How to Successfully Publish a Paper From Your Dissertation in an Academic Journal

Completing a thesis or dissertation is quite an achievement and you must be commended for doing so. Your dissertation, however, will be placed on a University library shelf and/or in a repository with thousands of others so that future research students can peruse and use it as a guide for their own. While this is useful to future researchers, your ideas should be shared widely with others in your field. This is important because you have spent hours, days and months and even years thinking, analysing, writing, rewriting and reflecting on your chosen topic which now makes you and expertise in that area with something worth saying. You can share and should share this knowledge by publishing a paper or two from your dissertation in an academic journal. Here are some tips on how to do so successfully.

Tip 1: Craft your article well. This is arguably the most common reason for rejection. The fact that your dissertation has been accepted by your institution or you have ‘passed’ the dissertation phase is an indication of your ability to write an academic piece according to academic conventions. While this is the case check your paper for incorrect grammar, misspellings, unintelligible tables, typographical errors and poorly structured sentences. In short, have your paper thoroughly proofread.

Tip 2: Select an appropriate Journal. Check the aims and scope of the Journal to ascertain if they publish articles in the area you have researched. If your article incorporates two or more disciplines or if you are unsure of its suitability send either the abstract or full paper first to the journal editor(s) for perusal and advice on suitability. This reduces the chances of rejection because you would have been informed of its suitability or not, by the editor. This is also important because most of the time the final decision to publish or not resides with the editor who would have been a little familiar with your work which could be to your advantage.

Tip 3: Make your article relevant to its audience. Ensure that the topic you have written on is filling a literary gap, generally or a gap in a topic of interest, or answering a current question, or saying something new to the journal readers. Also, ensure that your work will not be too technical or basic for the readers of the journal by looking at samples of works published in your chosen journal.

Tip 4: Tailor your paper to fit your chosen journal style and specifications. Check and adhere to word count and the number of pages stipulated; style and citation of references (MLA, APA); writing conventions-some Journals want writers to extricate themselves from the text, no personal pronouns, I, my, me. Check carefully any also supplemental material for your research work. Use current reference those in the last 10 years preferably and adhere to required format, for example, 12 font, Arial or Times Roman, paragraphing direct quotations and indentations.

Tip 5: Submit the paper as stipulated. Carefully follow the journal’s instructions for submitting articles. This is normally done via an online portal to which you must create an account.

Good Luck!

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