Q: If I publish a journal article based on my dissertation, will it be considered self-plagiarism?

Detailed Question -

Hi, I am thinking about revising my doctoral dissertation into a journal article to have a broader readership. But I am concerned about any potential problems of self-plagiarism.

My doctoral dissertation was electronically published by the university in 2014. In that case, can I still submit an article the content of which is based on most parts of my doctoral dissertation? Would there be any problems of publication ethics? Thank you in advance for your guidance. 

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1 Answer to this question

Converting a thesis or dissertation into one or more journal articles is an acceptable practice. Most journals will not have any issues with this as long as you mention this in your cover letter and cite the source in your manuscript. However, the plagiarism checking software used by the journal will detect a high percentage of similar content if you directly copy paste from the dissertation. Some journals might have a problem with this. Therefore, it is advisable to paraphrase or rewrite the content. Additionally, a thesis and a journal article are two completely different sub-genres of academic writing. Each caters to a different audience and sets different expectations. Therefore, it is best to take the ideas and rewrite the content using the style and format of a journal submission.

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