Tips to Convert a Thesis into a Journal Article

by | Published on Sep 24, 2019 | Dissertation Transcription

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Writing a thesis involves many individual parts such as literature review, project design or hypothesis formulation, data collection and analysis, and finally, presentation. All of this takes considerable time and effort. Planning ahead and allowing enough time for writing are crucial for success. Transcription outsourcing companies play an important role in helping researchers with documenting academic content from audio and video recordings.

Tips to Convert a Thesis into a Journal Article

After their PhD, researchers find they are under immense pressure to publish. One of the most logical ways of doing this is to produce a journal article from their PhD thesis. This involves making decisions about which parts of the thesis may comprise the paper. Publishing your findings as an article would be a great addition to your CV, give your work a wider reach, and help you make a significant contribution to your field. However, while converting content from a thesis into a journal article can be done quickly, it involves certain challenges. The requirements of a journal article differ from those of a thesis. The two are distinct categories of academic writing with different styles and goals, targeting different audiences. Here are some expert tips to help you convert your thesis into a journal article:

  • Find the appropriate publication: Academic journals differ in aim and scope, and you need to identify the appropriate one to publish your article. Elsevier recommends checking the “guide for authors” on each journal’s website for its recommended structure and reference style for articles. This will help you find a proper home for your article and ensure your submission is not desk rejected.
  • Summarize the content of your thesis: Journal articles will have a precise word limit. So the first step would be to shorten the length of your thesis. The article content should be crisp while adhering to the introduction, methods, results and discussion (IMRAD) format, and have limited references. To summarize the content:
    • Paraphrase to express the same idea in different ways
    • Repurpose selective parts of the thesis with focus on the main points you want to convey
  • Write an abstract: The abstract is a précis or summary of your thesis. This 150- to 250-word paragraph (depending on the journal) should provide readers with a quick overview of the central idea of your thesis and its key points. The abstract should describe the paper and the best way to craft it is by reformatting the introduction of your thesis. The abstract would be available online and should contain:
    • A short but precise statement of the issue
    • A description of the research method and design
    • The main findings and conclusions
    • Any implications or applications of the topic
    • The most important key words referring to method and content.
  • Craft the introduction: Unlike the thesis introduction which is comprehensive and detailed, the journal article introduction should be brief and to the point, focusing on the research question or questions relevant for your paper. Editage Insights recommends that the length of the introduction should be less than one-thirds of the total word count of the article. According to Elsevier, it can also be very helpful to use previously published papers (at least three) from the target journal as examples.
  • Ensure brevity in the methods section: The methods section also needs to be kept concise and succinct in a journal article in comparison to a thesis. Include the essentials such as inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size calculation, study design, execution protocols in short, outcome measures and statistical tests used ( Here too, Elsevier suggests using papers previously published in the target journal as examples.
  • Present the key findings in the results section: All the findings pertaining to the research questions should be presented in the results section. There should be concise statements on findings on any exploratory analysis performed.
  • Discussion and conclusion: Discussion and Conclusions sections should explain what the results mean. The discussion should be clear and concise. It should:
    • Compare your results with that from other studies
    • Discuss what the results may imply for researchers in the same field
    • State how your results extend the findings of previous studies
    • Mention limitations of your study
    • State ways in which future studies can extend upon your work, and address these limitations
  • Limit references: References play an important role in research and not citing other work sufficiently cite can reduce your chances of being published. However, in a journal article, you need to limit the number of citations. Choose the references most relevant to your paper and make sure they are properly formatted. Check the author guide for referencing style, number of references allowed, and instructions/restrictions for graphs, tables and figures, etc.

Digital transcription service providers ease the process of thesis writing with their timely and accurate documentation solutions. Crafting a journal article from a thesis offers many benefits such as contributing knowledge to the field, career development and personal satisfaction. The strategies discussed above can make the task of crafting an article for publication in a specialist journal more manageable.

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