook
  • GMAT Guidebook
  • Guide to the LSAT
  • MCAT Prep for Medical School
  • Study Guide: Exam Resources
  • TOEFL Prep for Non-Native English Speakers
  •       Resources       Publish or Perish: Graduate Students' Guide to Publishing

Publish or Perish: Graduate Students' Guide to Publishing

In addition to endless piles of reading, demanding expectations in the classroom, student teaching responsibilities, and the always-looming awareness that they need to research, write, and edit a high-quality dissertation before graduating, today’s Ph.D. students also commonly feel stress about another topic: publishing. As more prospective employers expect degree seekers to get their names in academic journals and conferences while still in school, many learners feel overwhelmed by the prospects of making the grade. The following guide answers some of their most pressing questions, provides guidance on the ins and outs of publishing while still in school, and offers expert advice from a professor who knows better than most what it takes to publish rather than perish.

Understanding Publishing in Graduate School

Getting published as a grad student can feel overwhelming at first, because there’s so much to learn about the process and expectations surrounding it. With a bit of research, however, students can familiarize themselves with the specific language surrounding publishing and make in-roads towards getting their first paper published.

What Does it Mean to Get Published?

Within the context of graduate school, publishing refers to getting essays, papers, and research findings published in one of the academic journals or related forms seen as a leader in the field. As jobs in academia continue to become more competitive, it isn’t enough for learners to simply do well in their coursework. The degree seeker who hopes to land an important post-doctoral fellowship or find a teaching position at a college or university must make themselves stand out in other ways.

When Should a Ph.D. Candidate Get Published?

Getting a paper published takes a lot of time and effort, and those students who wait until the final year or two of a doctoral program may fail to actually have any published materials by the time they graduate. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Graduate Connections program , getting a paper published – especially if it’s your first – can take up to three years. In addition to the fact that most journals publish quarterly, the panel review process typically takes a significant amount of time and those submitting for the first or second time usually need to make a large number of edits and complete rewrites in order to reach a publishable standard.

How to Get Published

In order to get published, students submit their work to the journal or conference of their choosing. They frequently also provide a cover letter outlining their research interests. Most journals put out generic calls for submissions once or twice a year, while some may ask for papers addressing specific topics that have a much shorter turnaround time. Grad students may find it intimidating to go up against more seasoned academics, but another option revolves around partnering with their dissertation supervisor or another professor with whom they work closely with to co-author a paper. This not only helps ensure the validity of their findings, but alerts the academic world know that this other, more recognized faculty member believes in the research the student is doing.

Who Should Get Published?

Learners most anxious to get published are those who see their future careers in teaching and research. Because the world of academia is relatively small when divided into individual subjects, it’s important for students who want to break into these ambitious arenas to make a name for themselves early on and create a curriculum vitae that captures the attention of hiring committees.

Where Should Students Get Published?

When deciding which publications to pursue, students should consider the research aims of each and their likelihood of getting published. Newer journals tend to take more submissions as they are still working on building up their roster of contributors. While less venerated than other publications, getting printed in these can help build up name recognition and make it easier to break into the top-tier publications over time.

In terms of where work is published, the majority of students look to academic journals when sending out cover letters and examples of their work. But other options exist as well. Presenting papers at conferences is a popular avenue, as are chapters in books. The following sections takes a more in-depth look at how and where to publish.

Realities & Challenges of Getting Published

Getting published, especially while still in grad school, takes tenacity, focus, and a thick skin. Those who continue working on their craft, presenting at conferences, collaborating with others, and not taking no for an answer, however, frequently find success. Some of the challenges students may encounter include:

Lack of time

It’s no secret that doctoral students have busy schedules that seldom allow for outside – or sometimes, even related – interests to take up much of their days. Because publishing is not a degree requirement, carving out the time needed to research, write, and edit the type of paper required for publishing can feel impossible. With this in mind, student should look for ways to multitask. If presenting at a conference, think about how that paper could be transformed into a journal article.

Lack of confidence

Studies have shown that mental stress and illness frequently increase in grad school as students feel intense pressure to stand out from their peers. These feelings are often intensified when considering publishing, as learners are going up against academics and researchers who have been working in the field far longer than them. It’s important to remember that each of those renowned individuals had to start somewhere.

Lack of funding

Completing the research needed for a competitive paper doesn’t only take time – it requires money. Whether traveling to archives or printing all the necessary documentation, funding for outside research can be scarce while in school. Some programs provide competitive grants for research travel to help offset these costs.

Intense competition

As discussed earlier, competition for publishing is fierce. Academic journals and conferences only have space for so many authors and trying to get noticed can feel like a losing battle. In addition to seeking out newer publications and co-authoring with more notable figures, consider taking part in symposiums at the school you attend to get your foot in the door. While research on the average number of rejections is lacking, don’t feel discouraged if it takes a long time to be chosen for publication.

Finding the right publisher

While getting your name in print within an academic journal you greatly admire is the ultimate goal, it may take some years for it to come to fruition. One of the biggest mistakes students make is applying to ill-suited publications. Look for journals with editorial board members whose names you recognize. If a professor knows one of them, don’t be afraid to ask if they can help get your paper in front of them.

Adequately addressing feedback

Getting a paper published often requires intense editing and even completely restructuring and rewriting what you conceived in the initial abstract. If an academic journal shows interest in your essay but suggests rewrites, pay close attention to their requests and try to work with an advisor to ensure you meet all the stated requirements.

What do Graduate Students Publish?

Academic journals may receive the lion’s share of discussion in the publishing world, but graduate students can actually choose from numerous outlets and paths for getting their work to a larger audience. Students should review the options listed below and think about which format might showcase their work best.

What & Where Description & Examples

The most well-known form of publishing, journal articles are researched essays that seek to fill a research gap, address an enduring question from a new angle/with a new methodology, and shed light on topics that further the field of research.

The most well-known form of publishing, journal articles appear in peer-reviewed periodical scholarship publications often devoted to a specific academic discipline. Examples include the Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Political Science Review, and the Annals of Internal Medicine.

These essays are written with the goal of being accepted to an academic conference where the writer can share their findings – most often through an oral presentation – and answer questions about the research through a Q&A session.

Conference papers don’t often appear in print initially, but they can frequently translate into journal articles. Individuals must submit abstracts or papers prior and a panel reviews them. Examples of academic conferences include those on intelligent medicine, intellectual history, and energy technologies.

While some individuals decide to publish books themselves, the most common form of book publishing in grad school is the anthology. Editors call for chapter submissions on specific topics, with each being written by single or multiple authors.

Anthologies seek to bring together different ways of thinking about a specific question in the given discipline. Some contributors may approach from an intellectual standpoint, while others may look at the topic from a technical or cultural framework. provides great examples of anthologies.

Dissertations, a requirement of all Ph.D. programs, require degree candidates to carry out the argument of their thesis using primary research that makes a compelling and unique case for their chosen topic.

Dissertations are a right of passage for any doctoral student and, in the vast majority of cases, the longest piece of writing they’ve done up until that point. Students interested in learning about dissertations should review the graduate departments of any schools they’re considering, as most provide lists of past and current dissertation topics. provides just one example. These can be published by university presses or reworked for academic journals or conferences.

Theses function in many of the same ways as dissertations, but are mostly required of students at the master’s level. However, far fewer master’s programs require theses as compared to Ph.D. programs.

Theses often provide students their first real chance to do extended research and writing. They range from 20,000 to 60,000 words and are especially valuable for learners planning to do a Ph.D. or enter a research-intensive field. Although less commonly published, some universities and journals may pick them up.

Less polished than an academic paper, research findings include the raw data collected from a study or investigation a student completed. These may include interviews, statistics, or other forms of primary research.

Research findings appeal to numerous audiences as they provide new information that can be analyzed using various lenses and perspectives. Many journals, think tanks, and research forums publish these findings to help provide readers a better sense of the data that informs academic papers.

Tips for Publishing

Despite the great amount of work required to publish, students who meet the challenges and persevere stand to position themselves favorably for future job opportunities. The following section addresses some of the most common questions about the process and alleviates general fears about how publishing (or not) reflects upon them.

How many papers should a Ph.D. student try to publish before graduating?

According to scholar-practitioner Dr. Deniece Dortch, no single answer exists. “There is no hard and fast rule as to the number of publications students should have prior to graduation,” she notes. “The reality is students in STEM disciplines and those who use quantitative methods are more likely to have publications prior to graduation because they often work in research teams and labs. This is not to say that qualitative scholars or those in other disciplines aren’t, but it’s a much more standardized practice in STEM for students to graduate with two or three publications. Personally, I had one sole-authored publication accepted prior to graduation, one first-authored piece, and one second-authored piece.”

How many journal articles is it possible to publish during a PhD?

“The answer varies and is determined by factors such as length of program, research team access, and faculty relationships,” says Dr. Dortch. “I’ve seen folks finish with as many as 10 publications, although this is extreme and doesn’t happen often.” She continues, “Imagine you are in a four-year program and you get your idea to write an article in year two. You submit that article in year three after getting approval, collecting data, analyzing it, and then writing your paper. Year three you submit that paper; it may be accepted in year four after months of revisions at the request of the editor. You finally have one published paper as you graduate.”

Are there PhD students who have no journal publications? Should they be worried about that?

“It depends on the type of employment the student is seeking upon graduation,” says Dr. Dortch, “Students applying to or wanting to work in institutions and organizations with the highest levels of research productivity who have no publications may want to consider post-doctoral positions so they have the time and space to work on increasing their publication record after graduation.” She continues, “Postdocs are a very common practice in many disciplines and are used as a way to gain additional training and expertise in research and teaching.”

Is it absolutely essential to have publications to apply for a PhD program?

In a word, no. Individuals working toward doctoral degrees have many reasons for doing so, not all of which require them to publish. Admissions panels also recognize that students focus their efforts on many different goals (e.g. jobs, internships, presenting at symposiums) throughout bachelor’s and master’s programs. As long as learners can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to scholarship, publishing is not an absolute requirement.

Does publish or perish begin before starting a PhD program?

It’s true that many students begin worrying about publishing before starting a Ph.D. program, but the reality is that they have ample time during and after completing a doctorate to make their mark on the world of scholarship. According to a recent article by Inside Higher Ed , some individuals in the academy now wonder if too much emphasis is being placed on grad students publishing. Learners unsure about this should speak to a trusted advisor or mentor to figure out when to focus on getting published.

What is the difference between a published article and a Ph.D. thesis?

While a Ph.D. thesis is required for satisfactory completion of a degree, a published article is not. A Ph.D. also takes a much longer form than a published article, averaging approximately 90,000 words. Academic journal entries, conversely, are usually between 4,000 and 7,000 words.

Should I first write my Ph.D. thesis or publish journal articles?

Though publishing at the doctoral level is increasingly seen as a requirement in the job market, it is not part of degree requirements. With this in mind, students should prioritize the research and writing of their thesis above all else. If they have the time and mental clarity needed to publish journal articles, this can be a secondary focus.

From the Expert

Dr. Deniece Dortch is a scholar-practitioner known for her commitment to diversity, social justice and activism. Dr. Dortch holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an Ed.M. in Higher & Postsecondary Education from Columbia University, an M.A. in Intercultural Service, Diversity Leadership & Management from the School for International Training and a B.A. in Spanish from Eastern Michigan University. Hailed a graduate school expert by NPR, she has published numerous articles on the experiences of historically underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students. She is the creator of the African American Doctoral Scholars Initiative at the University of Utah and currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Higher Education at The George Washington University .

Publishing as a student can feel intimidating. Why is this process important for learners to go through?

Long gone are the days of getting a good job by just having a solid dissertation or an award-winning thesis. Publishing your work while in school demonstrates a commitment to answering and understanding our world’s most complex problems. Further, institutions want to know that you have the capacity to publish. Now, publishing doesn’t mean you have to be first author or that you must publish sole-authored pieces only. Collaboration is also sufficient and often encouraged. The publishing process is intimidating for folks because it involves critique and, most often, rejection.

Receiving and giving critical feedback is part of the learning process and students should not shy away from it because it will only serve them well in the end as they learn to cope with disappointment and reward. But more importantly, there is no point spending months and years conducting research if you are just going to keep your findings to yourself. What you learn is meant to be shared.

What are some common mistakes these learners make when preparing their first papers?

Common mistakes that individuals make include not adhering to the guidelines outlined in the submission process. Examples of this can include ignoring formatting requirements (e.g. APA, MLA, etc.), going over the stated word count, inadequately proofreading, and not submitting a cover letter. This is probably the most important one.

What specific advice do you have for them in terms of finding the right outlet, preparing their work, and submitting to journals?

Students should have multiple individuals read over their work before submission. Writing is a process and even after it is submitted, it will need to be revised many more times before you will read it in print. It is part of the process. To find a good outlet for your work, pay attention to where other scholars are submitting their work. If you’re subject is aligned with theirs, you have a shot. Make a list of at least three outlets that fit your article. Also look out for special calls. A special call for submissions usually goes a lot faster than the regular submission process, so if you’re a student who is about to go on the job market, submit to those first. Also, the more competitive the academic, the longer the process, so keep that in mind. If you are rejected, just re-submit to the the next journal on your list.

In addition to publishing in journals, how else might a student go about getting recognition in their field while still in school?

Apply for all fellowships, grants, and awards that are specific to you and what you do. People in the academy love an award winner and they especially love people whose work has been recognized and/or funded by outside groups. A great way to increase a student’s visibility is to publish outside academic journals and publish in other media outlets. Also attend conferences in your field. Try to get on the program as a presenter or facilitator so that people in your field will start to know who you are and your research interests.

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

  • Harvard Library
  • Research Guides
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design - Frances Loeb Library

Write and Cite

  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Academic Integrity
  • Using Sources and AI
  • Academic Writing
  • From Research to Writing
  • GSD Writing Services
  • Grants and Fellowships
  • Reading, Notetaking, and Time Management

What is a thesis?

What is a dissertation, getting started, staying on track.

A thesis is a long-term project that you work on over the course of a semester or a year. Theses have a very wide variety of styles and content, so we encourage you to look at prior examples and work closely with faculty to develop yours. 

Before you begin, make sure that you are familiar with the dissertation genre—what it is for and what it looks like.

Generally speaking, a dissertation’s purpose is to prove that you have the expertise necessary to fulfill your doctoral-degree requirements by showing depth of knowledge and independent thinking.

The form of a dissertation may vary by discipline. Be sure to follow the specific guidelines of your department.

  • PhD This site directs candidates to the GSAS website about dissertations , with links to checklists,  planning, formatting, acknowledgments, submission, and publishing options. There is also a link to guidelines for the prospectus . Consult with your committee chair about specific requirements and standards for your dissertation.
  • DDES This document covers planning, patent filing, submission guidelines, publishing options, formatting guidelines, sample pages, citation guidelines, and a list of common errors to avoid. There is also a link to guidelines for the prospectus .
  • Scholarly Pursuits (GSAS) This searchable booklet from Harvard GSAS is a comprehensive guide to writing dissertations, dissertation-fellowship applications, academic journal articles, and academic job documents.

Finding an original topic can be a daunting and overwhelming task. These key concepts can help you focus and save time.

Finding a topic for your thesis or dissertation should start with a research question that excites or at least interests you. A rigorous, engaging, and original project will require continuous curiosity about your topic, about your own thoughts on the topic, and about what other scholars have said on your topic. Avoid getting boxed in by thinking you know what you want to say from the beginning; let your research and your writing evolve as you explore and fine-tune your focus through constant questioning and exploration.

Get a sense of the broader picture before you narrow your focus and attempt to frame an argument. Read, skim, and otherwise familiarize yourself with what other scholars have done in areas related to your proposed topic. Briefly explore topics tangentially related to yours to broaden your perspective and increase your chance of finding a unique angle to pursue.

Critical Reading

Critical reading is the opposite of passive reading. Instead of merely reading for information to absorb, critical reading also involves careful, sustained thinking about what you are reading. This process may include analyzing the author’s motives and assumptions, asking what might be left out of the discussion, considering what you agree with or disagree with in the author’s statements and why you agree or disagree, and exploring connections or contradictions between scholarly arguments. Here is a resource to help hone your critical-reading skills:

http://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/quicktips/criticalread.pdf

Conversation

Your thesis or dissertation will incorporate some ideas from other scholars whose work you researched. By reading critically and following your curiosity, you will develop your own ideas and claims, and these contributions are the core of your project. You will also acknowledge the work of scholars who came before you, and you must accurately and fairly attribute this work and define your place within the larger discussion. Make sure that you know how to quote, summarize, paraphrase ,  integrate , and cite secondary sources to avoid plagiarism and to show the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

A thesis is a long-term, large project that involves both research and writing; it is easy to lose focus, motivation, and momentum. Here are suggestions for achieving the result you want in the time you have.

The dissertation is probably the largest project you have undertaken, and a lot of the work is self-directed. The project can feel daunting or even overwhelming unless you break it down into manageable pieces and create a timeline for completing each smaller task. Be realistic but also challenge yourself, and be forgiving of yourself if you miss a self-imposed deadline here and there.

Your program will also have specific deadlines for different requirements, including establishing a committee, submitting a prospectus, completing the dissertation, defending the dissertation, and submitting your work. Consult your department’s website for these dates and incorporate them into the timeline for your work.

Accountability

Sometimes self-imposed deadlines do not feel urgent unless there is accountability to someone beyond yourself. To increase your motivation to complete tasks on schedule, set dates with your committee chair to submit pre-determined pieces of a chapter. You can also arrange with a fellow doctoral student to check on each other’s progress. Research and writing can be lonely, so it is also nice to share that journey with someone and support each other through the process.

Common Pitfalls

The most common challenges for students writing a dissertation are writer’s block, information-overload, and the compulsion to keep researching forever.

There are many strategies for avoiding writer’s block, such as freewriting, outlining, taking a walk, starting in the middle, and creating an ideal work environment for your particular learning style. Pay attention to what helps you and try different things until you find what works.

Efficient researching techniques are essential to avoiding information-overload. Here are a couple of resources about strategies for finding sources and quickly obtaining essential information from them.

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/writing_in_literature_detailed_discussion/reading_criticism.html

https://students.dartmouth.edu/academic-skills/learning-resources/learning-strategies/reading-techniques

Finally, remember that there is always more to learn and your dissertation cannot incorporate everything. Follow your curiosity but also set limits on the scope of your work. It helps to create a folder entitled “future projects” for topics and sources that interest you but that do not fit neatly into the dissertation. Also remember that future scholars will build off of your work, so leave something for them to do.

Browsing through theses and dissertations of the past can help to get a sense of your options and gain inspiration but be careful to use current guidelines and refer to your committee instead of relying on these examples for form or formatting.

DASH Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard.

HOLLIS Harvard Library’s catalog provides access to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global .

MIT Architecture has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

Rhode Island School of Design has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

University of South Florida has a list of their graduates’ dissertations and theses.

Harvard GSD has a list of projects, including theses and professors’ research.

  • << Previous: Reading, Notetaking, and Time Management
  • Next: Publishing >>
  • Last Updated: Jun 24, 2024 11:19 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/gsd/write

Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy

Open Access Theses and Dissertations

Thursday, April 18, 8:20am (EDT): Searching is temporarily offline. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to bring searching back up as quickly as possible.

Advanced research and scholarship. Theses and dissertations, free to find, free to use.

Advanced search options

Browse by author name (“Author name starts with…”).

Find ETDs with:

in
/  
in
/  
in
/  
in

Written in any language English Portuguese French German Spanish Swedish Lithuanian Dutch Italian Chinese Finnish Greek Published in any country US or Canada Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Bolivia Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Ireland Italy Japan Latvia Lithuania Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Peru Portugal Russia Singapore South Africa South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand UK US Earliest date Latest date

Sorted by Relevance Author University Date

Only ETDs with Creative Commons licenses

Results per page: 30 60 100

October 3, 2022. OATD is dealing with a number of misbehaved crawlers and robots, and is currently taking some steps to minimize their impact on the system. This may require you to click through some security screen. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

Recent Additions

See all of this week’s new additions.

academic publication phd thesis

About OATD.org

OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions . OATD currently indexes 6,948,050 theses and dissertations.

About OATD (our FAQ) .

Visual OATD.org

We’re happy to present several data visualizations to give an overall sense of the OATD.org collection by county of publication, language, and field of study.

You may also want to consult these sites to search for other theses:

  • Google Scholar
  • NDLTD , the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. NDLTD provides information and a search engine for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), whether they are open access or not.
  • Proquest Theses and Dissertations (PQDT), a database of dissertations and theses, whether they were published electronically or in print, and mostly available for purchase. Access to PQDT may be limited; consult your local library for access information.
  • Research Process
  • Manuscript Preparation
  • Manuscript Review
  • Publication Process
  • Publication Recognition
  • Language Editing Services
  • Translation Services

Elsevier QRcode Wechat

How to Write a Journal Article from a Thesis

  • 3 minute read
  • 220.2K views

Table of Contents

You are almost done with your PhD thesis and want to convert it into a journal article. Or, you’re initiating a career as a journal writer and intend to use your thesis as a starting point for an article. Whatever your situation, turning a thesis into a journal article is a logical step and a process that eventually every researcher completes. But…how to start?

The first thing to know about converting a thesis into a journal article is how different they are:

Thesis Characteristics:

  • Meets academic requirements
  • Reviewed by select committee members
  • Contains chapters
  • Lengthy, no word limits
  • Table of contents
  • Lengthy research of literature
  • IRB approval described in detail
  • Description and copies of tools used
  • All findings presented
  • Verb tenses may vary

Journal Article Characteristics:

  • Meets journalistic standards
  • Reviewed by a panel of “blind” reviewers
  • Word limits
  • Manuscript format
  • Succinct research of literature
  • IRB described in 1 to 3 sentences
  • Essential and succinct tool information
  • Selected findings presented
  • Verb tenses are fairly consistent

Converting your thesis to a journal article may be complex, but it’s not impossible.

A thesis is a document of academic nature, so it’s more detailed in content. A journal article, however, is shorter, highlighting key points in a more succinct format. Adapting a thesis for conversion into a journal article is a time-consuming and intricate process that can take you away from other important work. In that case, Elsevier’s Language Editing services may help you focus on important matters and provide a high-quality text for submission in no time at all.

If you are going to convert a thesis into a journal article, with or without professional help, here is a list of some of the steps you will likely have to go through:

1. Identify the best journal for your work

  • Ensure that your article is within the journal’s aim and scope. How to find the right journal? Find out more .
  • Check the journal’s recommended structure and reference style

2. Shorten the length of your thesis

  • Treat your thesis as a separate work
  • Paraphrase but do not distort meaning
  • Select and repurpose parts of your thesis

3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract

  • Shorten the introduction to 100-150 words, but maintain key topics to hold the reader’s attention.
  • Use the introduction and discussion as basis for the abstract

4. Modify the introduction

  • If your thesis has more than one research question or hypothesis, which are not all relevant for your paper, consider combining your research questions or focusing on just one for the article
  • Use previously published papers (at least three) from the target journal as examples

5. Tighten the methods section

  • Keep the discussion about your research approach short

6. Report main findings in the results

  • Expose your main findings in the results section in concise statements

7. Discussion must be clear and concise

  • Begin by providing an interpretation of your results: “What is it that we have learned from your research?”
  • Situate the findings to the literature
  • Discuss how your findings expand known or previous perspectives
  • Briefly present ways in which future studies can build upon your work and address limitations in your study

8. Limit the number of references

  • To choose the most relevant and recent
  • To format them correctly
  • Consider using a reference manager system (e.g. Mendeley ) to make your life easier

If you are not a proficient English speaker, the task of converting a thesis into a journal article might make it even more difficult. At Elsevier’s Language Editing services we ensure that your manuscript is written in correct scientific English before submission. Our professional proofers and editors check your manuscript in detail, taking your text as our own and with the guarantee of maximum text quality.

Language editing services by Elsevier Author Services:

How-to-choose-a-Journal-to-submit-an-article

How to Choose a Journal to Submit an Article

How to submit a paper

How to Submit a Paper for Publication in a Journal

You may also like.

how to write a cover letter

How to Write a Cover Letter for Your Manuscript? Here are the Tips and Examples

Publishing Biomedical Research

Publishing Biomedical Research: What Rules Should You Follow?

Writing an Effective Cover Letter for Manuscript Resubmission

Writing an Effective Cover Letter for Manuscript Resubmission

Journal Acceptance Rates

Journal Acceptance Rates: Everything You Need to Know

Research Data Storage and Retention

Research Data Storage and Retention

How to Find and Select Reviewers for Journal Articles

How to Find and Select Reviewers for Journal Articles

How to request the addition of an extra author before publication

How to Request the Addition of an Extra Author Before Publication

Paper Rejection Common Reasons

Paper Rejection: Common Reasons

Input your search keywords and press Enter.

American Psychological Association

Adapting a Dissertation or Thesis Into a Journal Article

Dissertations or theses are typically required of graduate students. Undergraduate students completing advanced research projects may also write senior theses or similar types of papers. Once completed, the dissertation or thesis is often submitted (with modifications) as a manuscript for publication in a scholarly journal. Thus, the dissertation or thesis often provides the foundation for a new researcher’s body of published work.

Writers will first want to determine whether the work in their dissertation or thesis merits publication. If it does, we then provide guidance on how to adapt a dissertation or thesis for submission to a journal.

Adapting a dissertation or thesis into a journal article is covered in the seventh edition APA Style Publication Manual in Section 12.1

academic publication phd thesis

Deciding to submit a dissertation or thesis for publication

When deciding whether to publish the work in your dissertation or thesis, first consider whether the findings tell a compelling story or answer important questions. Whereas dissertations and theses may present existing knowledge in conjunction with new work, published research should make a novel contribution to the literature. For example, some of your original research questions might be suitable for publication, and others may have been sufficiently addressed in the literature already. Likewise, some of your results may warrant additional experiments or analyses that could help answer the research questions more fully, and you may want to conduct these analyses before seeking publication.

You may also want to consider such factors as whether the current sample size provides sufficient power to adequately inform the analyses and whether additional analyses might clarify ambiguous findings. Consultation with colleagues can help evaluate the potential of the manuscript for publication as well as the selection of an appropriate journal to which to submit it. For information on selecting and prioritizing a journal (and tips for avoiding predatory or deceptive journals), see Sections 12.2 to 12.4 of the Publication Manual .

Adapting a dissertation or thesis for publication

Once a decision is made to convert your dissertation or thesis into a manuscript for submission to a journal, you will want to focus attention on adapting it for publication. By attending to brevity and focus, writing style, relevant literature review and data analyses, and appropriate interpretation of the results or findings, you can enhance the fit of your manuscript for journal publication. Editors and reviewers readily recognize an article that has been hastily converted; careful attention when reformatting the dissertation or thesis is likely to increase the manuscript’s potential for serious consideration and eventual publication.

There are several steps writers seeking to prepare their dissertation or thesis for publication can take beforehand:

  • Look at articles in the field and in relevant journals to see what structure and focus are appropriate for their work and how they are formatted.
  • Request and consider the input of advisors, colleagues, or other coauthors who contributed to the research on which the dissertation or thesis is based.
  • Review an article submitted to a journal alongside their advisor (with permission from the journal editor) or serve as a reviewer for a student competition to gain firsthand insight into how authors are evaluated when undergoing peer review.

The original research reported in a dissertation and thesis can then be reformatted for journal submission following one of two general strategies: the multiple-paper strategy or the conversion strategy.

Multiple-paper strategy

The quickest strategy for converting (or “flipping”) a dissertation or thesis into one or more publishable articles is to use a multiple-paper format when initially writing the dissertation or thesis. This involves structuring the dissertation or thesis used to fulfill the requirements for a degree as a series of shorter papers that are already formatted for journal submission (or close to it). These papers are usually each the length of a journal article, conceptually similar, and come from the same overarching project—but can stand alone as independent research reports. Consult your university’s editorial office to confirm that this is an approved format for your dissertation or thesis and to obtain the specific guidelines.

Conversion strategy

A second strategy is to reformat and convert a dissertation or thesis into a journal article after completing your dissertation or thesis defense to fit the scope and style of a journal article. This often requires adjustments to the following elements:

  • Length: Brevity is an important consideration for a manuscript to be considered for journal publication, particularly in the introduction and Discussion sections. Making a dissertation or thesis publication-ready often involves reducing a document of over 100 pages to one third of its original length. Shorten the overall paper by eliminating text within sections and/or eliminating entire sections. If the work examined several research questions, you may consider separating distinct research questions into individual papers; narrow the focus to a specific topic for each paper.
  • Abstract: The abstract may need to be condensed to meet the length requirements of the journal. Journal abstract requirements are usually more limited than college or university requirements. For instance, most APA journals limit the abstract length to 250 words.
  • Introduction section: One of the major challenges in reformatting a dissertation or thesis is paring down its comprehensive literature review to a more succinct one suitable for the introduction of a journal article. Limit the introductory text to material relating to the immediate context of your research questions and hypotheses. Eliminate extraneous content or sections that do not directly contribute to readers’ knowledge or understanding of the specific research question(s) or topic(s) under investigation. End with a clear description of the questions, aims, or hypotheses that informed your research.
  • Method section: Provide enough information to allow readers to understand how the data were collected and evaluated. Refer readers to previous works that informed the current study’s methods or to supplemental materials instead of providing full details of every step taken or the rationale behind them.
  • Results section: Be selective in choosing analyses for inclusion in the Results section and report only the most relevant ones. Although an unbiased approach is important to avoid omitting study data, reporting every analysis that may have been run for the dissertation or thesis often is not feasible, appropriate, or useful in the limited space of a journal article. Instead, ensure that the results directly contribute to answering your original research questions or hypotheses and exclude more ancillary analyses (or include them as supplemental materials). Be clear in identifying your primary, secondary, and any exploratory analyses.
  • Discussion section: Adjust the discussion according to the analyses and results you report. Check that your interpretation and application of the findings are appropriate and do not extrapolate beyond the data. A strong Discussion section notes area of consensus with and divergence from previous work, taking into account sample size and composition, effect size, limitations of measurement, and other specific considerations of the study.
  • References: Include only the most pertinent references (i.e., theoretically important or recent), especially in the introduction and literature review, rather than providing an exhaustive list. Ensure that the works you cite contribute to readers’ knowledge of the specific topic and to understanding and contextualizing your research. Citation of reviews and meta-analyses can guide interested readers to the broader literature while providing an economical way of referencing prior studies.
  • Tables and figures: Make sure that tables or figures are essential and do not reproduce content provided in the text.

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox , Microsoft Edge , Google Chrome , or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback .

We'd appreciate your feedback. Tell us what you think! opens in new tab/window

Eight top tips to help you turn your PhD thesis into an article

March 22, 2018 | 5 min read

By Laura Mesquita

academic publication phd thesis

Sharing insights from the latest Researcher Academy webinar

Many first-time authors use the research conducted as part of their PhD or even Master’s thesis as a basis for a journal article. While that’s a logical step, the requirements for a thesis differ from those of a paper in a peer reviewed academic journal in very significant ways. Ensuring that you are familiar with these can prove the difference between acceptance and rejection…

Elsevier’s  Researcher Academy opens in new tab/window  recently hosted a  live webinar opens in new tab/window  on turning your PhD thesis into an article. In this webinar, Dr. Adolfo Cuevas, Assistant Professor at Tufts University, Dr. Cecily Betz, Editor-in-Chief of the  Journal of Pediatric Nursing,  and Dawn Nahlen, Publisher at Elsevier, discussed eight golden tips to help you transform your thesis into a research paper for publication in a journal.

Apples and pears

Some of the differences between articles and theses are rather clear – consider word limits and the level of detail you should employ in your study. Others, however, are much less obvious. For instance, verbs in a thesis may be in the future “I will research”  and  in the past tense “I researched”. In journal articles, authors tend to describe a study that has already taken place and so tenses are much more consistent.

Some other key differences are listed below.

Top thesis list

Tip 1. Identify the appropriate target journal

Make sure to read the aims and scope of journals you are interested in to be as certain as you can be that your paper falls within the journal’s scope. If your research falls outside of the aims and scope, look for a more suitable home for your paper – as submitting it there would be a wasted effort. Check each journal’s recommended structure and reference style for articles on its website, typically found in the “guide for authors”, to ensure that your paper is not desk rejected. You might find it useful to look at  Elsevier’s Journal Finder tool opens in new tab/window  when trying to identify a fit for your article.

Tip 2. Shorten the length of your thesis

Journal articles are typically much shorter than theses (the precise word limit will normally be stated in the guide for authors), so be sure to use a tighter framework and a more compact style. This will mean:

Treating your thesis as a separate, new work

Paraphrasing where needed to express the same idea in different ways

Selecting parts of your thesis to repurpose (not all of it) and focusing on the main points you want the reader to understand

Tip 3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract

Writing an  abstract opens in new tab/window  can be difficult. Lucky for you, you already have a pretty good place to start. While abstracts in journal articles are usually much shorter (100-250 words) than the average thesis introduction, the two have one thing in common: both should contain all the key elements to command the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. Using your introduction and part of your discussion as a basis for your abstract can be a good starting point.

Tip 4. Modify the introduction

Your thesis may have more than one research question or hypothesis, which are not all relevant for your paper. Consider combining your research questions or focusing on a single one for the article. Unless otherwise suggested, try to keep the introduction short and to the point. It can also be very helpful to use previously published papers (at least three) from the target journal as examples – try to fit in with the usual “form” for articles in the journal.

Tip 5. Tighten the methods section

Often, there is no need for an overly descriptive methods section. While concerns surrounding reproducibility are becoming increasingly important, you may want to keep your methods section succinct and certainly remember your audience: your peers probably do not need every detail of tried and tested methods. A longer description of methods may be a requirement from your institute or funding body, and it is definitely warranted when innovative methods are deployed, but again: it’s a good idea to use papers previously published in the target journal as examples.

Tip 6. Report main findings in results

Be sure to present all the findings that are relevant to your research question(s) in the results section, before the discussion. If you conducted an exploratory analysis, be sure to provide at least a few concise statements on the findings.

Tip 7. Ensure discussion is clear and concise

A good starting point for a discussion section is an interpretation of your results: What is it that the reader will have learned from your research? Do not repeat your results in the discussion section, instead do the following:

Situate your findings in the literature

Discuss how your findings expand the perspective of the field

Briefly present ways in which future studies can build upon your work, and address limitations in your study

Tip 8. Limit number of references

Unlike your thesis, where you can cite those foundational yet potentially dated sources and anything else you may have learned from, journals do sometimes limit the number of citations. For this reason, it’s important to make sure:

To choose the most relevant (and recent) citations

That the citations are formatted correctly

Pro tip: consider using a reference manager system (e.g.  Mendeley opens in new tab/window ) to make your life easier. When you’re picking the most relevant citations or quickly reformatting them, you’ll be thankful you did.

The tips presented here are just a short preview of a truly enlightening 60 minutes with an Elsevier publisher, a thesis supervisor and author, and a journal’s Editor-in-Chief. Be sure to catch the  full webinar recording opens in new tab/window , entirely free, at the  Elsevier Researcher Academy opens in new tab/window .

Final tip of the day: following the event, in the  Researcher Academy Mendeley group opens in new tab/window , the webinar panelists answered the participants’ most burning questions from the Q&A – be sure to check it out!

Contributor

Portrait photo of Laura Mesquita

Laura Mesquita

Turning your PhD into a successful book

Requests regularly arrive in the Author Services inbox asking for advice about turning PhD research into journal articles or books. In this guide, first posted on the  LSE Impact Blog , Terry Clague, a Senior Publisher at Routledge gives his advice and insight into what publishers are looking for when they receive new book proposals.  

Research conducted as part of a PhD is valuable. It is valuable for the researcher, who has spent countless hours carrying out the work and it is valuable to those deciding whether the research should result in the award of a PhD qualification. But can the research be valuable to broader audiences? The simple answer is yes – at the heart of many successful academic books lies research conducted as part of a PhD. 

What options to consider when turning your PhD into a book

In the majority of cases, PhD research is published in the form of journal articles. In some cases, the research is published in a book. Between either end of that publishing spectrum there is an array of options to consider when it comes to disseminating PhD research: 

Converting the entire PhD thesis into a book  requires that your thesis covers a topic of interest to a large enough audience of scholars. Whereas a thesis starts with a question, a book begins with an answer and communicates its importance in the wider research landscape, tracing its evolution and impact. 

Using parts of a PhD thesis in a book  requires that ongoing and/or collaborative research is being conducted. A book (perhaps co-authored) should be greater than the sum of its constituent parts. 

Using an aspect of a PhD thesis in an edited book  on a broader topic ensures that the research fits with related research on a similar theme. A good edited book addresses the need to broaden the scope of PhD-based research via collaborating with a team of contributors. 

Splitting a PhD thesis into several articles  for journals hedges a PhD’s bets by staking smaller amounts of the work in different locations. What is gained by this hedging may be lost in the overall narrative of the PhD research as it is unbundled. 

What publishers look for when deciding whether to take you on

The role of the book publisher is to connect authors with readers. When it comes to disseminating research originating from a PhD, this relationship is essential. It is therefore useful to consider the perspective of the publisher when considering what publication route to take. In assessing a proposal for a research-level book, a good publisher will initially ask themselves three questions: 

Is the  scope  of the research broad enough to be of interest to our readers (scholars globally)? Example

Is the  quality  sufficiently high? 

Can the work be  developed  via feedback from experts as part of the book review process to address any weaknesses? 

Post information

Related posts, insights topics.

Vector illustration of a pink light bulb, one character sat on top with their arms in the air, and two characters either side pointing at the light bulb with their arm stretched out.

Beyond those core questions, potential authors should also consider significant and ongoing changes to the market for academic books, notably in reader behavior. Evolution in digital technology combined with a significant increase in the amounts of available research has led to changes in the way that books are produced, published and propagated. In this environment, the key word is “discoverability”. Connecting authors to readers requires that publishers facilitate discoverability of research via various routes to ensure that potential readers are able to find books with ease. Authors can aid this process by following a few basic rules of thumb: 

The main title of the book should position it clearly without reference to other bibliographic information, and should be as short as feasible 

Chapter titles should likewise, where possible, position themselves clearly 

Chapter synopses or abstracts can be used to enhance the metadata around books

Submitting a book proposal

It is useful to start a conversation with an acquisitions/commissioning editor at an early stage toward the end or shortly after the completion of a PhD. Discussions with supervisors and other colleagues are also very useful at this stage. The next natural step is to submit a book proposal which will be considered by the publisher, often involving a peer review process. Research-level books are often published as part of an established series – an awareness of existing books in such series can be useful when it comes to framing and developing a book proposal. 

Vector illustration of two characters either side of a laptop with their arms in the air. A lightbulb is rising from the laptop.

Preparing your final manuscript for book publication 

Following a review process, the publisher’s editorial board would give final approval to proceed, following which a book contract would be issued. Armed with publisher and review feedback, the author can then proceed to produce a full manuscript based on their PhD research. Each book is different, but there are numerous key aspects to consider when preparing a final manuscript for book publication. Above all, never lose sight of the audience:

A thesis is written for examiners, a book for scholars in general . Anything that is useful only for examiners (e.g. literature review, methodology discussion) should be cut or heavily amended/digested. 

Examiners will work through text regardless of the writing style, book readers will not . Therefore, it is likely that extensive re-writing will be required to retain and engage readers. 

Take a step back . Think about the overall narrative of the book and be prepared to rethink the structure – this can be liberating! 

Value the reader’s time . Streamline where possible – theses by their nature contain much repetition. Keep in mind the agreed length of the book. 

Contextualize . If research is of a narrow scope, add international or inter-disciplinary context, particularly within the introductory and concluding chapters.

Sharing your research  

Vector illustration showing a line of people handing each other discs with hearts, hashtags and speech bubbles, leading up to a smartphone with graphs showing on the display.

Finally, talking about your research and the process of working it into a book can be an essential ingredient to its success. This can be done with your immediate colleagues, at conferences and with a publisher. It can also be done online – with  social media a useful tool  to tap into wider networks as well as to test ideas out. 

Further Reading

European University Institute (Undated) –  From PhD to Book   Germano, W. (2005) –  From Dissertation to Book   Thomson, P. (2011) –  Can I Get a Book From My Thesis   Thomson, P. (2013) –  Turning Your PhD Into a Book   Veletsianos, G. (2016) –  Social Media in Academia , Routledge 

Where to next?

If you’ve found these tips helpful make sure you look at:

Our Insights newsletter – the latest news, tips, and resources delivered straight to your inbox.

Share this post on social

academic publication phd thesis

PhD thesis types: Monograph and collection of articles

Featured blog post image for PhD Thesis Types: Monograph and collection of articles

Starting PhD students often face a difficult choice. They have to decide whether they want to write their dissertation in the form of a monograph, or as a collection of journal articles. Some universities have strict requirements, not leaving a choice. But most offer both options. The decision is left to students and their supervisors and requires careful consideration.

Writing a thesis as a monograph

A monograph resembles an academic book. It typically has an introductory chapter, a methodology chapter, and a literature review chapter. Then, the empirical results of the PhD study are presented in several chapters of analysis. The final discussion and conclusion chapter wraps up the study.

In some countries, monographs are still the norm. In others, theses based on academic articles are becoming increasingly popular.

Advantages of writing a monograph

Disadvantages of writing a monograph, writing a thesis as a collection of articles (cumulative dissertation).

The specific regulations differ from university to university, so make sure that you check what applies to you!

Advantages of a cumulative dissertation

Disadvantages of a cumulative dissertation, checklist before deciding on a monograph or an article-based phd.

There is no right or wrong. Both monographs and theses based on a collection of articles have advantages and disadvantages.

Master Academia

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox, ten reasons to pursue an academic career, how to write a good research proposal (in 9 steps), related articles, sample emails to your thesis supervisor, how to prepare your viva opening speech, how to find a reputable academic dissertation editor, 5 inspiring phd thesis acknowledgement examples.

Slip to main content

Lex Academic®

  • Blog & Resources

From PhD to Monograph: How to Revise Your Thesis for Publication | Lex Academic Blog

25 November 2021

academic publication phd thesis

Most early career researchers in the arts and humanities are encouraged to see their PhD thesis as a monograph-in-waiting – and with good reason. In the increasingly competitive academic job market, a monograph, along with several peer-reviewed journal articles, is often a requirement for obtaining a permanent lectureship. In the UK, the Research Excellence Framework – the system that assesses the quality and impact of a department’s research and determines how much funding it will receive – allows a monograph to count as two submissions. Job applicants with a monograph therefore offer the hiring department a valuable opportunity to add to its tally of research outputs. A monograph is, then, vital for kick-starting an academic career. Turning a thesis into a monograph normally requires some work because the needs of a publisher are different from those of a PhD examiner. Here’s our how-to guide to revising your thesis for publication.

The difference between a thesis and a book boils down to this: ultimately, a book has to sell. Revisions to your thesis must therefore make your book accessible and appealing to a variety of readers. One way to improve accessibility is to reduce the size of your theoretical framework. Much of the theoretical material in your thesis is included to show your examiners that you’ve engaged with and understood it. In your book, this material can be given a lighter touch. It’s important to strike a balance here, though, so as not to give the impression that the book is under-researched, which would damage its credibility. A tip is to take a book on a similar topic – perhaps one you refer to frequently in your thesis – and note when theory is introduced and in how much detail. Think also about the needs of your audience. If yours will be the first book-length study of a topic, readers might well benefit from an opening chapter that outlines the theories most applicable to it. This is equally true if your book is as likely to appear on an undergraduate student’s reading list as it is in the bibliography of an established researcher. Keep in mind, too, that your readers may include experts in different fields who are reading your book for background. On the other hand, if your target reader is a specialist who is already well-versed in the theories you draw on, or if an overview of these theories exists in another recent publication, a theoretical chapter might be redundant. No matter who your reader is, a big part of the journey from thesis to monograph is de-theorising .

Another thing to think about when considering the needs of your audience is structure. Whereas your thesis is intended to be read from cover to cover, readers of your book may want to consult only the introduction or the chapter most relevant to them. Your introduction should provide a strong sense of the topic, scope, originality and main findings, as well as a chapter-by-chapter outline. In your analytical chapters, avoid excessive cross-references to other sections and ensure as far as possible that a particular theme, text, event, etc., is discussed in full in a single place, rather than scattered throughout the book.

Revising the role of theory and the structure is probably the most time-consuming and intellectually taxing part of converting a thesis into a book, but there are a few other elements that warrant attention. Let’s go back to the main difference between a thesis and a book: a book has to sell. For it to sell, it must first be found . As an author in the digital age, you should ensure that your book is discoverable via a search engine. Your thesis title may be long, specific and technical. Your book title will need to be shorter and contain keywords that readers are likely to put into a search engine. Think about the terms you searched for when you were first looking for literature on your thesis topic and, if possible, include some in your book title. Likewise, overly generic chapter titles like ‘Aims’, ‘Methods’ or ‘Discussion’ will need to be replaced with clear and descriptive alternatives. Your publisher will probably insist on this ­– they want your book to be discoverable, too! But it’s also in your interest because you want your academic peers to read and cite your work. A tip for increasing your book’s visibility is to choose a publisher with a book series your title fits into. Publishing in a series gives your book an identity; an automatic endorsement from the series editor and a greater likelihood that it’ll be displayed at a conference or other event.

The last issue you’ll need to address is any formatting requirements requested by the publisher, especially if the book is part of a series. It’s worth asking, however, if your publisher would accept an alternative style guide, as many are flexible as long as the style is applied consistently. This will reduce time and effort spent on formal elements and enable you to focus on ensuring that the content, structure and readability of your book are as good as possible.

Before you can implement your plan for revising your thesis for publication, you’ll first need to obtain a contract from a publisher . Many proposals for books based on theses are rejected because they fail to demonstrate that the author understands the differences between a thesis and a book. It’s therefore worth including a bullet-point list detailing how you intend to revise your thesis to make it more accessible, coherent and relevant to readers. You should also emphasise your book’s originality. List any competing publications and explain why your book is distinctive. If parts of the thesis have already been published, indicate whether you could theoretically reproduce them (and especially if the material is open access). Finally, stress the marketability of your book. What readership do you envisage for it? Which courses would it be suitable for? If you’re lucky, the publisher’s book proposal form will invite you to share this information. If the application is more open-ended, you’ll have to take the initiative.

Be notified each time we post a new blog article

Academic Publishing

logo_lap

From Thesis to Book: A Guide to Publishing Your PhD Research Publishing phd thesis as a book

Published thesis

From thesis to Published Book: Transforming Academic Research into a Wider Audience

Completing a PhD is a tremendous accomplishment that requires dedication, perseverance, and countless hours of research and writing. After years of hard work, it’s only natural to want to share your findings with the wider world. One option for doing so is to publish your thesis as a book.

Turning a thesis into a book can be a rewarding experience, as it allows you to reach a broader audience and share your research with people beyond the academic community. While the process of publishing a book can be daunting, it’s not as complicated as it may seem.

The first step is to determine whether your thesis is suitable for publication as a book. Consider the following questions:

  • Does your thesis address a topic that is of interest to a wider audience?
  • Can you present your research in a way that is accessible to non-specialists?
  • Are there existing books on your topic, and if so, what makes your research unique?

If you believe that your thesis has the potential to be published as a book, the next step is to identify potential publishers. Look for publishers that specialize in your subject area and have a strong track record of publishing academic works. Many publishers have guidelines on their websites that will give you an idea of what they are looking for in a book proposal.

When preparing your book proposal, keep in mind that you will need to present your research in a way that is engaging and accessible to a wider audience. This may require revising some parts of your thesis and presenting your findings in a way that is relevant to non-academic readers.

Once you have submitted your book proposal, be prepared for a long wait. The publishing process can take months or even years, as publishers carefully review proposals and decide which ones to pursue. If your proposal is accepted, you will work closely with an editor to revise and refine your manuscript.

Publishing your thesis as a book can be a rewarding experience that allows you to share your research with a wider audience. With careful planning and preparation, you can turn your thesis into a book that is engaging, accessible, and informative.

Ok, now that we discussed the “why”, let’s elaborate on the “How”.

Easy and fast ways to publish a PhD thesis as a book?

While publishing a PhD thesis as a book is not necessarily an easy or fast process, as was discussed before, there are some steps you can take to make it happen more efficiently.

One option is to self-publish your book . This means that you will need to take care of all aspects of the publishing process, from editing and formatting the manuscript to designing the cover and promoting the book. Self-publishing platforms / publishers such as LAP Publishing which may offer an easier and more accessible route to publishing your work.

Another option is to consider a publisher that specializes in publishing academic books. Some publishers may even offer expedited publication services for PhD theses that have already undergone rigorous review and editing.

It’s also worth considering publishing individual chapters of your thesis as articles in academic journals. This can help increase the visibility of your research and potentially lead to book deals with publishers who are interested in your work.

In any case, it’s important to research publishers and their submission guidelines, prepare a strong book proposal, and work closely with an editor to refine your manuscript. While there may not be a shortcut to publishing your PhD thesis as a book, taking these steps can help streamline the process and increase the likelihood of success.

where to publish

How expensive is it to publish a PhD thesis as a book?

The cost of publishing a PhD thesis as a book can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the publisher, the length of the book, the number of copies printed, the type of printing, and the marketing budget.

If you decide to self-publish your book, you will need to cover all the costs associated with publishing, such as editing, formatting, cover design, printing, and marketing. However, the cost of self-publishing can vary widely, depending on the services you require and the quality of the work. For example if you self publish your book in the LAP Publishing platform the fee is minimal compared to other publishers. Which allows the option to publish a PhD to a wide variety of authors. 

If you go through a traditional academic publisher, there may be some upfront costs associated with the publishing process. For example, some publishers may require an author to pay for the cost of indexing or for any images used in the book. However, most academic publishers will cover the majority of the costs, including editing, formatting, printing, and marketing.

It’s important to note that while the cost of publishing a PhD thesis as a book can be significant, there are also potential financial benefits. For example, some publishers offer royalties on book sales, which can generate income for the author over time. Additionally, publishing a book can enhance an author’s reputation in their field and potentially lead to additional speaking engagements or consulting opportunities.

Overall, the cost of publishing a PhD thesis as a book can vary widely depending on the publishing route you choose, the services required, and the marketing budget. It’s important to carefully research publishers and their costs before making a decision.

Are you a researcher or an author struggling to get your thesis published? Look no further than Lambert Academic Publishing! We offer an easy and affordable publishing process that allows you to share your research with a global audience. With no publishing contract required and professional editing and formatting services included, publishing your thesis with us has never been easier. Plus, our worldwide distribution network ensures that your work will be seen by a wider audience. Don’t let your research go unnoticed – publish your thesis with Lambert Academic Publishing today and take the first step towards sharing your findings with the world!

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Graduate Research Hub

  • Preparing my thesis

Incorporating your published work in your thesis

A streamlined procedure has been approved for obtaining co-author authorisation.  You now only need to provide a Declaration for publication incorporated in a thesis form for the inclusion of in progress or published material in the thesis, that is completed by your Principal Supervisor and the Coordinating Author.

Accepted statuses for publications

  • Unpublished material not submitted for publication
  • Submitted for publication to [publication name] on [date]
  • In revision following peer review by [publication name]
  • Accepted for publication by [publication name] on [date]
  • Published by [publication name] on [date]

You may include in progress or published material written during your enrolment upon approval from your advisory committee, as part of your thesis, by having either:

  • “included publications", in which your publications are included as components that are distinct from the rest of the thesis, in the format described below; or
  • “included material” that is drawn from your publications and combined with text that is otherwise written specifically for the thesis.

In this page we refer to both these kinds of inclusion of published work as “incorporated publications”; the first format, where the publications are included as distinct components, is also known as “thesis with publications”.

The  Graduate Research Training Policy (section 4.65) outlines what can be included in the thesis. Your thesis must include a literature review that clearly details the research questions and a general discussion that integrates the work and places the publications into the context of the research question.

You may have to supplement the incorporated publications with additional methods sections as they are often abbreviated in published articles. You are also encouraged to include any data and discussion that was omitted from the article as an addendum in the thesis. Where a publication is included as a distinct component, you are also encouraged to include a critical reflection on the work, which could, for example, acknowledge or address limitations or impacts of the work that have appeared since publication.

When submitting your thesis, you will be required to confirm that:

(a) the work in the incorporated publications is your own, and (b) that any co-authors give permission for the article to be included in the thesis.

To do this, you must complete the  Declaration for publication incorporated in a thesis form.  You will need to submit a completed form for each in progress or published work included in your thesis.

Your principal supervisor must sign the Declaration form for each publication.  Where there is more than one author of a publication, at least one co-author by agreement amongst the authors, should be nominated as the coordinating author (also known as corresponding author), as defined in the University’s Authorship Policy . The coordinating author is responsible for communication between the publishers and managing communication between the co-authors. The coordinating author must maintain records of any authorship agreement.  The coordinating author must also sign the Declaration form.

You must upload all completed Declaration forms as a single combined file to the Thesis Examination System when submitting your thesis for examination.  The signed forms should not be included in the thesis itself. Plan well ahead to obtain the required signatures to avoid delays to your examination.

Don’t forget to include your ORCID when submitting your work to publishers, conference organisers, etc.  This will help you to distinguish your research activities and outputs, and make sure you get credit for your work throughout your career.

The Preface

As detailed in the  Preparation of Graduate Research Theses rules , your preface should outline:

  • the publication status of any incorporated publications
  • your contribution to any incorporated publications
  • any work carried out in collaboration with others
  • editorial assistance received
  • parts of the work completed outside of your candidature.

There is no prescribed format for a preface; you may wish to include a written description or a table outlining the tasks performed by others and the proportion of the contribution as a percentage.

Usually this means you will have written the initial draft and you performed any subsequent editing in response to co-authors' and editors' reviews.

As specified in the Graduate Research Training Policy , your principal supervisor and coordinating author must declare that:

(a) you are the primary author of the included material, and

(b) you contributed more than 50% of the work towards the publication.

No. You need to have contributed more than 50 per cent for it to be included. You could, however, include this paper as an appendix.

Yes. It is understood that portions of the thesis that have been published or accepted for publication will have been through an editorial process. Such editorial changes should be explicitly acknowledged.

Refer to the Authorship page for information about the requirements and responsible practice.

Format of the thesis

When including complete publications, you should use the author accepted manuscripts of articles that have been accepted or published. This is the final draft as accepted by the publishers, including any changes based on referees’ suggestions before it has undergone copy-editing, typesetting and proofing. If you are certain you will not breach your agreement with your publisher, you may include the published version in your thesis.

If you are using your author accepted manuscript, while some journals request that the version you send them includes any figures or tables at the end of the submitted document, when you reproduce the article in your thesis you should place them where they logically flow within the text. It is also recommended that you use similar formatting (e.g. line spacing, font type and size) as the rest of the thesis.

You can view suggested formats for arranging the chapters of a thesis that includes publications as distinct components here . See also example theses in the University of Melbourne repository.

In most cases it is preferred that you include a separate literature survey.  Even with the literature reviews included in your publications you may find you still need to add further supplementary material if the publications do not directly address all the research questions you are trying to answer in your thesis.  Your supervisors and advisory committee are best able to advise you whether the literature reviews included in your incorporated publications will meet disciplinary expectations and satisfy your examiners that you: - Have clearly detailed your research question/s and how they integrate with the current literature - Have demonstrated sufficient familiarity with, and understanding and critical appraisal of the relevant literature.

No. The policy allows the thesis to be submitted with publications, it is not a thesis by publication. You must include a literature review that clearly details the research question, and a concluding general discussion that integrates the work and places it into the context of the research questions. You should also introduce each publication that is included as a distinct component, explaining its role in the work, and, where appropriate, provide a critical reflection on its contribution.

Yes, but you must cite it correctly and indicate in the preface the source of the information (eg. that the text on page(s) xx is from [name of publication], or that chapter yy is adapted from [name of publication]. In each case you should give its publication status and your contribution to the publication). It will assist your examiners if, at the start of each chapter that includes work drawn from a publication, there is a footnote explaining where the work came from and how it has been used in the chapter. You may wish to include the entire publication as an appendix so that your examiners can see where the material came from.

  • Theses which include publications in a “thesis with publications” style can typically be slightly shorter; for example the typical PhD length is 80,000 words, but a PhD including publications as distinct components has a typical length of 50,000-80,000 words).
  • While the writing style may be more concise, there is no difference in the expected volume and requirements of work presented in theses with publications. The examination criteria remain the same whether or not publications are incorporated. Your examiners are asked to consider your thesis on its merits as an independent piece of research. Refer to the information available for examiners .
  • Maximum limits apply to all theses.

If you are including the list of references as part of the publication they do not need to be repeated in the overall reference list/bibliography for the thesis.

Incorporated publications can be referenced via a footnote, but if references to them are included in the bibliography an examiner may be unsure as to whether the work was completed as part of the research.

No, but you may do so if you think that it will assist readers of your thesis.

It is up to you whether you update the publication style or not. Whatever you chose, you should acknowledge your choice in the Preface, stating the differences between the publication and thesis, due to the requirements of different publishers.

Yes. Revised and resubmitted theses are examined in their entirety and the inclusion of a new incorporated publication may strengthen your response to examiners.

In most cases you should include the latest version, up to the author accepted version and update the publication status in the preface. If your examiners request changes which conflict with the editorial or peer review advice you have since received from your publisher, you may choose to address this elsewhere in your thesis, or in your written response to the examiners’ reports.

Publication suitability

A work is suitable for inclusion if the research was conducted and the publication was in progress or published during your enrolment in your current degree. This includes:

You may need to supplement this with analysis of literature published between writing the article and submitting your thesis.

All methods need to be covered to a high degree of detail in your thesis.

  • literature reviews where you are the primary author .
  • systematic reviews of a research question as a results chapter.
  • a protocol paper involving novel method development.
  • material exploring key methodological issues .

No. Only work completed during your candidature can be included in the thesis. You can cite your earlier work just like you would any work that is relevant to your research. The work should be listed in the preface of your thesis.

Yes. You will need to clearly acknowledge in the preface that its status is ‘in progress’ or, that the paper has been published but not peer reviewed.

Completing the forms

Yes. You may wish to include the entire publication as an appendix so that your examiner can see where the information came from.

Yes. All sections of the form must be completed for any multi-authored material. The coordinating author is required to reassure that all co-authors have had an opportunity to agree to the inclusion of the material in the thesis and to the contribution declared on the form. The authorship agreement template is available here.

No. You can use the figure in your thesis without completing the form but you should acknowledge the origin of the figure in the preface and appropriately cite the publication in your thesis.

No. You should provide this evidence to your advisory committee when you are discussing the proposed format for your thesis. Your principal supervisor must sign the  Declaration for publication incorporated in a thesis form which confirms their agreement to the inclusion of any publication/s.  The coordinating author will need to sign the form for any multi-authored material.

You can use Adobe Acrobat's 'Combine Files' tool which will allow you to combine files of different filetypes into a PDF. Alternatively, you can open a PDF copy of a file and then use the 'Organise Pages' tool which will allow you to drag additional pages where you can then save it as a single file.

iThenticate report

You should run your whole thesis through iThenticate, including the chapters comprised wholly or partly of your published work.  You can then exclude the specific matching publication source/s that correspond to the publications you have included in your thesis in a “thesis with publications” style. This means that the thesis chapter or publication is reviewed against the other literature in the repository, but not matched to itself. You should only exclude matching sources that are articles which you have appropriately included.  You should outline and explain any filters and exclusions you applied in iThenticate in an accompanying declaration which you can also upload to TES.

You should not exclude publications from which you have included material (but not the complete publication), as the iThenticate report will then show where the material is present in the thesis, allowing your supervisors and Chair of Examiners to verify that it has been included appropriately.

Further information on the use of iThenticate can be found here: https://gateway.research.unimelb.edu.au/funding-contracts-and-ethics/ethics-and-integrity/research-integrity/ithenticate-text-matching-tool

The examination

The criteria for examination remain the same whether or not publications are incorporated. See the Graduate Research Training Policy for more information. You can also view the information for examiners here: https://gradresearch.unimelb.edu.au/staff#examiner-information .

If the publication status of your article changes between submission for examination and submission of your final thesis, it is appropriate to include the most recent version (up to the author-accepted version). You should also update the preface to reflect the new status. If you are submitting a list of corrections for approval and/or resubmitting for re-examination you should also note this in your index of changes.

Examples of theses with publications

The following are theses available openly or with University of Melbourne log-in through the University of Melbourne repository that include publications as distinct components in a “thesis with publications” style.

Al Zein, Eza (2019). Taskscape: Caring for Migrant Materials . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/235841

Arundel, Jonathan Paul (2015) The spatio-temporal distribution of honey bees and floral resources in Australia . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/59612

Bamford, Nicholas James (2016) Relationships between diet, obesity and insulin dysregulation in horses and ponies. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/148423

Bibb, Jennifer Louise (2016) Musical recovery: the role of group singing in regaining healthy relationships with music to promote mental health recovery. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/124271

Burfurd, Ingrid Ellen (2018) Beliefs and learning in the laboratory: essays in experimental economics . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/219180

Fan, Yi (2019) Quantification of mandibular morphological changes in 3D . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/225588

Kriesner, Peter (2017) Wolbachia fitness benefits and symbiont interactions in Drosophila . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/207959

Mody, Fallon (2019) Doctors down under: European medical migrants in Victoria (Australia), 1930-60 .   http://hdl.handle.net/11343/221550

Nencini, Sara (2018) Tackling bone pain at the source: identifying and exploring new therapeutic targets . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/216858

Pan, Xuan (2018) Graphene quantum dot based electronic devices . http://hdl.handle.net/11343/222013

Seibt, Susanne (2018) In-situ investigations of molecular self-assembly using microfluidics. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/214671

Smith, Merryn (2018) Non-structural carbohydrate storage and use in eucalypt trees of south-east Australia. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/221163

Uddin, Shihab (2019) Functional aspects of root and leaf development in dryland crop water use under elevated CO2 .   http://hdl.handle.net/11343/219849

Vahedi, Andisheh (2018) The work-family interface and child mental health: longitudinal associations via family functioning across childhood. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/217236

Al Zein, Eza (2019) Taskscape: Caring for Migrant Materials .  http://hdl.handle.net/11343/235841

Schlichthorst, Marisa (2020)   Engaging men in conversations about masculinity and suicide – An evaluation of the Man Up social media campaign .   http://hdl.handle.net/11343/265962

  • Resources for candidates
  • Orientation and induction
  • Mapping my degree
  • Principles for infrastructure support
  • Peer activities
  • Change my commencement date
  • Meeting expectations
  • Working with my supervisors
  • Responsible Research & Research Integrity
  • Guidelines for external supervisors
  • Pre-confirmation
  • Confirmation
  • At risk of unsatisfactory progress
  • Unsatisfactory progress
  • Add or drop coursework subjects
  • Apply for leave
  • Return from leave
  • Apply for Study Away
  • Return from Study Away
  • Change my study rate
  • Check my candidature status
  • Change my current supervisors
  • Request an evidence of enrolment or evidence of qualification statement
  • Change my project details
  • Change department
  • Transfer to another graduate research degree
  • Late submission
  • Withdraw from my research degree
  • Check the status of a request
  • Re-enrolment
  • Advice on requesting changes
  • Extension of candidature
  • Lapse candidature
  • How to cancel a form in my.unimelb
  • Resolving issues
  • Taking leave
  • About Study Away
  • Finishing on time
  • Accepting an offer for a joint PhD online
  • Tenured Study Spaces (TSS) Usage Guidelines
  • Tenured Study Spaces Procedures
  • Research skills
  • Academic writing and communication skills
  • Building professional and academic networks
  • Research internships
  • Commercialising my research
  • Supplementary PhD Programs
  • Writing my thesis
  • Examples of thesis and chapter formats when including publications
  • Thesis with creative works
  • Research Integrity in my Thesis
  • Graduate researchers and digital assistance tools
  • TES Statuses
  • Submitting my thesis
  • Depositing multiple components for your final thesis record
  • The Chancellor's Prize
  • TES Graduate Researcher FAQs
  • Career planning
  • Publishing my research
  • Getting support
  • Key graduate research contacts
  • Melbourne Research Experience Survey
  • Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)
  • Current Students

Advice for surviving your PhD dissertation

Tips for each step of researching, writing and refining a PhD dissertation

Surviving a PhD spotlight image

From initial research and writing to revision, defence and award, the journey to completing a PhD is often described as a marathon. Here, academics offer their insight on each step towards producing an original work of scholarship. Starting with choosing a supervisor and establishing healthy habits, the advice goes on to cover how to structure a PhD dissertation, establish a writing routine, write an abstract, prepare for a viva and beat procrastination when motivation flags.

academic publication phd thesis

.css-7qmtvr{overflow:hidden;max-height:108px;text-indent:0px;} Get a head start in the first year of your PhD

Andreï V. Kostyrka

University of Luxembourg

How to start writing your PhD thesis

Female hands with a pen and a blank page

Strategies for writing a dissertation: write before you’re ‘ready’

Monique Dufour

Virginia Tech

A woman takes notes from an open textbook

How to navigate the PhD thesis

Luis R. Rojas-Solórzano

Nazarbayev University

Man working on his PhD thesis

How to write a PhD thesis: a step-by-step guide

Kelly Louise Preece

University of Exeter

A pin stuck in a calendar on a date that reads: "Write your thesis!"

One thesis, two supports, three months

Mariam Shadan

Dubai Medical College for Girls

Female runner on a track

How to tackle the PhD dissertation

Dalhousie University

academic publication phd thesis

Get your PhD thesis beach ready

John Sinclair

Colorado State University Global

Finding supervision and support

Choosing the right PhD supervisor

Top tips for choosing a PhD Supervisor

Near East University

College students in the library

Buddy system: creating community through writing

Lena Steveker, Laura Spadon

Cropped image of hands of PhD candidate receiving their certificate

Individual consultations can help PhD students to complete their studies

Szabolcs Várbíró , Judit Réka Hetthéssy, Marianna Török

Semmelweis University

Advice from a doctoral student on overcoming common challenges while studying for your PhD

Transitioning to a PhD: common struggles and how to overcome them

Camille Bou

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Resilience concept

Protect your emotional well-being for a happier writing experience

Burcu Totur Dikmen

academic publication phd thesis

Why getting a PhD is like building a Lego duck

The University of Edinburgh

Advice for doing a PhD by publication

Books and laptop

Why get a PhD by publication (and other career tips)

James Derounian

University of Bolton

Asian scholar working at laptop, PhD by publication

Publication-based doctorate: is it for me?

Northumbria University

Hands writing on a laptop

Advice for supervising a PhD by published works

Alison Brettle

University of Salford

Light refracted through a prism

How to write an abstract for a research paper

Ankitha Shetty

Manipal Academy of Higher Education

academic publication phd thesis

Read this before you write your abstract

Michael Willis

How to find motivation, keep going and finish your thesis

Man procrastinating at laptop

Five ways to beat the procrastination monster

Glenn Fosbraey

University of Winchester

The magic motivation fairy does not exist for academics

Bad news, kids (and academics): the magical motivation fairy doesn’t exist

Hugh Kearns

Flinders University

Young man writing on a laptop

What is your academic writing temperament?

Rachael Cayley

University of Toronto

Black female scientist in a lab

How to develop a researcher mindset as a PhD student

Shaif Uddin Ahammed

University of the West of Scotland

academic publication phd thesis

Evidence synthesis: what every student (and researcher) should know

Alessio Bellato

University of Southampton

Preparing for the viva or defence of your PhD

A research student undergoing her viva exam

‘Augmenting’ the doctoral thesis in preparation for a viva

Edward Mills

A woman being interviewed in a panel

How to answer viva questions

Jenny Scoles

Figures with light bulb

Tips for writing a PhD dissertation: FAQs answered

Campus team

Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 183 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow , the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Q&A for work

Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search.

How do I cite my own PhD dissertation in a journal article?

I recently finished my PhD, and now I'm in the process of submitting a journal article on the work I did in the final few months of my degree. This work is an extension to some conference papers that I'd published earlier, and so I've cited them in my journal article stating how the submitted work differs from the published material. When I submitted the article to the journal, I mentioned in a cover letter that the same results/algorithms exist in my PhD dissertation.

After submission, I received a note from the journal to also cite my own PhD dissertation in the article, as there is a fair bit of similarity. The note said:

You can resubmit after you have referenced the original article, and explained in your new article how this new work builds on your previous publication(s).

Considering the work presented in the journal article is not really an extension, and is pretty much the same as in the dissertation, how do I properly reference it? In my experience, I have not seen papers where the authors cited their own dissertation in the text.

  • paper-submission

HighVoltage's user avatar

  • 1 Maybe a google scholar search for "my dissertation" will give an example, close to your situation, that you can follow. Include one or more general terms for your field if you want something more field-specific. –  Dave L Renfro Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 21:13
  • Wording "the original article" may hint on some confusion. Are you sure you made it completely clear that the work in question is your dissertation and not a published paper? I think some clarification may be necessary –  Yuriy S Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 16:09

5 Answers 5

In my experience (Theoretical Computer Science/Mathematical Logic) this issue is typically handled by having the sentence "This article is based on Chapter X of the author's PhD thesis \cite{myThesis}." as a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the introduction section.

Having just the plain sentence is consistent with the article having been edited only minimally to turn a chapter into a stand-alone article. If there are substantial differences, these can be pointed out in addition. Eg "We refer the reader to \cite{myThesis} for a much more detailed exposition of the proof."

Arno's user avatar

  • 3 In my field this sentence is usually part of the acknowledgement section. Not sure exactly why that is! –  Dawn Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 23:45
  • 5 In my experience, this sentence is often a footnote on the first page. It's also often slightly extended by appending "written under the supervision of [name of Ph.D adviser]." –  Andreas Blass Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 23:52
  • 1 Here's an example from one of the top economics journals of using the footnote on the first page: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.3982/ECTA6248 –  Jeff Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 18:54

If the dissertation is "published" then cite it like any other work. Otherwise cite it by name and authors and mark the citation as (doctoral dissertation, U of the Universe, unpublished).

It might only take a note or a short paragraph somewhere to explain how the present paper is related to the dissertation. "Builds" was just boilerplate. In fact, the note you sent to the editors might be enough if it is incorporated in a "prior work" paragraph or two.

"Published" is a nebulous term for dissertations. It can mean other than "by a recognized publisher". For example, some dissertations are "published" by the university and available via the Library or by ProQuest/University Microfilms.

But, failure to cite the ideas is self plagiarism. When in doubt, cite, even if you think it is over-citation.

Some dissertations are nothing more than a collection of previously published work along with a description of how it fits together as a whole. In such a case, just cite the individual papers as you would those of any researcher. Such dissertations are common in some fields and are also sometimes known as "stapled" distributions.

Buffy's user avatar

  • I disagree with the part about citing the dissertation as a published work. My dissertation was three working papers. I certainly was not expected to cite it when I published that work. I simply had a note in the acknowledgment. –  Dawn Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 21:24
  • For a "cumulative" dissertation as you describe, @Dawn, it is enough to cite the individual papers as you suggest. The dissertation isn't really a new thing, taken in itself. The OP here didn't describe it as such. And I assume you mean three "published" working papers. Edited to clarify –  Buffy Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 21:50
  • No, I am suggesting the reverse. The dissertation was working papers. When publishing, the convention is to write something in the acknowledgment like: “The present research was originally conducted as part of the author’s dissertation work at The University of Research.” –  Dawn Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 23:44
  • @Buffy Out of curiosity, is it common in the US that PhD theses are not published? At least in Germany (and I think in many parts of Europe), in general they must be published. Of course, traditionally this just meant handing in 30 or so copies to be deposited at some main libraries, and nowadays it means publishing it at the university library's website + 5 or so copies handed in. –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 20:51
  • @Buffy as an example: "PhD dissertations are published or otherwise made available for distribution as proof of the candidate’s achievement, echoing a traditional European idea that the candidate for a doctorate must make a contribution to knowledge and cannot have a degree for making a discovery that is kept secret. Because of this, restricting access to dissertations or delaying the release of the work (i.e. “embargoed”) only occurs in very exceptional cases ." gsas.harvard.edu/degree-requirements/dissertations/… –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 20:56
When I submitted the article to the journal, I mentioned in a cover letter that the same results/algorithms exist in my PhD dissertation.

The editor made a mistake. Very probably an automated plagiarism check was performed without viewing the cover letter or examining the type of document the plagiarism check located. The editor thought your dissertation was an article, which it obviously is not.

Are you sure this is a good quality journal? How do I identify predatory and low quality journals? With Beall's List gone, how can I tell if a journal is spam?

It is perfectly normal to cite your own dissertation the same way you would cite someone else's.

Once you have cited your dissertation and determined this is a good journal, you can write in your response letter that the submission is a portion of your dissertation and it is not previously published in any journal (assuming that's true.)

Anonymous Physicist's user avatar

  • If the dissertation is published (which can mean many things - basically just that everyone can go and look it up in some library), then it should be cited. –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 20:52
  • I agree that this is a mistake by the editor. Obviously you can use the text from your dissertation with a minor note or citation somewhere in the article. –  Dawn Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 21:33
  • @Dawn But isn't that precisely the point, that it should be cited properly? –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 22:15
  • @AnonymousPhysicist Hm, the editor might just have been sloppy or in a hurry. In the quote, it also says "build on previous publications " (not: articles). –  user151413 Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 0:55

Traditionally, PhD theses constitute a public proof of your abilities and therefore need to be published. (This is certainly true in the places in Europe I know, but a quick search revealed e.g. the same for Harvard , and I assume it is true for more US places as well).

The traditional way of this publication process would be to print a certain number of copies and hand them in at your library, which would then distribute it to some central libraries (national library etc.) which hold a copy of anything published in a country/region. There is no need to be able to order the thesis with a publisher, for it to have an ISBN number, etc.. (Semi-fun fact: When people started chasing German politician who plagiarized their PhD thesis, in some cases all copies were borrowed from those libraries and were never returned.)

These days, the publication process (at least in natural sciences) often consists in submitted an electronic version which is made available on the website of the university library. (It might be that a reduced number of printed copies still needs to be handed in.)

In either case, this constitutes a publication which can be cited. It should be cited like any other book, i.e.,

High Voltage, "On current and resistance", PhD thesis, Tesla University, Berlin, 2021,

or corresponding to the journal style. If it is published on the library website, it makes a lot of sense to add the URL or (if existent) DOI.

Of course, if the PhD thesis is not published, this is different, and it need not be cited. (In fact, one might argue it cannot be cited, as it is not a publication.) In any case, if you are unsure you should check with your university, most likely either the library or the graduation office.

user151413's user avatar

  • True for some US places, certainly. But there are no universal rules in the US. –  Buffy Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 21:11
  • @Buffy There are no universal rules e.g. in Germany either, in the sense of centrally imposed rules. Typically, each university makes their own rules for awarding PhD, and possibly departments can modify the rules. But I'm rather sure that all of those rules say that a PhD thesis must be published. I think this is simply the traditional perspective on a PhD thesis, see also the Harvard quote - that it is a publication, publicly demonstrating your qualification. –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 21:46
  • And, again, certainly true for Harvard. The US is not Germany. –  Buffy Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 22:01
  • @Buffy No doubt about that! I guess in the US pretty much anything can call themselves a university and award degrees. –  user151413 Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 22:14
  • So, chauvinism now? Please. The standards here are pretty high generally. –  Buffy Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 22:38

You could try pre-printing it and citing the preprint. Benefits are short time to `publication' (a couple of days, maximum, and only on a weekend) so very short delay to resubmission, moreover, the citation still counts for h-indices etc. I am sure that arXiv does theses as I have definitely read some there.

A proper citation could simply be a sentence like ``[type of result] [number or name if applicable] was developed in [citation], and is [restated/extended/some other word] here."

[citation] Your Name, Year, Your Dissertation Title, Dissertation from [your univ.]

This citation may be adapted if you do indeed arxiv it.

rage_man's user avatar

  • 2 Putting the dissertation on the arXiv does not help with the OPs issue at all. –  Arno Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 19:49
  • Not only was that not the sole content of my answer, but had you read more carefully, in combination with the rest of the answer it absolutely does aim to help -- here is a place to cite it from, and here is how to cite it, together following the conventions of normal self-citation practises in academic literature. –  rage_man Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 20:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for browse other questions tagged citations journals paper-submission ..

  • Featured on Meta
  • We spent a sprint addressing your requests — here’s how it went
  • Upcoming initiatives on Stack Overflow and across the Stack Exchange network...

Hot Network Questions

  • Any alternative to lockdown browser?
  • How is 11:22 four minutes slow if it's actually 11:29?
  • Is ElGamal homomorphic encryption using additive groups works only for Discrete Log ElGamal? What about EC ElGamal?
  • What caused the builder to change plans midstream on this 1905 library in New England?
  • Was I wrongfully denied boarding for a flight where the airliner lands to a gate that doesn't directly connect to the international part the airport?
  • Is "sinnate" a word? What does it mean?
  • How to fix the Regresshion fix in ubuntu 22 server
  • Why does Google Maps only rotate 90º but not 180º when I rotate my iPhone?
  • Simulate slow disks in KVM to see effect of LVM cache in test setup
  • Why do Electric Aircraft Seem to Eschew Photovoltaics?
  • How can I watch a timelapse movie on the Nikon D7100?
  • Does there exist a Dehn filling of an irreducible 3-manifold with toroidal boundaries which is still irreducible?
  • The reading of the Ethiopian eunuch conversion story without Acts 8:37
  • A manifold whose tangent space is a sum of line bundles and higher rank vector bundles
  • Two Sinus Multiply and Add
  • Just another basic puzzle
  • What is this rectangular SMD part with a stripe along one of the long edges?
  • How to create shard accounts to manage "unlimited" account size
  • Can a big mass defect make the mass negative?
  • Mathematical Realism and 0=1
  • Different letters, different grids
  • Class Echo Control Tower Procedures
  • Is the variance of the mean of a set of possibly dependent random variables less than the average of their respective variances?
  • Offline, multi-machine, 2-factor authentication information vault?

academic publication phd thesis

  • SpringerLink shop

Revising your thesis into a book

Springer will consider submissions containing material that has previously formed part of a PhD or other academic thesis including those that have been made publicly available according to the requirements of the institution awarding the qualification.

academic publication phd thesis

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements?

dissertation acknowledgements

The process of completing a dissertation is no easy task and definitely is not a solitary achievement, as many people contribute to the research project in one way or another. However, researchers often forget or overlook the acknowledgement section in their dissertations. This critical section is usually given less attention than it deserves, and this is unfortunate. While some may consider the acknowledgements section to be a mere formality, it is actually an essential piece of writing that requires careful consideration. In this article, we will discuss how to write an effective acknowledgements section, who to acknowledge, and tips to help PhD students write an effective dissertation acknowledgement section.   

Why is the acknowledgements section important ?   

The acknowledgements section is a way to show appreciation to those who have helped you complete your dissertation successfully. It is a way to recognize the efforts of those who have provided the guidance, support, resources, assistance and encouragement required throughout the often challenging dissertation process.    

Who must you include in your acknowledgements ?   

When writing the acknowledgements section, it is important to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to the research project. This should not be limited to those who have provided financial support or academic guidance but must also include family, friends, colleagues, advisors, mentors, research participants, and funding agencies.    

How to structure and write the acknowledgements section    

Start writing the acknowledgement section by mentioning supervisors, mentors, committees, and other professional contacts because it is customary, to begin with the formal and then move to the more personal part. Also, remember to briefly share how their contributions have been invaluable to your work. Use full names and titles to make it professional. The second part of the acknowledgement section is where you can include family and friends. While this part can be more casual, do ensure that you do not use sarcasm or language that might be seen as critical, even in jest.    

Tips for writing an effective acknowledgements section    

Start early.

It is essential to start working on the acknowledgements section early in the dissertation process. This will give you ample time to compile a comprehensive list of everyone who has contributed to the research project. Starting early will also allow you to write the acknowledgements section more thoughtfully and reflectively.   

Be Specific

When writing the acknowledgements section, be specific about the contributions of each individual. This can include particular feedback, resources, or support that they provided. By being specific, you are showing that you have taken the time to reflect on the contributions of each individual.   

Use a Professional Tone

While the acknowledgements section can be a heartfelt thank you, it should still maintain a professional tone. Avoid using overly casual language or humour that may detract from the seriousness of the research project.   

Consider the Reader

When writing the acknowledgements section, consider the reader. This section should be accessible to both academic and non-academic readers. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be difficult for non-academic readers to understand.   

Keep it Concise

While it is important to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to the research project, the acknowledgements section should also be concise. Avoid listing every single person who has contributed. Instead, focus on the individuals who have made the most significant contributions.   

Finally, be gracious in your acknowledgements section. Remember that everyone who has contributed to the research project has done so out of a desire to help and support you. By expressing gratitude and appreciation, you are showing that you recognize and value their contributions.   

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed.  

Experience the future of academic writing – Sign up to Paperpal and start writing for free!  

Related Reads:

  • What are Journal Guidelines on Using Generative AI Tools
  • How to Write a High-Quality Conference Paper
  • How to Write the First Draft of a Research Paper with Paperpal? 
  • What is the Importance of a Concept Paper and How to Write It 

How to Structure an Essay

How to write an abstract in research papers (with examples), you may also like, maintaining academic integrity with paperpal’s generative ai writing..., how to write an abstract in research papers..., leveraging generative ai to enhance student understanding of..., how to write a good hook for essays,..., addressing peer review feedback and mastering manuscript revisions..., how paperpal can boost comprehension and foster interdisciplinary..., what is the importance of a concept paper..., how to write the first draft of a..., mla works cited page: format, template & examples.

Unlocking PhD Success: Quantitative Data Analysis Strategies for Your Dissertation Journey Dissertation in 90 Days

Are you on the path to earning your PhD and seeking actionable strategies to accelerate your dissertation journey? Look no further! Join us on the “Dissertation Mastery: PhD Success, Research Strategies, and Academic Writing Excellence in 90 Days” podcast, your one-stop destination for expert insights, practical tips, and motivational guidance. Hosted by the renowned academic mentor from WritersER, this podcast is tailored for ambitious doctoral candidates keen on mastering the art of research, academic writing, and dissertation crafting. Dive deep into the world of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, explore the nuances of data analysis, and unlock the secrets to academic writing excellence. Each episode unveils a potent strategy, offering illustrative examples, engaging stories, and inviting listeners to ponder and implement these golden nuggets in their own research journeys. Whether you are grappling with pilot testing, considering the dynamics of regular audits, or seeking constructive feedback to shape a robust research project, we've got you covered. Tune in to glean from the wealth of knowledge that promises not just to guide you in crafting a remarkable dissertation but also preparing you to emerge as a future leader in your academic field. Harness the power of expert advice, embrace the vibrant community of like-minded scholars, and set yourself on a path to academic glory with the Dissertation Mastery podcast. Subscribe now to embark on a transformative journey towards PhD success and beyond. It’s time to turn your doctoral dreams into reality with dissertation strategies that work - all in just 90 days!

  • Episode Website
  • More Episodes

IMAGES

  1. (PDF) PhD thesis

    academic publication phd thesis

  2. (PDF) PhD Thesis

    academic publication phd thesis

  3. (PDF) PhD thesis

    academic publication phd thesis

  4. (PDF) The PhD thesis

    academic publication phd thesis

  5. (PDF) Phd Thesis

    academic publication phd thesis

  6. (PDF) PhD THESIS

    academic publication phd thesis

VIDEO

  1. PhD thesis & Dissertation Structure ll MS, PhD

  2. HOW TO TURN YOUR THESIS INTO A JOURNAL PAPER IN 30 MINUTES

  3. Why Scientific Contributions are more important when you’re studying a PhD

  4. GET PhD Thesis and Dissertation Writing Services #phd #thesiswritingservices #phdthesis

  5. Improve Your Academic Writing with ManuscriptEdit

  6. Thesis and Publication Strategies with and without AI 2024

COMMENTS

  1. Ph.D Students' Guide to Publishing: Expert Advice & Resources

    While a Ph.D. thesis is required for satisfactory completion of a degree, a published article is not. A Ph.D. also takes a much longer form than a published article, averaging approximately 90,000 words. Academic journal entries, conversely, are usually between 4,000 and 7,000 words.

  2. Research Guides: Write and Cite: Theses and Dissertations

    A thesis is a long-term, large project that involves both research and writing; it is easy to lose focus, motivation, and momentum. Here are suggestions for achieving the result you want in the time you have. The dissertation is probably the largest project you have undertaken, and a lot of the work is self-directed.

  3. Know How to Structure Your PhD Thesis

    In your academic career, few projects are more important than your PhD thesis. Unfortunately, many university professors and advisors assume that their students know how to structure a PhD. Books have literally been written on the subject, but there's no need to read a book in order to know about PhD thesis paper format and structure.

  4. Dissertations

    Over the last 80 years, ProQuest has built the world's most comprehensive and renowned dissertations program. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global), continues to grow its repository of 5 million graduate works each year, thanks to the continued contribution from the world's universities, creating an ever-growing resource of emerging research to fuel innovation and new insights.

  5. OATD

    You may also want to consult these sites to search for other theses: Google Scholar; NDLTD, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.NDLTD provides information and a search engine for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), whether they are open access or not. Proquest Theses and Dissertations (PQDT), a database of dissertations and theses, whether they were published ...

  6. How to Write a Journal Article from a Thesis

    2. Shorten the length of your thesis. Treat your thesis as a separate work. Paraphrase but do not distort meaning. Select and repurpose parts of your thesis. 3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract. Shorten the introduction to 100-150 words, but maintain key topics to hold the reader's attention.

  7. PDF PUBLISHING YOUR GRADUATE WORK

    STEP 3: Read and understand the Licensing and Rights sections of the publishing agreement. This agreement grants ProQuest/UMI the right to reproduce and disseminate your work according to the choices you make. This is a non-exclusive right; you may grant others the right to use your dissertation or thesis as well.

  8. Adapting a Dissertation or Thesis Into a Journal Article

    Making a dissertation or thesis publication-ready often involves reducing a document of over 100 pages to one third of its original length. Shorten the overall paper by eliminating text within sections and/or eliminating entire sections. If the work examined several research questions, you may consider separating distinct research questions ...

  9. PDF A Practical Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Writing

    A Practical Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Writing. By Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith. This book first published 2019. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, UK. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

  10. Extracting a journal article from your thesis

    Planning the article. A single paper in a journal should contain a central message that you want to get across. This could be a novel aspect of methodology that you have used in your PhD study, a new theory, or an interesting modification you have made to theory or a novel set of findings. Decide what this central focus is.

  11. PDF PhD THESIS WITH PUBLICATIONS

    Traditionally, only once the PhD thesis is completed, an attempt is made to carve out one or more research articles, which are then submitted to academic journals. In a PhD with Publications, the PhD student authors or co-authors multiple articles, which are then joined together to constitute the PhD thesis.

  12. Eight top tips to help you turn your PhD thesis into an article

    Tip 2. Shorten the length of your thesis. Journal articles are typically much shorter than theses (the precise word limit will normally be stated in the guide for authors), so be sure to use a tighter framework and a more compact style. This will mean: Tip 3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract.

  13. Turning your PhD into a successful book

    Between either end of that publishing spectrum there is an array of options to consider when it comes to disseminating PhD research: Converting the entire PhD thesis into a book requires that your thesis covers a topic of interest to a large enough audience of scholars. Whereas a thesis starts with a question, a book begins with an answer and ...

  14. PhD thesis types: Monograph and collection of articles

    A PhD as a monograph does not automatically lead to journal publications. Journal publications are key indicators for academic careers. Writing good, publishable articles for high-ranking academic journals is a skill. You are not developing these skills as part of your thesis writing process.

  15. From PhD to Monograph: How to Revise Your Thesis for Publication

    A monograph is, then, vital for kick-starting an academic career. Turning a thesis into a monograph normally requires some work because the needs of a publisher are different from those of a PhD examiner. Here's our how-to guide to revising your thesis for publication. The difference between a thesis and a book boils down to this: ultimately ...

  16. Turning Your PhD Thesis Into a Book: A Publisher's Top Tips

    N.B. these points are from the Routledge guidelines, for other publishers, check their websites! 1. A Statement of Aims. Briefly and concisely state the main themes and objectives of the proposed book: 1-2. Provide a concise (150-200 words) and compelling abstract for the book. 2.

  17. From Thesis to Book: A Guide to Publishing Your PhD Research Publishing

    The cost of publishing a PhD thesis as a book can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the publisher, the length of the book, the number of copies printed, the type of printing, and the marketing budget. If you decide to self-publish your book, you will need to cover all the costs associated with publishing, such as editing ...

  18. PDF Publishing Your Doctoral Thesis

    and publish their PhD thesis. The publication of a first monograph can strongly contribute to the success of a junior academic's career: it enables the author's work to become more widely read and cited; it can strengthen the author's reputation and it can help a candidate when seeking a job and/or applying for grants and funding.

  19. Incorporating your published work in your thesis

    Theses which include publications in a "thesis with publications" style can typically be slightly shorter; for example the typical PhD length is 80,000 words, but a PhD including publications as distinct components has a typical length of 50,000-80,000 words).

  20. phd

    19. In general, this is allowed, even encouraged. The answer depends on what kind of book you are publishing. If it is the regular dissertation, then you can publish in journals. If it is a properly published book by Springer or equivalent, then I doubt that you can publish again. Share. Improve this answer.

  21. Advice for surviving your PhD dissertation

    Here, academics offer their insight on each step towards producing an original work of scholarship. Starting with choosing a supervisor and establishing healthy habits, the advice goes on to cover how to structure a PhD dissertation, establish a writing routine, write an abstract, prepare for a viva and beat procrastination when motivation flags.

  22. The basics of converting your PhD thesis into journal articles

    Apart from being the easiest and most logical next step toward your first publication, there are quite a few benefits of creating journal papers from your completed thesis. These include: 1. Career enhancement: Conducting original research takes up a long time. Converting content from your thesis to a journal article is relatively quicker and ...

  23. How do I cite my own PhD dissertation in a journal article?

    6. If the dissertation is "published" then cite it like any other work. Otherwise cite it by name and authors and mark the citation as (doctoral dissertation, U of the Universe, unpublished). It might only take a note or a short paragraph somewhere to explain how the present paper is related to the dissertation.

  24. Revising your thesis into a book

    Springer will consider submissions containing material that has previously formed part of a PhD or other academic thesis including those that have been made publicly available according to the requirements of the institution awarding the qualification. Book Authors/Editors Connect with a Publishing Editor Book Publication Journey

  25. ‎Dissertation in 90 Days: Essential Apps Every PhD Student Should

    Dive into the world of academic writing and research with 'Dissertation in 90 Days' - your essential guide to navigating the PhD journey. Hosted by Dr. Jay, an expert in academic writing, this podcast offers a mix of insightful interviews, practical tips, and inspiring stories to empower PhD students.

  26. How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements?

    Writing effective dissertation acknowledgements can leave a lasting impression. Learn who to acknowledge, how to structure your acknowledgements, and essential tips for expressing gratitude thoughtfully and professionally. Perfect for PhD students looking to recognize the support and contributions of others in their research journey.

  27. ‎Dissertation in 90 Days: Unlocking PhD Success: Quantitative Data

    Are you on the path to earning your PhD and seeking actionable strategies to accelerate your dissertation journey? Look no further! Join us on the "Dissertation Mastery: PhD Success, Research Strategies, and Academic Writing Excellence in 90 Days" podcast, your one-stop destination for expert insights, practical tips, and motivational guidance.