I have a question on publishing papers from my PhD thesis. I found this topic in other answered questions, but never exactly the same (forgive me if I am wrong), and I need some more comments on this. I wrote my thesis as a collection of few papers, following the model of my research school, but never went on submitting those, for several reasons and for several years. Now I think the right time came, but I am doubtful I can publish the papers in the thesis "as they are", since the thesis is publicly available. Well, to publish papers from thesis chapters is a common procedure in the research school I attended, but normally it is done in the same year, or few years later, while I graduated 6 years ago. I contacted the editor of the journal I wish to submit one of the papers, asking if I can publish data already presented in my publicly-available-thesis. He replied that data can be reused, provided that it is clearly stated they are not original. Can the text be reused as well? I will make some changes, add comments and update literature reference, but a greta portion of the text will remain the same. Can this be a problem? Thank you very much for your answers, Clelia

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    "... the thesis is publicly available." This seems to be the crucial point, on which you might want to elaborate: How exactly is it public? Has your school published it? Do they hold rights? I would suggest to contact the PhD school about this, you are surely not the first who wants to publish a little later than common and they will know how to deal with it better than people here, who are not familiar with your regulations.
    – Dirk
    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:38
  • You probably can't submit as they are anyway, because in 6 years the field progressed. At least you would have to redo the bib. review. Why didn't you ask the editor this as well? S/He is the right person to answer this, pretty much the only one. Jul 31, 2017 at 15:25
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    Thank you for the suggestions. The thesis is available from the website of the University library, in this sense it is "publicly available". Not much changed in the field in the past 6 years, which is also why I am encouraged to widespresd more my results. However what you say is true: both co-authors and editor might help me find a way.
    – C. Donà
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


You can think of your thesis as a preprint. Thus, you can extract manuscripts from it and publish them. This is essentially how arXiv works.


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