Suppose I write a paper that contains mostly results that I previously published in my M.Sc. or Ph.D. thesis. The paper contains another author that is not related to the thesis (not the supervisor), who contributed some other results. How should I relate to the thesis when writing the paper?

  • Should I ignore it altogether since the thesis is not formally considered a publication?
  • Should I cite this as a "previous work"? It is not exactly previous work - it is the current work.
  • Maybe I am not allowed at all to include these results, since it is considered re-publication of something that already appeared?

(domain: theoretical computer science).

EDIT: I am interested in two cases:

  • Case 1: the submission is not anonyomous, so I can mention explicitly that it is my thesis.
  • Case 2: the submission is anonymous, so I am not allowed to mention that is my thesis..

2 Answers 2


Write something along the lines of:

A preliminary version of this paper appeared in Segal-Halevi's thesis [1], new results include X, Y, and Z.

That could appear as a footnote on the opening page, in your related work section (perhaps at the end), or maybe even in the acknowledgements. (Placement in the acknowledgements seems like a corner case that isn't relevant to the OP.)

For anonymous submission, replace Segal-Halevi's thesis [1] with one of the author's thesis, optionally adding, (citation omitted for anonymity).


First and foremost, you should fully explain the situation in detail in the cover letter for the article submission. Whether reviewers understand the situation is not as important as that the editor fully understand what is going on.

From your description, it seems that the current paper is essentially your thesis plus some new results. So, I recommend:

  • For non-anonymous peer review (and for the final accepted version even for anonymous peer review): either in the acknowledgements section or in a footnote on the first page (depending on the journal's style), say something like, "An earlier version of this article was Author's master's/PhD thesis (Author Year)" and give the full citation in the references.
  • For anonymous peer review: you do not need to say anything at all in the article about your thesis. You would not be able to refer to your thesis without identifying yourself, so it is irrelevant for reviewers. Since you will have already informed the editor in the cover letter, there is no concern of multiple submission. If the reviewer happens to come across your thesis and then thus discover your identity, it should seem quite normal to them that the thesis is now being submitted as a regular paper for formal publication, so there should be no problem.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .