How to Publish Ph.D. Thesis in your Dream Journal
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How to Publish Ph.D. Thesis in your Dream Journal

Admit it but who doesn’t want to have their Ph.D. thesis in high-impact journals?

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A single publication in the country’s most popular scientific journal opens the door to infinite possibilities in one’s academic career. It’s going to be your major chance of letting various academic critics acknowledge your existence and apparently, the most effective way of attracting fascinating job offers from top universities.

However, we all know that not everyone gets what they aim for. Considering the rigorous screening process of these journals, the success rate of having your thesis published is incredibly low.

For this reason, I have compiled some practical tips on How to Publish Ph.D. Thesis in your Dream Journal. Knowing a two or three of these tips will help you make it to your dream.

Tip 1: Take time in reviewing your thesis

Submission for publication is not a race. Unfortunately, many students still rush in thesis publishing only to realize that is not the only criteria to win.

Editors from the country’s top journals first look into two exceptional qualities in a thesis – content, and style. Yes, the deadline matters. But if your thesis is not good enough, it will eventually fall from the shortlist.

So don’t be too excited after finishing your conclusion. Always leave time to re-examine your output and address any shortcomings that it may have. Make sure that you have it edited and proofread by professionals, and apply the suggested changes to make it better.

Tip 2:  Be pro-active during the school level review process

If you think that reading your thesis once is enough, then you’re wrong. A proactive attitude during the review process decreases the chance of rejection caused by inadvertent errors in the presentation of data and experiments.

So don’t just depend on your editor to make all the changes in your thesis. Make sure to read all the suggested modifications at different times and places. Taking a second look at your thesis will help you spot small yet important details which you’ve probably overlooked during your first reading.

In fact, you can request your friends and colleagues to check your paper. Highlight some sections that you want them to focus on and get opinions from a different point of view.

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Tip 3: Choose a journal with the right scope

Some of the Ph.D. theses that end up in rejection are usually due to inconsistency. For example, if you are studying molecular biology then you can’t expect to have it published in a chemistry journal.

The most common reasons for thesis rejections are the following:

  • your research objective is not in line with the scope of the journal
  • the novelty of the paper does not reach the standards of the publication
  • your journal is not correctly formatted according to the requirements of your target journal

If there’s a way to raise your chances of publishing the thesis in a journal, make sure to research important information its scope. Find out about its criteria and preference for publication.

There are also great journal finders on the internet where you can search top journals according to your title and abstract. Grab every opportunity to know as many details as you can before submitting your Ph.D. thesis.

List of Top Notch Journals in Biosciences :

  • Nature
    PLOS Biology
  • Biophysical Journal
  • Cell
  • International Journal of Biological Sciences
  • Journal of Cell Biology
  • Journal of Molecular Biology
  • Journal of Theoretical Biology
  • Journal of Virology
  • BioEssays
  • Biological Reviews + Much More

Tip 4: Look for a journal that can consider your work a novelty

We all know that researchers have the tendency of publishing their work many times in the same journal. Consequently, your work may be novel to you but not novel to a particular journal because your issues have already been tackled by another author.

In some cases, your thesis can be perceived as something novel because some journals have never published similar issues before.

A practical strategy to publish your thesis is to look for a journal that has not published similar work as yours. Check where popular scientists of similar interest publish their works. This will give you a hint which scientific journals is already too experienced on a particular topic and which are not.

Study the flow of the journal’s publication and gauge your thesis if it is something they can be interested. If you find a scientific journal with the right scope but has not tackled a similar issue, then grab the chance to submit your thesis for publication.

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Tip 5: Restructure your title and abstract

Your title and abstract are two essential elements of your Ph.D. thesis because they are the first things that a journal editor sees.

It has always been said that the first impression is the last. So make sure that your title is creative and interesting. It must summarize the main logic of your thesis and must be reflective of your theory.

As to the abstract, make sure that it contains a clear-cut summary of your thesis. It must explain the reason why you choose such study, the research question, methodology, and your conclusion.

All in all, your title and abstract must highlight the novelty of your thesis. Think of it as the main bait where you’ll entice readers and editors. If it doesn’t sound good to you or to your professors, then it is probably not appealing enough for the journal editors.

If you’re not confident about your title and abstract, always go back to the basics of asking advice from your supervisor.

Tip 6: Improve your writing style

Not everyone who takes up Ph.D. is a good writer. Even if you’re a good writer, a Ph.D. thesis requires a different level of writing style. Unlike ordinary college essays and literary pieces, it is more comprehensive and highly intellectual. It requires in-depth research and investigation where your skills in writing will truly be tested.

The standard format in writing a Ph.D. thesis must be scholarly enough to pass scientific quality. So follow the suggested chapter divisions and organize your arguments into different sections. Make sure that you cite your authors whenever you present borrowed ideas.

Also, make sure that your statements are not solely based on mere guesses and opinions. They must be backed with scientific evidence either from your own experiments or from another author’s findings.

Beware of deep idiomatic expressions and flowery words. Just cut straight to the point and present your thoughts in a simple and coherent language.

Tip 7: Mention as many citations as you can

As I said, you can’t just write a Ph.D. thesis based on mere opinions. The key to a successful thesis publishing is your ability to leverage reliable resources that can support your statements.

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When I say “reliable resources”, these include scholarly articles, journals, books, and periodicals. If you’d noticed I did not mention Wikipedia – that is because anyone can edit Wikipedia and it contains errors that usually remained unfixed for years.

The editorial staff of top journals will also know how much effort you put in your journal through the resources you’ve examined. In fact, some top journals have their own favorite authors. If you’re lucky, they might notice you because of using their top-notch choices.

Tip 8: Leverage fancy techniques, for example, using new technology

If you want to increase your thesis publishing rate, you must develop the art of impressing editors.

A proven and well-known method of attracting editors is to use fancy techniques like leveraging new scientific methods and mentioning them in your thesis. For example, you can mention that you’ve used imaging technology in examining cells to corroborate your findings.

Scientific journals love novelty, inventions, innovations, and creativity. If there’s any way that you can use modern inventions in conducting experiments, then do it.

My last piece of advice for you is to make sure that you don’t have past issues with any of the editorial staff in your target journal. One of the editors could probably a classmate you’ve bullied during your elementary years or someone who was not on your side for some unknown reason. I know that these are really rare scenarios but what are the odds?

While it is the rule of a thumb that editorial staffs must be very objective in screening thesis submissions, humans in nature, cannot always avoid being subjective.

So these are all my tips on how to publish a thesis in high-tier journals. I hope that you enjoyed reading my article today.

Do you have any insights that you’d like to add? Please feel free to comment and I would be more than happy to reply to you personally.

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Shekhar Suman is the CEO & Managing Director of BioTecNika Info Labs Pvt Ltd, An avid reader who is passionate about Bio Sciences and has gifted us BioTecNika

1 COMMENT

  1. Great tips Shekhar! I would like to use the same for a talk on scientific writing sometime in the future (citing you, of course!).

    Maybe you could add the peer review process and how useful it is towards a good publication….. the more rigorous the better, and how wannabe academics should imbibe this in the right spirit. Oftentimes, a ruthless peer review breaks the author (s) and the manuscript is simply chucked or sent away to a less demanding, open access (read predatory) journal.

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