Elsevier’s tips for turning your thesis into an article

Scientific publisher Elsevier has recently relaunched its free e-learning platform as Researcher Academy. Yes, it’s free with great resources for researchers, particularly on getting published.

One of their new resources is a webinar on How to turn your thesis into an article. Watch the one hour video or read the two-page tips summary here.

The most obvious difference between a thesis and an article is length – a thesis is much longer than a journal article. But where to cut the words? It’s not just a matter of selecting a few paragraphs from your thesis to cut and paste into an article. You will have to write concise new material. Think about your key messages and what you want to emphasise. There is likely to be more than one publishable paper in a thesis.

Elsevier’s 8 tips are:

  1. Identify the appropriate target journal.
  2. Shorten the length of your thesis.
  3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract.
  4. Modify the introduction.
  5. Tighten the methods section.
  6. Report main findings in results.
  7. Ensure discussion is clear and concise.
  8. Limit number of references.

These tips assume the traditional thesis format, but thesis by publication is increasing in popularity. In this new format, a thesis may present several articles published during the candidature, with a synthesising introduction and conclusion.

For editing and writing inquiries, contact me at rhdaniels@bigpond.com

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