Getting started with publishing your PhD writing

In addition to successfully completing your PhD, it can be very rewarding to get some publications out of the work you put in. As with most things, getting published becomes easier the more you do it, and the first few times are usually the hardest. You do need to be willing to accept rejection and to put the work in to deal with reviewers’ criticisms. However, a few publications can make your CV stand out from the crowd and they are well worth the extra effort. In this article, I suggest how you might approach your first publication.

Even if your ultimate goal is to publish your thesis as a book, it will be helpful to you start with publishing articles. That way you can get used to dealing with the whole process of writing for publication, while working on shorter projects that can be completed as you work towards your PhD. Although they are less prestigious than publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, you should begin writing articles for professional journals. The articles are usually short (1000-2000) words, and will only be subject to editorial review. They usually have the added bonus of paying a small fee.

Select a relevant professional journal and read some of the articles to get a feel for the style and content. Pick a topic that is, current, relevant to the journal and related to your PhD. Keep your eye on newspapers and the professional journals for ideas. Check the formal editorial requirements, which can usually be found on the journal’s website, and make sure you follow them. It is also advisable to contact the editor in advance. An e-mail is fine, but check that they will consider publishing an article written by a PhD student (most will) and that the topic is of interest. You should also ask your supervisor for support and most will be more than willing to help. Your supervisor might even offer to co-author an article.

In a subsequent article I will consider publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, but if you need additional support to get you work in print, then the PhD Consultancy can offer a full range of services to help you achieve that goal.