How Do You Publish a Dissertation?

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dissertationThe culmination of a doctoral program is usually the presentation of a 200 to 300 page dissertation to an academic committee, but understanding how to publish a dissertation for a wider audience can potentially help scholars long after they have received their degrees. Dissertations reflect original research on topics that make new contributions to the doctoral candidate's field of interest. While publication of one's dissertation is not necessarily required for graduation, some experts believe that the scholars' career prospects are enhanced when their work is published in certain academic journals. These journals are often accessed by members of professional associations and other industry practitioners who want to gain insight into cutting edge developments in their career fields. Here are some of the steps that doctoral candidates take to get their dissertations published.

Choose an Academic Journal

A doctoral candidate who wants to publish the results of their dissertation should seek help from popular professional associations in their field. Professional associations are usually the main hub that links industry practitioners with the latest work coming from academia. Members are often offered free access to all types of academic journals so that they can stay current in their field. The journals that appear on these organizations' sites are good starting points for selecting a publication venue for one's dissertation. Scholars can conduct further research to uncover academic publications that feature research topics that are similar to their work.

Know Your Audiences

When doctoral candidates plan to write their dissertations, they usually consider what group will review their work and plan to meet their requirements for content, structure, style and length. Scholars who know that they want to eventually get their research published follow this same thought pattern. For example, dissertations that are submitted to academic committees require very formal writing styles, and scholars are encouraged to elaborate on many research topic details. Alternately, work published for academic journals require concise, almost technical writing that forces scholars to mention only the most important points that support their research topics. When students choose their targeted academic journal early, they can begin writing the condensed version of their dissertation in parallel with the one that will be submitted to their academic department committee prior to graduation.

Hire an Editor

Publishing a dissertation obviously makes a scholar's work available to wider audiences, and their work should accurately reflect the author's ideas, intellect and critically thinking abilities. However, these attributes can quickly be forgotten when the document has spelling and grammatical errors or issues with content flow. Hiring a professional editor to proofread and make suggestions that result in more refined writing is a smart option. Cash strapped students can even barter for the editing services of advanced degree English majors or journalism students to help improve their work before they submit anything for their degree or for publication.

Consider Alternative Publication Options

Independent writers have a great deal of self publication resources available to them in this modern age of technology and digital learning. Depending on the content of their research, some students can opt to format their work into an academic e-book and publish it at little to no charge on platforms like Lulu and Kindle Direct, according to University of Chicago. Some schools are already encouraging the use of e-textbooks in the academic environment, because it is a way to cut the costs of otherwise expensive university programs. When a scholar uses this method of publication, they reach wide audiences and have the opportunity to earn some money for their original, copyright protected work.

Related Resource: Dual-Degree Program


People who have reached the doctoral level in their academic pursuits have learned to accept constructive criticism and skillfully apply feedback to polish their work. This is what typically happens when a scholar first submits his or her work for publication in their chosen academic journal. Selecting appropriate academic journals for one's work, effectively condensing relevant content and learning how to publish a dissertation through alternative outlets greatly increase scholars' abilities to jump start their careers upon graduation.