Dissertation writing: publishing a dissertation
(Last updated: 17 May 2019)
Have you considered publishing a dissertation? Publication of dissertation writing isn’t something that is mentioned very often by tutors, but if your dissertation researched an important topic (and particularly if you receive a First) then you should investigate this option.
Your dissertation – why publish?
Publishing a dissertation as an article in an academic journal can look fabulous on your CV, particularly if you would like an academic career. If you have produced important material from your research then it can be a great help to others if you publish it. Your dissertation supervisor should be able to advise you on whether publication is appropriate for your dissertation writing.
Although a published article is a wonderful addition to your CV, do exercise caution. Your research might receive a First, but is your dissertation something that you'll remain proud of throughout your career? If you have said something controversial that may upset people, this might not be the sort of opinion that you want in the public domain. Imagine that you are invited for a prestigious job interview in five years from now. Is there anything in your dissertation writing that might embarrass you at that interview or stop you from being offered the job? Think long and hard before you submit work for publication.
Publication – review and appeal
The submission process on academic journals can take a long time. The editors and the peer reviewers will probably only be part-time members of staff. For example, some publishers own journals where the editors are out of house academics. The publisher only manages the production (tasks like proofreading services and printing) of the journal. Your article will be sent for peer review and only when it is accepted will it be entered into the production process (including copy editing, proofreading, typesetting, design work and printing).
If your article is rejected, some journals give you the opportunity to appeal. Use a calm tone to set out the reasons why the editor should reconsider your article. Remember that the decision to reject was not personal.
Will they buy dissertations?
Very few journals buy dissertations, so you may be submitting your dissertation purely for the glory. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t receive money for your dissertation-turned-article. Take a look at the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society website. As long as the journal has an ISSN number, you can register the details of any articles that you publish with them and they collect photocopy fees for you.
Editing your dissertation
Once accepted, you may need dissertation editing services so that a professional editor can proofread your dissertation. This will ensure that the work you submit is well written.