I recently completed my MA, and I was hoping to upload my dissertation to Academia.edu, and then perhaps submit it to some publishers later on. Although I made some changes to my paper after graduating, it is about 95% identical to the dissertation I had initially submitted to my university. So I was wondering if this would be a problem for me? For instance, say a publisher saw my paper on Academia.edu, or a site similar to it, and then ran it through Turnitin and found that it matched another paper (my original dissertation) almost completely; would this be an issue? Would they think that it is plagiarized? Should I indicate somewhere in the paper that it is a slightly edited version of my MA dissertation?

Thanks in advance for any help. As you can tell, I’m a novice when it comes to getting something published.


It depends on what you're trying to publish. If you're publishing your MA dissertation as your MA dissertation, then there's no problem. This implies your MA dissertation has never been published before, and the fact that it's available already is unimportant. Preprints are a thing, but publishers happily publish the papers that follow preprints.

However if you are publishing chunks of your MA dissertation as part of some future work - for example, if you took a chapter from your MA dissertation because it works great as an introduction to the next thing you did, and you are trying to publish this next thing - then you are self-plagiarizing. This would be taking something that's already been published and publishing it again, and would not be acceptable.

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