You are almost completing your PhD thesis and want to convert it into a journal article. Or, you’re initiating a career as a journal writer and intend to use your thesis as a starting point for an article. Whatever situation, turning a thesis into a journal article is a logical step and a process that eventually every researcher stumbles upon. But… How to start?
The first thing to know about converting a thesis into a journal article is how different they are:
- Meets academic requirements
- Reviewed by select committee members
- Lengthy, no word limits
- Table of contents
- Lengthy research of literature
- IRB approval described in detail
- Description and copies of tools used
- All findings presented
- Verb tenses
Journal article Characteristics:
- Meets journalistic standards
- Reviewed by a panel of blind reviewers
- Word limits
- Manuscript format
- Succinct research of literature
- IRB described in 1 to 3 sentences
- Essential and succinct tool information
- Selected findings presented
- Verb tenses are fairly consistent
Converting thesis to journal article may complex, but not impossible.
A thesis is a document of academic nature, being, therefore, more detailed in content. A journal article, however, is shorter in length, highlighting key points in a more succinct format. Adapting a thesis for conversion into a journal article is a time-consuming and intricate process that can take you away from other important work. In that case, Elsevier’s Language Editing services may help you focus on important matters and provide a high-quality text for submission in no time at all.
If you are going to convert a thesis into a journal article, with or without professional help, here is a list of many steps you will likely have to go through:
1. Identify the best-fitted journal for your work
- Ensure that your article is within the journal’s aim and scope
- Check the journals’ recommended structure and reference style
2. Shorten the length of your thesis
- Treat your thesis as a separate work.
- Paraphrase but do not distort meaning
- Select and repurpose parts of your thesis.
3. Reformat the introduction as an abstract
- Shorten the introduction to 100-150 words but maintain key topics to hold the reader’s attention.
- Use the introduction and discussion as basis for the abstract
4. Modify the introduction
- If your thesis has more than one research question or hypothesis, which are not all relevant for your paper, consider combining your research questions or focusing on one for the article.
- Use previously published papers (at least three) from the target journal as examples.
5. Tighten the methods section
- Keep the discussion about your research approach short.
- Use previously published papers (at least three) from the target journal as examples
6. Report main findings in the results
- Expose your main findings in the results section in concise statements
7. Discussion must be clear and concise
- Begin by providing an interpretation of your results: What is it that we have learned from your research?
- Do not repeat your results in the discussion section:
- Situate the findings to the literature.
- Discuss how your findings expand our perspective.
- Briefly present ways in which future studies can build upon your work and address limitations in your study.
8. Limit the number of references
- Journals limit the number of citations, so make sure:
- To choose the most relevant and recent.
- To format them correctly.
- Consider using a reference manager system (e.g. Mendeley) to make your life easier.
If you are not a proficient English speaker, the task of converting a thesis into a journal article might become even more difficult. At Elsevier’s Language Editing services we ensure that your manuscript is written in correct scientific English before submission. Our professional proofers and revisors checked your text in detail, taking your text as our own and with the guarantee of maximum text quality.
Language editing services by Elsevier Author Services:
Explore our Language Editing Plus: in just 5 working days it includes unlimited rounds of language review, manuscripts formatting to fit your target journal’s requirements, customized cover letter, and an assessment report among other services. Use our Language Editing simulator to learn about the final price and off you go!