Dissertation to Journal: 5 Considerations

Working your dissertation down to a journal size article requires much more than deleting pages to fit the requirements of the publication. If you are considering publishing in your field, everything you need to start is in your very own dissertation.

scholarlyjournalsConsider Your Motive. Sometimes people are required by an institution to publish. If this is not the case, go back to your intrinsic motivation regularly as you submit and resubmit. It may be to build your reputation, create contacts in your field, leave work for others to build upon, or simply because it is a simpler process than writing a book.

Rejection is in Your Future.  It is rare for a journal to accept a first submission.  Examples of replies include minor problems with a request for resubmission, major problems with a request for resubmission, rejected with a consideration for resubmission, and altogether rejected. On top of this, expect to wait three months for a reply.

Write With the Publication in Mind.  Develop a list of publications you would like to contribute as a researcher. Check your literature review and references for ideas. For each, write with a model article from that publication at least somewhat related to your topic. Adhere to the formatting, flow, language, and graphic display. Be sure also to triple check that your submission fits the publication requirements.

Determine the Three Most Important Findings. Write them on an index card in clear and plain language. Find a middle school student, read your findings aloud, and ask the student to state in his or her own words what you said. If you can do that, your work is clear. When you write, however, assume your audience is your peers and select language accordingly. The index card is an exercise in organization and, well, getting out of your own head.

Use Direct Language.  Get rid of all the passive language from your dissertation about the so-called actions of the study, surveys, or data that were tabulated.  Tell the story, using data, in active voice.

Are you planning on publishing?  Did you publish anywhere?  What was the experience?

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply