Is it okay to publish my thesis when it was done 2 yrs ago?

I defended my master's thesis in February 2016 but the data gathering was done in October 2015 and the final revision was submitted to my university in March 2016.

I thought of submitting my thesis for journal publication. Do you think they would still accept it when it's been done 2 yrs ago? I had been very busy after graduation and I never had the chance to submit my research paper for publication.

Hope for your enlightenment


Thank you for taking time in answering my query. My field of study is in Psychology. It's a causal, experimental research. After I defended my thesis, I got the highest grade in my final defense. I was told by my adviser to submit my paper for journal publication and present it on the upcoming convention (that year) but I had been extremely busy because I focused on the licensure exam that time. It's not totally an original study because I adopted the intervention from the US. My study was to try it in the Philippine setting but there were some modification on the approach to suit with the respondents. I'm concerned about the originality, if you send your paper for publication, does it really have to be fully original especially the intervention? I really want to have it published so I can teach this intervention to others (to my community) especially to financially incapable families who can't afford to pay for a behavioral therapist or psychologist. Since the intervention is a cost-effective approach.

  • 3
    Which field, which general topic? Some topics stay fresh for a longer time than others, but in general, two years is not a long time at all. You may need to update your paper with the latest literature, if your field is moving fast.
    – henning
    Apr 5, 2018 at 10:06
  • 2
    Do you still have contact to your former supervisor and can discuss this with them?
    – user90948
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:42
  • I have made an update above as a response to your comment. Thanks for taking time in answering my question.
    – Sofia Kim
    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:39
  • 2
    well, i dunno what journal you're considering. many journals have different "levels" or grades of published documents with full-fledged "papers" as the most salient and novel works. then there might be some kinda "reports" or "correspondence" for submissions that the editors feel the readership can benefit from, but do not quite cut it academically as the leading papers. but i don't know. good luck with this. other than your time, there is little that you risk by submitting. Apr 6, 2018 at 10:53

3 Answers 3

  1. Is the information offered in your thesis interesting?
  2. Useful?
  3. Original?
  4. Previously unpublished and not known?
  5. Pertinent to the subscribers of the journal to which it is to be submitted?
  6. Would the visibility of the published work be useful to you, professionally?

Now none of those questions have anything to do with how long this work has been sitting around (like for 2 years). If all of the answers to those six questions was "yes", what reason in the world would there be to not publish?

Even if it was, say, 4 outa 6 "yeses", why wouldn't you publish?

There was some things I did in grad school that I thought was crap, yet I was encouraged to submit to publication (and I didn't). So, Sofia, you need to look at the content of your thesis and ask yourself if the work has value, if someone else reading it will find authentic value in it. And you need to make some attempt to evaluate its novelty (but don't worry, the reviewers/referees will let you know if there is uncited previous published work).

I can't think of a reason in the world where, if the content would otherwise be worthy of publication, that the two years would make any difference at all.

  • I have made an update above as a response to your comment. Thanks for taking time in answering my question.
    – Sofia Kim
    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:39

If the data or comparable studies were not published from you, your former institute, collaborators, or third party, go for it. You might want to ask your someone in the field about a matching journal and then submit an article. If it is not interesting at all, it will be rejected.

I have seen post-docs presenting their thesis a couple of years on different posters just to advertise their work and get into touch with people because they had not yet gathered enough new material.

  • I have made an update above as a response to your comment. Thanks for taking time in answering my question.
    – Sofia Kim
    Apr 6, 2018 at 10:39

Based on your update, I think it is likely that your work could be published successfully. As long as you acknowledge the intervention you adapted, your work should provide useful evidence that that work can be replicated and that it can be successful in the Philippine setting as you adapted it.

Because of the delay, you should update your literature review to make sure to incorporate further developments in the last two years. If someone else has now done a similar intervention in a similar context, you should especially engage with their work.

Good luck! Especially if you ask your advisor for leads on where to submit, I think you can get your work published and out there for others to benefit from.

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