What is a "publishable" thesis?

I have often heard this term thrown about in conferences and even as advice to new grad. students.

From what I know, it is indeed rare for a thesis to be published entirely as a book, though one can publish papers out of the thesis.

2 Answers 2


In some cases it might mean that the thesis could be published as a book. However, I'd generally interpret the phrase to mean that the thesis could readily be adapted and published as one or more journal articles.

  • and the conclusions don't make the sponsors of that journal angry... So much of science has become politicised to the point where studies that counter the agendas of major pressure groups may be impossible to publish because there's simply no publication that dares take them on for fear of losing lucrative business deals with other parties that have more money to spend than you.
    – jwenting
    Feb 6, 2014 at 11:46

I assume that, once again, this probably depends on your field and country.
In the Netherlands, apparently, it is required to leave a large quantity (>100) with your university. Also, an ISBN will be assigned, according to my contract. This should mean that anyone could quite easily order a copy. I don't want to know the costs of such an order though.
Sometimes you can also find them on Google Scholar. Although I'm not sure how i will have to proceed to have mine appear there (in years), I like to read them. They usually are well written and give a very good overview of the field in a concise manner. Reading papers to achieve that kind of overview usually takes a lot longer.
This would be my answer to the title question. A well written overview of the work, done during your PhD, in relation to what is known in the field.

  • In some places, all theses have unique ISBN. In some places, the university issues theses as a series with ISSN. In some places, the university do not care.
    – yo'
    Feb 5, 2014 at 22:41

You must log in to answer this question.

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