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Rewriting your PhD dissertation into a journal article - matters of self-plagiarism

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I've published my PhD dissertation and got my PhD recently. Can I rewrite my PhD dissertation for publication in a journal article?

And in the process of doing so, can I simply recycle(re-use word per word) sentences from my PhD thesis, or do I have to rephrase everything to avoid self-plagiarism?

Are there any special annotations that I have to make when publishing my PhD dissertation as a journal article?

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What's your field? In the social sciences and humanities, most dissertations get reworked and published as books (often after securing a tenure-track position), not articles. In the sciences, it's common to publish an article by eliminating extraneous information and focusing on the more pertinent parts. But in those cases, the dissertation wouldn't have been considered an official publication. If you just submitted it via something like ProQuest, I'm not sure that's considered an official publication either (you can double check with your advisers), so I don't think that recycling would be a huge deal. If you do have an official publication in the form of a book or an article in a legit journal, though, then you should definitely not self-plagiarize. You can, however, cite your previous work when you decide to draw upon it. Your article should still be something original, not a duplicate of what you had previously published in the event that your dissertation had been in fact officially published. Your previous work would just be considered a resource like any other.

Edited by ThousandsHardships

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I think that somewhere in the ProQuest or electronic submission platforms there is a item that says that you can't (or shouldn't) publish more than x% of your dissertation before the book (I'm a book field) so that presses want to publish it. 

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Depends where you published the dissertation and what agreement you entered into with whoever published it. 

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I'm busy trying to cut the boring half out of my master's dissertation to bring it to article length, and nobody I've talked to about it seems to have been the least bit worried.

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It's entirely normal to publish chunks of your dissertation as standalone articles, or to use it as the basis for a book (or, indeed, in some fields it's entirely normal to publish it all as a book). If all you mean is that you submitted it to the graduate school, then don't worry about it and cut and paste as appropriate. If "publishing" means you did something else with it that resulted in it finding its way into the (academic) public arena, then you're out of luck where cutting and pasting is concerned, and will have to paraphrase and cite properly.

 

If you received external funding to conduct your research, you'll have to declare and acknowledge it when publishing either parts of your dissertation, or the whole thing. That's the only special annotation required, though.

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It's my understanding that the use of one's own work is a grey area in the definition of plagiarism and that the definition is shifting/expanding. MOO, it's better to err on the side of caution. 

In the field of history, John Lewis Gaddis is especially good at citing his own work. 

Also, one can find examples of how scholars refer to unpublished work that forms the basis of articles in academic journals and published collections of essays. In regards to the former, search for the first articles published by leading scholars in one's field, for annual addresses by the presidents of various associations and organizations. Broad brush, one of the initial footnotes will say "this work is an expanded/condensed version of X...". In regards to the latter, read the acknowledgments and permissions for examples of how the issue is addressed. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sigaba said:

In the field of history, John Lewis Gaddis is especially good at citing his own work. 

This feels like one of those backhanded compliments :ph34r:

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40 minutes ago, telkanuru said:

This feels like one of those backhanded compliments :ph34r:

Yeah...I thought about rephrasing the comment but, you know. 

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