My dissertation is drafted in a paper format which consists of three papers that I am planning to publish in future. Can I submit the manuscript to journals in 'as is' condition or I will have to draft new manuscripts based on the old manuscripts.

Please advise.

Thank you.

  • 1
    please edit the question to say whether you are looking for an answer addressing copyright and pre-print permissions or about the content. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 1:55

3 Answers 3


It is often possible to republish your dissertation as articles but it depends on the publishers and it sometimes requires permission.

Journal publishers will generally not publish work that is published elsewhere but dissertations are a common exception. This page run by the MIT libraries lists many science and engineering publishers and their rules about publishing articles that first appeared in dissertations. For other publishers, you'll need to check websites or ask journal staff or editor.


Are you hoping to publish in a peer-reviewed journal? If so, I expect your dissertation will need to go through substantial revisions. More specifically, I expect your dissertation will need to be condensed to some extent. Many journals for example want articles less than 5000 words, and I expect your dissertation, even in three papers, would be larger than this.

It is possible that your dissertation is brief and will require minimal changes, but this is not often the case. I would check what journals you want to submit to, and check their length requirements. Often manuscripts based off of manuscripts feel like they were originally a manuscript, and not in a good way. Journal articles often get to the point quite quicker. For example, in original research articles (not reviews and such), introductions vary from 500-3000 words depending on the field (more is possible, of course). In a dissertation, an introduction might be 30 pages!

Your dissertation likely also covers a fair bit of breadth. Make sure to include in a manuscript only the information that is relevant to that specific paper and line of thinking.

I'm assuming this question is about the content/format, and not copyright and such. If you are wondering about copyright, my impression is what in most cases you can submit your dissertation exactly as it is for publication, unless you have already signed your copyright away.

  • The way I understand it his dissertation contains 3 drafts of papers (+ some introduction and other things), just like a cumulative one would contain published papers. In that case if he has done it right the drafts would already meet the requirements of the journals.
    – user64845
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 7:11

You can extract three manuscripts from your dissertation and publish, but...

Your dissertation presumably comprises of the following sections: (1) Introduction, (2) Tools (filed dependent background material), (3) Manuscript 1, (4) Manuscript 2, (5) Manuscript 3, and (6) Conclusion. You can't simply pull-out Sections 3-5 and publish, because they lack sufficient introduction and tools. Moreover, before your dissertation is accepted, those sections might change. So,

I suggest that you:

  1. Wait until your dissertation is accepted (hence, all sections are in final version),
  2. (Assuming you're using LaTeX) add macros to Section 2 so that it can present tools for each of Manuscripts 1-3 individually (this avoids having to maintain three overlapping sections), and
  3. Merge each of Sections 3-5 with Section 1 and the aforementioned tools section to derive three manuscripts.

If you are still drafting your dissertation, then you might be able to reduce the above work load a little, but, I'd suggest not worrying too much about that.

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