4

I finished my PhD last year and am now in the process of revising my dissertation into a book or articles.

As I revise my dissertation material, I am of course trying to improve and polish it and make it interesting to a broader audience. However, I have recently grown increasingly anxious about revising my material. As my dissertation is online in a repository, I am really afraid that once I publish material from my dissertation, some readers will compare the dissertation with the published material and notice improvements I have made, mistakes I corrected or things I clarified.

For example, in one of my chapters I give a rather general literature review and summarise a number of publications in one sentence. For a journal article I am now working on, I have now decided to draw two of the listed publications out of the sentence/citation and discuss them separately, mainly as these publications fit the journal I am aiming at more. But I am now worried that some people might feel that I should have done this in my dissertation already to do these articles full justice.

I know that the dissertation is just a draft of sorts (that is what I was often told) and I should probably put it behind me and get on with my publications, but this is still something I think about this and was wondering whether anyone else had similar thoughts and how people generally deal with the revision process.

  • 4
    What's your question? Nothing bad will happen... – Dirk Jan 9 '18 at 17:38
  • 3
    Nobody is going to go back and compare your book/article with your thesis. And even should somebody do so, everyone else will realize they are not doing anything useful. – Jon Custer Jan 9 '18 at 17:38
  • @Dirk I was just wondering whether such thinking was common and how others deal with this problem. My apologies if that wasn't clear. – user85651 Jan 9 '18 at 22:27
  • @JonCuster Thanks that is very helpful. I need to convince myself of that I guess:) – user85651 Jan 9 '18 at 22:50
9

But I am now worried that some people might feel that I should have done this in my dissertation already to do these articles full justice.

It's probably unlikely anyone would compare the two, and if they did notice a difference, most likely they'd appreciate the fact that you improved it in the published version.

But even if they do think your dissertation could have been better, so what? You can't do anything about it. What's the alternative? Don't improve the published version? That would clearly be worse. The published version is what 99% of readers are going to see, and you should make it as good as you can.

I know that the dissertation is just a draft of sorts (that is what I was often told) and I should probably put it behind me and get on with my publications.

Yep, do that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy