Aim To identify strategies to assist in the publication of research arising from a postgraduate thesis or dissertation.
Background There are many benefits to publishing a journal article from a completed thesis, including contributing knowledge to the writer’s chosen field, career enhancement and personal satisfaction. However, there are also numerous obstacles for the newly graduated student in crafting an article fit for a specialist publication from a thesis.
Data sources The author conducted a search of the title, abstract and keywords of the Cinahl, Scopus and Proquest databases, from 1990 to 2010: The author searched for the words: ‘journal article’ or ‘manuscript; ‘thesis’ or ‘dissertation’.
Review methods The author excluded papers if: they pertained to allocation of authorship to someone other than the academic adviser; related to undergraduate issues rather than graduate dissertations; were discussions of the merits of a PhD by ‘publication’ instead of ‘by thesis’; were not published in a peer-reviewed journal; or were not in English.
Conclusion The relationship between adviser and student changes as the student becomes a graduate, and new roles for the student and adviser need to be negotiated.
Implications for research/practice Students need to realise that writing a paper from a thesis is usually going to be more difficult than they anticipate, but the application of strategies discussed in this paper should make the task manageable. Furthermore, universities might wish to consider alternatives in which published papers emerge before the examination of a thesis, such as requiring students to write a paper as part of their coursework.