Q: What do I need to keep in mind with regard to data when submitting my doctoral dissertation to an academic journal?

Detailed Question -

I conducted qualitative research for my doctoral dissertation. Is it possible to re-analyze the data acquired for my doctoral dissertation and utilize it to write a journal paper? If possible, I am wondering what its validity period would be.

1 Answer to this question

It’s great that you are planning to convert your doctoral dissertation into a journal article. Many new researchers/academics do this, to both start off on their publishing goals and to broadcast their research.

Before answering the data-related questions though, let’s look at a few things you need to keep in mind when converting your dissertation into an article. We have several resources for this (shared below), but provided a few pointers here.

  • A journal article is much shorter than a dissertation. It’s also focused on one topic. A dissertation, in contrast, is around several themes or topics, and therefore, much longer. So, you will need to identify a relevant topic from the different topics in your dissertation.
  • A journal article is aimed primarily at research- and career-inclined professionals. So, it has to be written very crisply and often to attract the attention of busy readers. You especially need to pay attention to the title, abstract, and keywords.
  • You will need to identify relevant target journals, those that publish papers for your field. Additionally, there are several submission and formatting guidelines to follow.

For more help on converting your dissertation into a journal article, you may go through the following resources:

Coming to your query (or queries), as you can understand, without knowing your topic, we would not be able to say whether you should re-analyze the data and also whether it’s still valid. It partly depends on how long ago you completed your PhD. If it was recently, it may not be a problem. If it was a while back, some or even several aspects of the research may not be relevant, and so, you may need to conduct some new experiments. A good way to know if your selected topic is relevant is to look at other papers in the field through a literature search. If there are no similar papers, your topic should still be good. If not, you may have to relook at some aspects as needed.

Hope that helps. And all the best for the adaptation!