Skip to content

Producing journal article manuscripts from a doctoral dissertation

A good friend of mine who recently completed her doctoral dissertation asked me recently in a quick one-on-one consultation how she could go about converting her doctoral dissertation into articles.

I suggested a process that I will share now. Though a number of doctoral candidates are required by their programs to publish articles out of their dissertation or to build it as a series of articles, others ask for more of a book-manuscript-style thesis.

My own doctoral students write their dissertations as a series of three stand-alone-but-interconnected papers that can be converted into journal articles, either during their graduate program, or afterwards. They follow my DAT model to craft their written outputs.

Now, let’s be real: it’s December 4th, we all need a break, and it would be a good idea to use these three journal articles as the backbone to plan a year worth’s of work. Wendy Belcher’s #12WeeksArticle book offers a step-by-step process for writing a paper/revising in 12 weeks. What I suggested was to follow Belcher’s approach (assign 12 weeks to revising or rewriting a paper). Belcher’s #12WeeksArticle book’s 2nd edition focuses on writing a paper from scratch in 12 weeks. The first edition focuses on revising in 12 weeks. You can choose either model.

So that means that if we consider 12 weeks for revising each journal article with a good holiday in December, you can start with the first article by say, January 15th 2023 and use 12 weeks for each (and a week’s rest in between). This means that by the end of October of 2023 you may have submitted 3 papers to be peer reviewed and published as journal articles (including 3 weeks where you take a break). This, to me, seems like a fantastic level of productivity.

Now, let’s be realistic: this is a one year plan for getting three journal articles out. What happened to me a few years back was that I got THREE revise-and-resubmits within the same year, and it was next to impossible to convert them all. So you need to account for this.

Hopefully this process (which I devised in December 2022!) can help some or many of you extract publishable journal articles off your doctoral dissertation.

You can share this blog post on the following social networks by clicking on their icon.

Posted in academia, research.

Tagged with , , .

One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Sandra says

    Thank you for this interesting article.
    From my understanding of Belcher’s book, the 2nd edition still focuses on revising an article, but there’s a new section on writing from scratch (Week 0, towards the end). Just to clarify.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.