Chapter 23: From Dissertation to Published Research: So Close, Yet So Far
Anna O. Law When are you actually ‘finished’ with a research product? While the completion of a Master’s thesis or dissertation are major milestones in your career, these events should be conceived of as the beginning, not the end of a research project if your aim is to actually publish the research piece as a journal article or academic book. Elsewhere I have written about the search for a research question and about finding the appropriate methodology and research design to match your research question (Law, 2007). In this chapter I draw upon my own experiences from the field, particularly how to transition from a dissertation into an academic publication.1 This chapter also addresses questions of how to enhance and build on existing research by identifying and shoring up weaknesses. In revising an existing work for publication, two general themes apply: you must remain ‘flexible’ and ‘humble.’ Flexibility will be necessary because in going from existing research to publishable research, the transition may require continuing your education beyond the attainment of a degree and the learning of new and unfamiliar skills and methodologies. Humility will be required because the move from existing research to publishable research will entail receiving sometimes harsh critiques of your work and then later, it may require massive and extensive revisions to an existing project. The discussions in this chapter will also have implications for anyone revising any existing project, including conference or seminar papers, into a publishable piece in an academic journal. You breathe a...
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