How to Publish Your Thesis

Dr. Jay Chhablani
Published Online: April 1st, 2021 | Read Time: 9 minutes, 21 seconds

Although, thesis submission is a mandatory process for post-graduation, nonetheless, getting it published is an important step towards your career. After all the hard work of bringing the thesis, the next step should be to publish it. The idea of publishing should be clear even before you started the work.

Why publish

An unpublished work means that the work had never been done. If you wish to be in an academic position in the long-term and wish to be recognized among your colleagues, the best way is to publish your work. In the present era of fast communication and the internet, your works get cited more often, which builds your reputation across the world, in no time. The thesis methodology and literature review will often be outdated in 3-4 years from your thesis, therefore, don’t leave it too long to publish your thesis.

Here are a few steps to follow to publish your thesis:

Step 1. Before the start

Before you decide your thesis topic, do a thorough literature search and propose new research ideas for a thesis. Take help from your guide. The right research question always brings something worthwhile to publish. Start understanding the process of publishing your thesis before you start writing the thesis.

Step 2. How to write for the publication

  1. Don’t target only one paper from thesis: As the thesis has a lot of data, so don’t try to put all the data into one paper, otherwise it will be too much information for readers to understand. Plan to write two-three papers from your thesis. Make a list of papers possible from your thesis in priority order. Redefine your literature review and see which papers can have the priority.

  2. Reason to report the findings: Take some time before even writing your paper to think about the reason for the presentation. Try to report something new. Journals want new ideas, which will contribute to the literature and increase citation. Not necessary to report something never reported, but your thesis could bring new questions to the existing literature.

  3. Cut short your thesis: Make important points from each section of your thesis. Don’t write too many details like a thesis for the manuscripts, as the readers are usually familiar with the topic.

  4. Making the first draft: When writing, focus on a story that progresses logically, rather than the chronological order of the experiments that you performed.From the important points you made, just write an outline and first draft of your manuscript.

  5. Writing in itself: Be as simple as possible. Use simple sentences, which can be easily understood. Use direct language, avoid passive voice, and avoid large paragraphs. Make sure that the readers comfortable while reading your papers. They are not responsible for understanding your message, but you are responsible to make them understand. Avoid confusing statements, and concentrate on important details.

  6. Just write, don’t edit at the same time: While writing the manuscript several thoughts come in the mind, just pen it down. Don’t try to edit at the same time, ignore the grammar and sentence formation at this time. Such things should not disrupt your flow of thoughts. Corrections can be made later.

  7. Reference: Choose the most important studies for the references from the original source. Use tools such as End-note, citation manager to search for the articles and inserting citations. This helps to change the citation style. Authors who published similar reports could be the reviewers for your paper, therefore, cite articles from the journal to which you are submitting your article.

  8. Plagiarism: Wikipedia defines plagiarismas the "wrongful appropriation" and "stealing and publication" of anotherauthor's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions" and the representation of them as one's ownoriginal work. Always cite the articles even if they supported your new idea. Detailed knowledge about what comes under plagiarism is mandatory. With the availability of plagiarism detection software online, it is easy to detect if any paragraph or copyright material from other sources has been used. If you have been found to a plagiarist, this will affect your reputation and can have legal and monetary consequences.

Step 3. Select a journal:

Selecting a journal is one of the most crucial steps in publishing your thesis. Select a journal of your field that is well cited and your peers are well versed. Before submitting, check that your article is within the scope of the journal. Don’t forget about international readers, therefore, choose a journal that has a much wider readership.

One of the factors needs to be considered while choosing the journal is review time. Sometimes few journals take more than 6 months' review time and if you don’t wish to wait more time. Do not submit the same articles to two journals at the same time. Never underestimate the lower-impact journals, as this could be a stepping stone for you. This experience will help you to publish in a high impact journal.

Be careful about the submission guidelines, while submitting the article. The editorial office spends a lot of time correcting your submission and this all delays the process to send the article for external reviewers.

You can also get your dissertation published in a book form. Few publishers are interested in publishing a thesis after a peer-review process.

Step 4. Internal review:

Ask one of your colleagues to check your work and give honest feedback. This helps to understand how easy your article is for readers and to find any important points, which were overlooked by you.

Step 5: Proofread before submitting:

It’s always good to get your papers proofread before submission. Well-written articles with correct grammar do not annoy the editor.

Step 6: Dealing with revision:

Usually, the reviewers ask for a revision before accepting the articles. Write a point-to-point response to all the comments made by reviewers. Be humble, argue politely, but stick to facts. Justify clearly your points and provide a rational explanation. Rebuttal letters should be self-explanatory. If any contradictory comments are received from reviewers, the editor can be contacted directly. Respect deadlines and ask for an extension if required.

Step 8: Revision, Rejection, Resubmission – “Circle of Research Life”

As soon as your paper gets rejected you should submit it to another suitable journal. Consider points raised by the reviewers, which will help to improve the quality of the paper. If there are major issues, do solve them and then re-submit. Publishing an article could be frustrating and needs perseverance. After so much of hard work and time, it is meaningless to give up after rejection.

In the end, it all depends on you that how much hard work you wish to put in writing, revising and re-submitting. It needs a strategic approach and perseverance to publish a paper.

Dr. Jay Chhablani
University of Pittsburgh Eye Center
Jay Chhablani is a faculty-clinician at the University of Pittsburgh Eye Center. He completed clinical vitreo-retina fellowship from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India. He was an International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) fellow at Jules Gonin Eye Hospital, Switzerland, in 2009 and a Clinical Instructor at the Jacobs Retina Center at Shiley Eye Center, University of California, San Diego, USA (2010 to 2012) before he joined L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India as faculty (2012-19). His areas of interest are macular disorders and recent imaging techniques. He published more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals with specific emphasis in field of choroid. He is editor of books titles Choroidal Disorders and Central Serous Chorioretinopathy. He is on the reviewing boards of all high impact Ophthalmology journals. He is on the editorial board of several journals including American Journal of Ophthalmology. He is a member of Global ONE network committee of American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has won several national and international awards. He has delivered inaugural Ian Constable lecture at Asia-Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society in 2016. He received Inaugural Namperumalsamy Young Researcher Award in 2018 by Vitreo-Retina Society of India.
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