Skip to Main Content

Theses: Getting published

This guide is intended to provide advice to PGR students on their eThesis

Getting published

During the course of your thesis you may wish to get your research published. In the past, and for certain disciplines, this tended to occur once your thesis was almost, or finally, completed. Now, it is not uncommon for researchers to publish some of their research before submission of the thesis. This is usually in the form of a journal article. Certain chapters of the thesis may naturally lend themselves to being worked into separate journal articles. Or, perhaps, you wish to create a monograph (book) based on your entire thesis.

Based on your research, discipline, discussions with your supervisor, peers and other experts in your field, you will be well placed to make decisions regarding publication e.g. where to publish, what type of format etc. This can, however, be very daunting for researchers.

Reasons to publish your thesis

  • There are a number of reasons why you might consider publishing all, or part of your thesis:
  • Share the results of your research with others. This will directly benefit other researchers, scholars or practitioners in your field.
  • If you research has uncovered something noteworthy, novel, or important, there is added impetus to publish.
  • It may be a requirement of your funder.
  • It may help to secure future employment, particularly if you wish to pursue an academic career.
  • Even if you decide to pursue employment outside of academia, publishing your research may be a helpful way to end mark your time as a research student.
  • Even if you decide not to get your thesis published as an article, series of articles/chapters or a book, even by making it Open Access you are ensuring that your findings can be accessed and therefore will help future researchers.

Embargo information

Do not fear making your thesis Open Access. Why not?

If necessary, you can apply an embargo to your e-thesis at any point

Consult with funder, potential publisher, supervisor etc to inform decision if an embargo is required or not

Implications of making your e-thesis open access

Once you upload your e-thesis to Pure, barring any embargoes, it will be can be viewed and accessed online via Queen's Research Portal. This is a good thing! As a result, people may be able to contact you about your research, ask you to speak on your topic or engage with it on social media or scholarly publications. You are likely to have greater visibility as a result of making your thesis open access.

Some researchers are, however, concerned that by making their e-thesis online this will scupper their chances for monograph publication. This may not actually be the case. For example, a thesis may only come to the attention of a publisher or a commissioning editor exactly because it has been made open access first! Also, it is important to remember that it is possible to make your thesis open access while you consider your publication options and then later to apply an embargo if this is required.

Whether or not you apply an embargo to your e-thesis or not, it is important to remember that a dissertation will probably have to be quite significantly revised before it will be published. Different publishers moreover have different policies regarding Open Access theses. Included is some of the policies regarding some of the more prominent publishers.

Some publishers accept proposals based on PhD dissertations and are not overly concerned about a thesis being available in an institutional repository. Other publishers may ask for an embargo period. Some may have a blanket policy of not publishing dissertations. The policy will vary from publisher to publisher. If in doubt it is always best to contact the publisher to ask what is their policy.

Recent research indicates that almost 50% of university press welcome manuscripts that are revisions of Open Access e-theses, with a further almost 50% willing to publish on the basis of substantial revision. Open Access is rapidly evolving and changing the scholarly publication landscape.

Publisher policies

Publisher: Policy:
Cambridge University Press CUP will accept a thesis for publication after extensive revision therefore embargo of the thesis is not generally required
Edinburgh University Press

EUP only consider monographs based on PhD theses where:

  • The author has a journal publication track record and shows exceptional academic promise
  • The work has been appropriately revised as a book and will appeal to the market
  • Book should be significantly revised from the thesis, and prefer the thesis may be embargoed

Elsevier welcomes submissions from authors and will consider these for publication where work has not previously been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.  Elsevier does not view the following prior uses of a work as prior publication:

  • Publication in the form of an abstract
  • Publication as an academic thesis
  • Publication as an electronic preprint
Manchester University Press

MUP do not publish PhD theses. In a small number of cases, where the research is of exceptionally high quality and broad appeal, they can consider a book that takes thesis research as its starting point and expands upon it significantly, on the strict understanding that it must have been entirely rewritten and restructured for a wider audience
Oxford University Press Contact OUP directly for advice as there not a specific policy
Palgrave Macmillan

Palgrave Macmillan accepts proposals based on PhD dissertations, even those that have been made available online. Prospective authors should bear in mind that every PhD thesis will need to undergo rigorous revision in order to be published as a monograph with our press
Routledge Contact Routledge directly for advice as there is not a specific policy

Excerpts or material from your dissertation that have not been through peer review will generally be eligible for publication. However, if the excerpt from the dissertation included in your manuscript is the same or substantially the same as any previously published work, the editor may determine that it is not suitable for publication in the journal
Taylor & Francis Necessary to contact Taylor & Francis as the policy varies from journal to journal
Wiley (incl. Blackwell)

The following types of “prior publication” do not present cause for concerns about duplicate or redundant publication:

 • Dissertations and theses in university archives