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The Perils of Publishing Your Dissertation Online

Why should you turn your dissertation into a book, you ask?

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It is important to understand that the dissertation itself is considerably different than an academic publication and that it will require significant revision and re-writing to produce a publishable product.

A dissertation is a complete and detailed account of the entire research project, including both content and process. The graduate student includes a great deal of content to establish their knowledge base and build credibility. The student will also include all aspects of the process including successes, failures, changes to plans, explanations for paths not taken, and so forth.

This information serves to provide evidence of the thought processes and research abilities of the student and justification of the methods. In essence, the graduate student is proving his or herself to the committee. Much of this detail is not desired or necessary in an academic publication.

An academic publication will be much narrower in scope and focus and often results from just a portion of the dissertation. This is why one dissertation could potentially lead to more than one publication. In an academic publication, the author needs to briefly demonstrate their knowledge and discuss current literature, describe the methods and ensure that they are reasonable, and discuss the findings in a way that proves their contribution to the field. The review process provides the author with feedback that helps revise and refine the manuscript, ensuring that it will be a quality publication.

Therefore, to share the dissertation with the wider academic community, the researcher will have to be willing to undergo the steps necessary to create a manuscript that can be considered ready for academic publication. These steps will be outlined in more detail in future modules in this series.

There are a variety of options for publishing the work from a dissertation and each has its pros and cons. Following is list of common options and a discussion of each.

It is important to note that Pro Quest and other self-publication options are not academic, peer-reviewed publications. Therefore, they do not assist in advancing an academic career in the ways discussed in the beginning of this module. Peer-reviewed books and journal articles should be the primary focus for publishing dissertation results. In summary, a tremendous amount of effort and energy goes into finishing a dissertation.

While academic publications will require additional work, it is important to share results with others in the academic community and publications are also important to the careers of the researchers. Because scholarly journals are the most common kind of academic publication pursued by dissertation students, the remainder of the modules in this series will focus on journals.

Publishing Your Dissertation - This guide from the APA gives an overview of the steps needed to publish a dissertation. From Dissertation to Journal Article - The following resources is an article aimed at outlining the process of publishing a dissertation. From Dissertation to Book - The following discussion focuses on advice for graduate students considering publishing a book and offers some do's and don'ts.

How to Turn Your Dissertation, Thesis or Paper into a Publication - The following website links to four parts that fully discuss the options available for publishing a dissertation and suggests factors to be considered. Submit Dissertation or Thesis - Following is the link for more information regarding submitting a dissertation to Proquest.

This pin will expire , on Change. This pin never expires. Select an expiration date. About Us Contact Us. Search Community Search Community. Discuss the importance of sharing dissertation findings in a scholarly publication.

Describe the difference between a dissertation and an academic publication. List options for publishing a dissertation. Discuss the pros and cons of the possible options. Following is a list of some of the most important reasons that it is vital to your academic future that you take that next step and publish the work from your dissertation: It advances your academic career by establishing your academic credibility and expertise in your field.

You are really obligated to share your findings with others in your discipline to advance the knowledge in your field of study. Publications build your academic vitae. It creates networking opportunities and opens the door to potential collaborations with others interested in your work. Previous publications may be critical in securing support and funding for future projects. ProQuest - This a commercial, online repository for full text theses and dissertations. Authors are charged a fee and can choose between restricted or open access.

The authors may receive modest royalties if choosing the traditional, restricted publishing. Whenever that protection runs out, though, ProQuest or the library or both will make the piece available.

Your university may argue that a state institution receives public money, so part of its mission is to make its research available to that same public. Fair enough, but you must still try to ensure that your university can and will remove a dissertation from open access if asked. Refusal to create that mechanism could destroy the careers of its humanities PhDs. This may prove to be an issue that dies without much consequence.

Not all fields, even within the humanities, operate on the same assumptions, and some people see dissertations cited as a way of boosting your visibility within your specialty. Presses may eventually decide to ignore ProQuest dissertations and rely on the degree to which you have revised your material.

Or they may just settle for your taking the document off line until after your book is in print. Various professional societies have argued that the thesis monograph should not serve as the basis for a tenure decision, and tenure itself may disappear some day.

For the present, though, none of these outcomes is assured, and the more radical are not likely to happen soon, so protect yourselves!

Revising a humanities dissertation into a book can take far more effort than you realize. If you are moving from one temporary job to the next, having to pay for moves with nonexistent savings, and teaching six or more new courses each year, you will need to remember and act on successive deadlines despite many distractions. Ideally, you revise your manuscript during the first two years of your tenure clock.

If you are lucky, you land your manuscript at a press within the next four years. Perhaps it will be in print a year after that. Only then should you let your dissertation go on line. The first that comes to mind is that a dissertation is not a book; however brilliant your dissertation is, a publisher will probably want something very different. A good publisher knows that what they can get out of you 2 years after you complete the dissertation will be a much better product that the dissertation.

It has a different sort of quality control to the double-blind reading a publisher will give it, but it still the output of an examination process, and if it is not good enough, then you should not have passed.

The third issue I have is that this is grounded in assumptions about the dissertation-publication-tenure path which no longer hold. The old Phd-published monograph-tenured post track is broken at several points. Phd output in many disciplines exceeds the pool of academic jobs, so many Phd grads will no longer get academic posts, and many dissertations will never be published.

If they are not online, they are dead. Articles are much more serious competition for a book than a pdf on any repository, but they are also some evidence that the person has something to say, so it cuts both ways.

Publishers have priced monographs out of the marketplace. Thanks for the warning although I am long past being able to take it. That said, does this beg the question of whether using publications as criteria for tenure needs to be reconsidered? I agree the system has to change and probably is, as we speak. I just hope, while expectations are in flux, that the tenure casualties are kept to a minimum.

This is a really interesting post and discussion and I hope it gets more exposure — although the issue may be being discussed more widely than I realize. How can one undo this? Oh dear, thsi was a guest post. I know nothing about ProQuest from personal experience. I simply said that Proquest admitted that one could remove something, and the graduate school here proved helpful and helped four students remove theirs. I do not know how Canadian law fits in; where I ran into the most important hurdle was the sense of the grad school that as a semi-public university, our research was supposed to be available to the public.

However, given the info on how this could affect publication as a book and given the word I had from another school hammering this out that a press had refused to consider something unless it had been removed from proquest, the grad school at my institution backed off on demanding that.

Thus, the undoing will have to be through the individual school. And ProQuest has thus far honored this for almost three years with no need for renewal. For instance, my current school is now considering requiring graduates to get approval from their former diss advisors in order to extend an embargo. But, aside from degree revocation, what mechanism would even be available to an institution in order to compel a degree-in-hand graduate to allow ProQuest to post the work?

This post makes me sad because when I was in college I loved looking up dissertations on ProQuest. I mean, I get why someone might not want them up there. I agree with Eileen. Having dissertations online allow others to read about the academic work of others in their original, honest form.

As someone who has never managed to land a University post despite having good grades and some I hope interesting research. It makes it difficult to research online. Surely it only ends up increasing the gulf of general ignorance, and does little to improve access to whatever the scholar in question laboured to achieve?

Also, finances aside, what is the point of research unless it is trumpeted loud and wide? Not routinely, at least. Any stats that are kept circulation numbers, for example are not related to individual user accounts.

If a dissertation has been successfully defended then it has had a rigorous peer review. Virtually every dissertation worldwide can be loaned from the relevant university, often scanned and distributed electronically and cited in the work of others. But it can take months and is very bureaucratic. But there is no reason to grant a giant corporation exclusive rights.

After all, the hard work is your copyright and something you should be proud of. I advocate the hard copy printing on demand of any thesis that might be cited in future publication. There are lots of deserving theses from the s onwards in many disciplines that could do with wider readership. Dear Karen and Kathryn, I know this has been a while, but I am getting depressed now and I need some help. I finished my dissertation about two years ago and after making a few revisions to it I submitted it to an academic publishing house who had a call for books on my particular area of expertise.

I sent the manuscript to them and after an initial positive response it went to the managing editor from whom I am waiting to hear back soon.


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Although finishing your dissertation may be the final hurdle to completing your doctorate, getting it published may be an important step toward your career as a psychologist. Indeed, academic psychologists are not the only ones expected to publish-research is increasingly a part of clinical.

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There are a number of items to consider as you prepare to submit your graduate work. If your university does not participate in ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination program, you can still submit your work to us; use this form to request a publishing agreement. Preparing your .

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How to turn your dissertation into journal articles Posted in Discover the Future of Research on Aug 6, AM Regardless of the time constraints, it's still extremely valuable to take the step of turning your dissertation into journal papers. Two years past my thesis defense, I'm reaching the end of this process (with a number of. My Top Five Tips for Turning Your Dissertation Into a Book–A Special Request Post — 52 Comments Now, I am wondering whether to publish my entire dissertation in academic journals or, just publish parts of it as articles. Nevertheless, I am also wondering if it is a good idea to have my dissertation published as a book. Honestly, I am a.

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How to turn a dissertation into a book? I want to publish my dissertation as a book. Can I send the total dissertation as a manuscript or do I have to edit it before sending it. I have seen. Home→Blog→Landing Your Tenure Track Job→ The Perils of Publishing Your Dissertation Online. Any tips on how to negotiate that or get funding to publish your dissertation? In Germany you are not entitled to your Dr. title unless you have published your dissertation. For the working poor online publishing through the university library.