Publishing Undergrad Dissertation - Has anyone done this?

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blossomx
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Just wondering if anyone has published their undergraduate dissertation and if so, what grade did you get and what was your experience in getting it published?

Edit: in a peer reviewed journal
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artful_lounger
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When you say publishing, do you mean in a peer reviewed journal, or as like...a monograph through a publishing house or self-published?

For the former the answer is sort-of-yes. I highly doubt the full dissertation would be published as is. However it may be rewritten as a short article and submitted, either by yourself, with your supervisor, or more likely, as a publication primarily written by your supervisor but using part of your dissertation (data for instance) and with you as a (subsequent) named author.

Given the time scales involved in publishing in peer reviewed journals, this will normally happen well after you graduate. I do believe one of my friends wrote a paper with his (PhD) supervisor using his dissertation, which was published in the second year of his PhD. One of my other friend's PhD thesis directly continued on from his undergraduate dissertation (with the same supervisor) so inevitably he now has publications related to if not directly using his dissertation - during his PhD.

These examples are all in STEM fields though (also as I recall they all got high 2:1s or 1st class marks, at least overall if not in the dissertation itself).

For the latter I doubt it - I mean you could self-publish but that would just be...awkward. Perhaps if you became extraordinarily well known in your field there may be demand for it...maybe. In any case individual universities hold a copy of all theses and dissertations which are usually available for viewing by request, at least internally. So for that purpose it's a bit irrelevant.
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blossomx
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
When you say publishing, do you mean in a peer reviewed journal, or as like...a monograph through a publishing house or self-published?

For the former the answer is sort-of-yes. I highly doubt the full dissertation would be published as is. However it may be rewritten as a short article and submitted, either by yourself, with your supervisor, or more likely, as a publication primarily written by your supervisor but using part of your dissertation (data for instance) and with you as a (subsequent) named author.

Given the time scales involved in publishing in peer reviewed journals, this will normally happen well after you graduate. I do believe one of my friends wrote a paper with his (PhD) supervisor using his dissertation, which was published in the second year of his PhD. One of my other friend's PhD thesis directly continued on from his undergraduate dissertation (with the same supervisor) so inevitably he now has publications related to if not directly using his dissertation - during his PhD.

These examples are all in STEM fields though (also as I recall they all got high 2:1s or 1st class marks, at least overall if not in the dissertation itself).

For the latter I doubt it - I mean you could self-publish but that would just be...awkward. Perhaps if you became extraordinarily well known in your field there may be demand for it...maybe. In any case individual universities hold a copy of all theses and dissertations which are usually available for viewing by request, at least internally. So for that purpose it's a bit irrelevant.
Sorry I should have specified, yes a peer-reviewed journal with the help of my supervisor.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by LeaX)
Sorry I should have specified, yes a peer-reviewed journal with the help of my supervisor.
Well then yes, as demonstrated it does happen; it's sort of incidental usually though as noted.
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Helloworld_95
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Usually you would publish a paper based upon the work you did in your dissertation rather than the dissertation itself, as 50+ pages is usually way too much for an article in a journal unless it's one specifically for dissertations e.g. the Undergraduate Award. You'll also need your supervisor to say yes to it as they are a co-author, their name is going to carry a lot more weight than yours, and they'll know where to submit it and what constitutes a publishable paper.

As artful_lounger said, it will usually take a while to get published, probably within the year after you finish your dissertation though. It's also worth going for something like BCUR which will add something to your research portfolio and isn't too difficult to get into.
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blossomx
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Usually you would publish a paper based upon the work you did in your dissertation rather than the dissertation itself, as 50+ pages is usually way too much for an article in a journal unless it's one specifically for dissertations e.g. the Undergraduate Award. You'll also need your supervisor to say yes to it as they are a co-author, their name is going to carry a lot more weight than yours, and they'll know where to submit it and what constitutes a publishable paper.

As artful_lounger said, it will usually take a while to get published, probably within the year after you finish your dissertation though. It's also worth going for something like BCUR which will add something to your research portfolio and isn't too difficult to get into.
Thank you for your reply. Yeah I understand it would need a lot of editing, my supervisor is the one who suggested it but we haven't yet received our marks back so I'm a bit apprehensive about it until I know what my grade is. I know before my supervisor said he would help with the process but I don't understand how that will work given that I will no longer be a student at the university so it's not like I can go in for meetings? Plus my university email will be closed once I graduate? I guess I'm also wondering what is in it for my supervisor as it will take up time of theirs that seems to go above and beyond their role, which I am obviously incredibly grateful for.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by LeaX)
Thank you for your reply. Yeah I understand it would need a lot of editing, my supervisor is the one who suggested it but we haven't yet received our marks back so I'm a bit apprehensive about it until I know what my grade is. I know before my supervisor said he would help with the process but I don't understand how that will work given that I will no longer be a student at the university so it's not like I can go in for meetings? Plus my university email will be closed once I graduate? I guess I'm also wondering what is in it for my supervisor as it will take up time of theirs that seems to go above and beyond their role, which I am obviously incredibly grateful for.
The grade you get for it doesn't really correlate with whether you should publish it or not. The results can be of publishable quality even if your diss is awfully written, and it's the results which matter.

I don't see any reason why your supervisor can't contact you. Obviously meetings will be a bit more difficult, but he can just email you via your personal address. It's not that much of a time commitment, and he ends up with an extra publication that he's co-author of, so don't sweat it.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by LeaX)
Thank you for your reply. Yeah I understand it would need a lot of editing, my supervisor is the one who suggested it but we haven't yet received our marks back so I'm a bit apprehensive about it until I know what my grade is. I know before my supervisor said he would help with the process but I don't understand how that will work given that I will no longer be a student at the university so it's not like I can go in for meetings? Plus my university email will be closed once I graduate? I guess I'm also wondering what is in it for my supervisor as it will take up time of theirs that seems to go above and beyond their role, which I am obviously incredibly grateful for.
You can obviously communicate via private email. Your supervisor might want a joint credit on the published article eg LeaX and Smith. (Make sure your name comes first!)

My Master's dissertation was published in this manner, though it was pre email so the writing process involved sending drafts back and forward via letter!



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blossomx
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
The grade you get for it doesn't really correlate with whether you should publish it or not. The results can be of publishable quality even if your diss is awfully written, and it's the results which matter.

I don't see any reason why your supervisor can't contact you. Obviously meetings will be a bit more difficult, but he can just email you via your personal address. It's not that much of a time commitment, and he ends up with an extra publication that he's co-author of, so don't sweat it.
Thank you for your help

(Original post by ageshallnot)
You can obviously communicate via private email. Your supervisor might want a joint credit on the published article eg LeaX and Smith. (Make sure your name comes first!)

My Master's dissertation was published in this manner, though it was pre email so the writing process involved sending drafts back and forward via letter!



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Thank you, wow I can't imagine how frustrating it would be doing it via letter, I admit it will be so cool seeing my name on a published paper!
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by LeaX)
Thank you, wow I can't imagine how frustrating it would be doing it via letter, I admit it will be so cool seeing my name on a published paper!
Even cooler is when you see it cited in another paper! 😉
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Justmac
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I've just started working towards publishing my diss yesterday. Received my grade Friday (though my supervisor had mentioned publishing in Sept. when I hadn't written anything!). First thing is to usually decide where you are going to target for publishing i.e. an undergraduate journal or a bigger academic journal. Make a list of ones you would think of targeting and their requirements in regards to length, sub sections etc. You may be rejected a couple of times but they will give you feedback on how to improve it for re-submission. My supervisor has advised the process can take a year or so.

Also well done! Even if you haven't received your grade yet, your supervisor suggesting publishing means it is definitely good!

In regards to communication it is fine to use your personal email once you finish. I communicate with my supervisor through phone calls/whatsapp and email.

What discipline are you in?
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blossomx
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(Original post by Justmac)
I've just started working towards publishing my diss yesterday. Received my grade Friday (though my supervisor had mentioned publishing in Sept. when I hadn't written anything!). First thing is to usually decide where you are going to target for publishing i.e. an undergraduate journal or a bigger academic journal. Make a list of ones you would think of targeting and their requirements in regards to length, sub sections etc. You may be rejected a couple of times but they will give you feedback on how to improve it for re-submission. My supervisor has advised the process can take a year or so.

Also well done! Even if you haven't received your grade yet, your supervisor suggesting publishing means it is definitely good!

In regards to communication it is fine to use your personal email once you finish. I communicate with my supervisor through phone calls/whatsapp and email.

What discipline are you in?
Thank you and congrats on your dissertation! My grade should be out some time this week so I'm anxiously waiting for it before beginning the process. Do you find the dynamic is different between you and your supervisor now you are not an undergraduate doing a compulsory assignment?

I study Biomedicine, what about you?
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Justmac
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Education, so the process might be different because my research was conducted through qualitative interviews. Was yours lab based?

I've part of a fairly small department, 100 or so people in my year and was course rep so heavily involved in meetings etc, so lecturers know me quite well. I had a fairly relaxed relationship with my supervisor this year anyway but I think it is a different dynamic. Or at least it dawned on me yesterday as I spoke with her, but in producing the paper for publication we are (almost) equals. It is certainly more relaxed and feels like a joint effort. Hopefully it will feel the same way for you! What's your plans for next year?
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Magdatrix >_<
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I got a 1st on mine and my supervisor mentioned trying to publish the research many times . . . that was four years ago now.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by LeaX)
Just wondering if anyone has published their undergraduate dissertation and if so, what grade did you get and what was your experience in getting it published?

Edit: in a peer reviewed journal
You can't do it for some reason it's the universitys IP.
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Justmac
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(Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
I got a 1st on mine and my supervisor mentioned trying to publish the research many times . . . that was four years ago now.
Eek :/ Frustrating...
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blossomx
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(Original post by Justmac)
Education, so the process might be different because my research was conducted through qualitative interviews. Was yours lab based?

I've part of a fairly small department, 100 or so people in my year and was course rep so heavily involved in meetings etc, so lecturers know me quite well. I had a fairly relaxed relationship with my supervisor this year anyway but I think it is a different dynamic. Or at least it dawned on me yesterday as I spoke with her, but in producing the paper for publication we are (almost) equals. It is certainly more relaxed and feels like a joint effort. Hopefully it will feel the same way for you! What's your plans for next year?
No it was quantitive but not lab based.

(Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
I got a 1st on mine and my supervisor mentioned trying to publish the research many times . . . that was four years ago now.
My result just came through by email that I got a first on mine

(Original post by jonathanemptage)
You can't do it for some reason it's the universitys IP.
I don't think it is because it's not lab based, I know there are issues with lab work being the property of the university, but not this. I received my feedback by email today and it says that publication should be attempted.
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Justmac
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(Original post by LeaX)
No it was quantitive but not lab based.


My result just came through by email that I got a first on mine



I don't think it is because it's not lab based, I know there are issues with lab work being the property of the university, but not this. I received my feedback by email today and it says that publication should be attempted.
Congratulations I would definitely go for publication then! Maybe give yourself some time off (I got bored after two weeks) and then email your tutor to discuss your next steps. If you are really proactive with it, then it is unlikely to be forgotten about. Just my two pence
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_will_bell
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Hi guys,

I don't mean to rekindle an old flame but I could do with a bit of information regarding publishing too. I'm a 3rd year undergrad doing a degree in finance. My diss supervisor got back to me asking if I would like to go forward with trying to get it published. He says he shared it with a few colleagues at other universities and said he would do the writing and the another colleague do the formatting... If they both do that, where does my name fit in!?
I'm obviously buzzing that my supervisor believes my paper can be published but at the same time I don't want someone else taking credit for the work I've done by repackaging my diss into a small article submitted to a journal... help!
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by _will_bell)
Hi guys,

I don't mean to rekindle an old flame but I could do with a bit of information regarding publishing too. I'm a 3rd year undergrad doing a degree in finance. My diss supervisor got back to me asking if I would like to go forward with trying to get it published. He says he shared it with a few colleagues at other universities and said he would do the writing and the another colleague do the formatting... If they both do that, where does my name fit in!?
I'm obviously buzzing that my supervisor believes my paper can be published but at the same time I don't want someone else taking credit for the work I've done by repackaging my diss into a small article submitted to a journal... help!
Make sure that the paper is authored as by "YourName, TutorName and OtherName". Then it will always be referred to as "YourName et al".

You should also ask that you get input into the writing even if it's just you commenting on the drafts.
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