One of my supervisors once said to me that a PhD is an “apprenticeship project.” I did not fully understand what this meant until about a month before I handed in my completed dissertation.
I think he meant by this that there is a craft and a science to producing that finished piece of work, whatever the discipline. When the moment comes that you submit, defend and are finally awarded a doctorate by your examiners, you are being recognized as a worthy peer by the academy.
What is it then in your hands to do with the piece of work you have invested several years of your life in?
Publication – yes, but in what form and with whom? I was approached shortly after being awarded my doctorate by a company that wanted to publish my thesis. However, they did not have a peer review process. A friend of mine was similarly approached, and accepted. But she is a communications professional. The value of having her work out in book form supercedes the necessity of peer review. For someone like me who is building a career in scholarship, peer review makes the difference between work that will stand me in good stead when being considered for a lectureship, and work that may not carry so much weight.
How do you find the right publisher and the right audience for your work? Who will hold the copyright and for how long? How long will it take to appear in print?
To all researchers – please consider this an open call to write in with publication questions and answers. The greater our knowledge, the better our decisions.