I am a first year PhD student in the social sciences at a Canadian institution, and I'm wondering whether it's worth submitting a paper to a "graduate" peer-reviewed journal. This would be my first experience in publication. There are a few different types of graduate journals. However, I'm referring here to those journals written and produced by PhD and post-doc students. To my mind, the advantages would include: more chances of getting published, and this would be a great advantage in the first years of a PhD project; a smoother review process and, hence, more time to concentrate on courses and/or other projects. The quality of the work that these journals publish is very good. However, is it better, to wait, re-read and try to improve my paper in order to submit it to higher ranked journals?

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    never heard of such a journal. (would this be akin to the Harvard Law Review in which the current president had once been the editor when he was in law school?) anyway, it seems to me that such a journal exists for a reason. if your dissertation (or chapter therein) is on-topic for that journal, why not? Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 0:03
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    When in doubt, find a couple professors in your program that you trust, and ask them personally for their advice. If you already have a thesis advisor, ask her as well. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 0:35
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    What does your advisor say?
    – Davidmh
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:39
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    Do you read papers in those journals? Do you cite them?
    – JeffE
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:02
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    Please refrain from editing the question too many times. Given that answers are not likely to be changed based on edits to the question, making changes after answers are posted may make previous answers no longer applicable. We like to avoid that if possible.
    – eykanal
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


You want to publish papers in the best journal or conference you can. If your Masters thesis can be published in a serious journal, you should attempt to send it there. Publications are the currency of academia and a publication in a better journal often translates to higher value.

However, there are lots of reasons to send it to a "graduate" or lower-tier journal.

  • The journals in your field might consider a thesis to be previously published and they might not accept previously published work.

  • Your Masters work might be unrelated to your PhD work and you'd rather spend your time working on new more important work.

  • Your thesis would require a lot of work that would take away your new work. It might be better in the long run to work on new ideas as opposed to spending time trying to clean up or improve your previous work.

Without knowing your exact situation, it's hard for random strangers on the Internet to make an exact call. You should talk to your adviser or a professor in your department to get more informed and personalized advice.

EDIT: I should point out that my experience have all been in computer science. Things may differ in the social sciences.

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