my professor stated that my thesis has potential to be published in a scientific journal.

I have not come into contact with publishing in journals yet.

He advised me to put my empirical results, which I sent him, into concise writing as is done in journal articles.

Overall, I feel happy to receive such a good feedback. At the same time, however, I do have the feelings of impostor syndrome creeping up. That is:

  • I personally feel the research that I have done not "that" impressive - I simply extended a model to an empirical question in finance/economics and have new results
  • I feel a certain sense of pressure that my professor thinks that I am a much "better" (smarter) academic researcher than I actually am

Additionally, I am not one hundred percent sure what I am getting myself into. I've read on other threads that it is extremely rare that the results of one thesis are enough to be published. I went into the writing process of the thesis with the mindset to get done and over with it around a certain date - I don't really see with which resources I could shoulder further review requests down the road, as I am not going to enroll in a PhD program for now.

On the other hand, I feel that my concerns might be exaggerated. In the field of my thesis, my professor is a leading researcher with tons of publications. Following that, I strongly assume that he has the ability to gauge whether it makes sense to submit the piece.

Overall I am elated with the feedback. At the same time much more anxious than before!

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    "I've read on other threads that it is extremely rare that the results of one thesis are enough to be published" Master's theses differ a huge amount from field to field and country to country. In some places and fields, Master's theses are expected to be publishable research; in others it's less common. It sounds like you have a nice piece of work and you should trust your supervisor's judgement about its worth! Mar 23, 2023 at 14:41
  • @astronat - thanks. that might be a very good point. I think indeed that the other thread was about computer science (if not mistaken). Some commenters were pointing out that if they even think of publishing a piece, it contains the insights of 4-5 thesis. Which fueled my inadequacy complex even more :D Mar 23, 2023 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


It does not have to be worthy of some big international prize. It just has to be new and potentially useful to other researchers.

Consider if you were back to the start of your grad work. If your current work were published and available to you, you could have done some other new work. That is, publishing helps other people avoid repeating stuff. If you don't publish then somebody else may have to re-do the work you have just done.

Publishing means you help humanity advance. Maybe only a tiny bit. But "every little helps." (Unless you live in the UK you probably won't get the reference to TESCO adverts.) Or, in the words of Isaac Asimov: There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

Also, consider the tiny cost to you of publishing, compared to the potential benefit. You work for a few days to tidy up the chapter of your thesis into a journal article. And (maybe) you get to call yourself a published scientist. Even if you don't stay in academia it feels good and looks good on a CV.

  • Thanks for the answer! Re cost/benefit - that is what I wondered. I've read on other threads that it takes significant amount of additional work. This is what is daunting to me. If it only were a few days of tidying up I would be all in for it. What horrifies me more is that very smart experts in the respective field will review the piece and sure might have a lot of additional requests in order for it to be published. Not sure if I am able to manage that. Mar 23, 2023 at 14:57
  • Re: prep for a journal article. Probably you want an intro and summary. You might be able to lift those from your intro and summary in your thesis. And probably you want to be somewhat terse relative to the thesis. But most likely the thesis already has most of the words you need, and probably all the equations, graphs, tables, etc.
    – Boba Fit
    Mar 23, 2023 at 20:58
  1. You said that your professor is a leading researcher with tons of publications. Why then not to trust him?

  2. You are expressing doubts about the value of your research. But expressing these doubts is not your part of the work -- leave this part to the editors and reviewers. They are here to criticise and question. So leave their work to them, and do your work: write a paper.

  3. Do not try to look too far ahead, and do not get scared in advance. Having you paper gone through the refereeing process is not that scary, especially if you have a knowledgeable professor by your side. In the process, though, you will learn a lot -- which by itself is a good reason to take pen to paper.

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