5 Key takeaways from the TAA webinar, ‘5 Ways to Use Your Dissertation for Publications’

Dissertation to publicationsJanet Salmons, PhD, mined every element of her dissertation to launch a publishing strategy that has resulted in five books and numerous chapters and cases, articles and blog posts. She created a typology of five options for drawing from, building on, or applying student writing, which she shared in the May 18 TAA Webinar, “5 Ways to Use Your Dissertation for Publications”. Here are 5 key takeaways from the presentation:

  1. The publishing world is changing. Authors have many new options for publishing, such as self-publishing, electronic publishing, and open access journals, as well as their own blogs, websites, and social media.
  2. Authors should think about their career goals when deciding on their publishing options. The path they take may be different depending on whether they want a tenure track position; lecturer, instructor, or other faculty position; or want to work as a professional researcher, industry consultant, or freelancer. However, many of the same publishing options can apply to all of these career paths since academics and authors are increasingly expected to have a digital presence.
  3. The dissertation structure is similar to other publishing structures. This makes it easier to dissect the dissertation and mine it for other publications. The 5-chapter dissertation structure of introduction, literature review, methodology, results and discussion, mirrors the academic journal article structure, for example.
  4. Look at the 5 chapters of your dissertation and determine the strengths in each of the sections. Each section has content that could be drawn from or built upon to create separate publications. “Typically, people tend to think about publishing the results of their study, but I encourage you to really look at each chapter and try to see what strengths you really have to work with,” said Salmons.
  5. There are 5 options for developing your publication strategy according to Salmons’ typology: Extract, condense, expand, adapt, and/or apply. Extract – pull out one piece from the dissertation and develop an essay, article or chapter on that piece. Condense – shrink a piece down to fit the length parameters of an article or chapter by drawing essential concepts from each chapter of the dissertation. Expand – Update your search or add new exemplars, cases, tips or suggestions. Adapt – Take a new look at or develop a new analysis of the findings, or reach out to a new audience for your findings. Apply – Identify practical uses for your findings, such as guidelines, a manual, or set of instructions.

Watch the full webinar in TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand. Free for members!


Keep the conversation going!

Join a discussion with Janet in the Textbook Writing & Publishing Circle in TAA’s online member community, CONNECT. Share your challenges and obstacles as you develop a publication strategy for your dissertation. What are you struggling with right now?

About Kim Pawlak

Kim Pawlak is Director of Publishing & Operations for the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). She has been writing about the textbook and academic authoring and publishing industry for 20 years.