Q: How do I write a journal article based on my postdoc thesis?

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I was awarded my PhD in 2010 on ‘The Impact of the Art of Living Courses on the Marital Adjustments of Indian Women’ from the Department of Psychology, Gauhati University, India. I could not publish any articles as I got married and my life took another turn. Please guide as to how I can write a research article from my PhD thesis and the procedure to publish it in a journal with a high impact factor (IF).

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Answer:

Firstly, congrats on your decision to get back to the sphere of scholarly publishing! There are two parts to your question, and I shall respond to them in sequence.

It is a common practice to write a journal article based on a postdoc thesis. You could base it on a specific part, or certain parts of your thesis. In your case, as your paper is almost a decade old, I would suggest going through recent literature in the respective fields discussed in your paper to acquaint yourself with new information, updates, and research. This may help look at your paper in a new light or even provide a completely new path for your journal paper. If you are in touch with your university professors, you may also contact them for guidance on how to use your thesis for the article. For more information, you may refer to the following articles:

For journal selection and submission, you could begin the selection and pre-submission process along with the manuscript writing. This will help you save time during the submission and post-submission process as the journal publication process is quite a long one, especially for your area of research, the humanities, where it could even go up to one or two years. Again, you could approach your university professors for help in identifying appropriate journals for your field. This will be especially helpful as the impact factor (IF) is no longer considered the primary criterion, or even the only one, for deciding on a journal. Also, there may be journals with a lower IF but greater relevance for your field. Again, here are a few pieces to help you decide on the right journal for submission:

A couple of final pointers. As a part of your pre-submission or submission process, it would help to initiate and maintain correspondence with the journal editor. You could inform them that you are basing your article on your thesis and check if they are fine with this. (In most cases, they should be.) They would also acquaint you with the publication guidelines for that specific journal.

All the best for your renewed career decision – and your paper!

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