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My Top Five Tips for Turning Your Dissertation Into a Book–A Special Request Post

About Karen Kelsky

❶Following 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: This information serves to provide evidence of the thought processes and research abilities of the student and justification of the methods.

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

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In either case, you knew that you were not supposed to quote from the document or use its ideas without permission from the author.

In the case of a hardbound copy, the libraries had records of the borrowers, so misappropriation could, in theory, be traced. Since you knew the material was unusable without permission, you felt free to ignore dissertations, except to make sure that a recent one was not too similar to the one that you hoped to write, lest it get published before yours and scoop you.

Electronic dissertation storage changes the rules. Universities have enthusiastically assumed that a thesis online is just a faster and handier form of microfilm, and dissertation supervisors have assumed that since they put their theses on microfilm, you should put yours on ProQuest.

Furthermore, its being there may interfere with your landing a revised version at a reputable press. You could ruin your chances of getting tenure if your thesis is freely available. In the Chronicle of Higher Education http: Book editors seem unanimous on that point for obvious reasons. Many university libraries routinely add dissertations to their electronic holdings.

If yours does, then opt out. If your thesis is already online, then have it taken down. At present, this is a disaster waiting to happen rather than a battlefield covered with the bodies of humanists denied tenure because presses would not even look at their manuscripts, but warning signals are going up. I have heard of two commercial-academic presses and one university press that insisted the dissertation be removed from ProQuest before they would consider it.

A job hunter at my school took a chapter from his recently defended dissertation and turned it into an article. He sent it off and the journal wrote back to ask whether this was from a chapter in a thesis on ProQuest; if so, they would not look at it because they considered it already published. The same could happen to your article or book manuscript. Numerous universities have made putting dissertations on ProQuest a requirement.

Others will permit you to block that process and renew the block, at least for a while. 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. Now that you have -hopefully- worked well with your thesis committee members, and implemented their advice to deliver the final draft of your dissertation, is there any part of your research that particularly benefited from their input?

If you are planning to write a paper on this topic, consider inviting this committee member to be a co-author. Writing with authors other than your supervisor will improve your writing, and is typically well-received in most fields. Publishing with different authors shows that you can work across research groups and universities and that you are ready to reach out into the world.

Some papers will roll out from your dissertation in just a few writing sessions. For other papers you'll be sweating and sighing as you try to force a piece of research into a stand-alone narrative. Don't get mad at yourself or your work - just accept this fact as it is. And if the frustration becomes too much, head to the gym, grab some chocolate or do whatever typically relieves your stress.

Have you published several papers from the work in your dissertation? How did you organize this, and what advice would you like to share with me? You don't have JavaScript enabled. This is all excellent advice, thanks. I was wondering if you could also provide some more details on the actual structure of the all-important book prospectus? Thank your for advising about publishing a dissertation as book. In my case, my dissertation was an exploratory study about the effect of ethics education on undergraduate accounting students in an African country, where ethics is not taught in accounting-related programs in public colleges.

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 little bit confused. Would you please advise? Certainly my supervisor and faculty committee have all recommended that I get it published, but I do realise that a dissertation is very different from a book manuscript. Can you help with this? I have a more practical question. So I am considering turning my dissertation into a book, but this is not something that I considered at the time that I started my dissertation.

Although my participants were annonymous and used pseudonyms to protect their confidentiality, do I have to go back and track them down to get their permission…I am specifically thinking if I want to use a direct quote as in example. The participants signed the informed consent for the dissertation and were aware that it would be published as a scholarly journal, but not as a book that could be purchased. Please give me your perspective. Thank you for this wonderful website.

I always find such good advice here. I am finishing my dissertation and applying for some jobs and postdocs at the moment. I think that two of my chapters would be great as journal articles, and I have what I think is a good plan for a closely-related second project that would make a good book.

Thank you for your insight! I would like to write the article in English the dissertation is in a foreign language to make it internationally interesting. First, do you think is it possible to me start presenting my proposals as independent researcher?

Second, how can I know which are the major academic press in my field? Would it be indicated starting with a peer-reviewed journal? Thank you in advance, Karen. I wanted to ask you about the practice of publishing journal articles out of your dissertation before sending a book proposal. Can we say that as long as these articles are published in reputed journals, you are reinforcing your case for book publication? Any thoughts on this subject would be extremely helpful. Could you tell us how to send the book out to presses?

How did you approach publishers? I assume you did not use a book agent. Thanks for offering so much insight through your blog. I have completed my book proposal for my phd thesis that i have been working on for some time.

I need to include a sample chapter. I was thinking to include one of my empirical chapters that are the core of the discussion. I have removed some sections that will not appear in that book chapter. However i was wondering do i need to fully present the chapter as it will appear in the book? Changing the language to a less academic one and relating the discussion to wider issues will take quite a bit of time.

I look forward to your res ponce. Thank you so much. Part of this seems like good advice, but part seems just awful. She makes it clear her own manuscript was written to the highest standards of the discipline and field. She is saying writers should increase the readability of their texts. Even University Presses can no longer afford to lose money on books written for only 15 scholars in a feild, no matter how fine the work. All authors submitting manuscripts to scholarly presses now have to think about reaching the widest possible audience — it is far better for a press if the book at least breaks even on the sales of a book.

Greetings, I wrote a dissertation in late Thinking about submitting in academic arena but not sure how to do so.

I defended my PhD thesis in and received the top grade. The dissertation was in a way already a book both in some print versions and as a permanent link to an electronic database, but it would be legitimate to write a book for another publisher, so that is not the problem. The problem is that I was so sick of the PhD work and over? At the moment what little time I have left from a university lectureship a VERY teaching-intensive job description goes to my postdoc monograph and I cannot focus on two research projects at once.

Which should I prioritize? From Dissertation to Book: I wonder if you can reassure or advise me. I started researching and writing a book nearly 20 years ago. I found myself unable to access academic literature and so embarked upon a PhD. My intention, when undertaking the PhD was always to write the book. My supervisors were supportive of this and the thesis passed without correction last year at a Russell group university in the UK last year. Since then I have been writing a book proposal for my ideal publisher with whom I have already published and adapting the thesis.

I have cut out the methodology chapter, integrated relevant parts of my discursive literature review into the body of the text, and am in the midst of writing a new introduction. My substantive chapters have fallen quite easily into shorter chapters that I think more appropriate to the practitioner readership I want to reach.

Apart from these changes, the thesis and proposed book are pretty much identical. I was very worried, when discovering, during the thesis submission process, that my thesis would be made available online. I embargoed the online version for a year, and was verbally assured that the university library would seek my consent before making it available.

As you so rightly point out, publishers are interested only in commercial viability. Despite reassurances from my supervisor, I fail to understand why a publisher would be at all interested in publishing a book so closely based on a document that any Tom, Dick or Harry can access in seconds.

My advice is to proceed with the proposal and the revised manuscript and just see what happens. I would not disclose to the press anything about this.

Just proceed with your publishing plans. I somehow as able to turn the paper into an actual book, a readable book instead of a research paper, but I seem to have one problem. What do I do with footnotes?


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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.