How Do I Publish My Dissertation?

Laptop propped up on a stack of papers

At the end of the doctoral journey, graduates are encouraged to publish their dissertation. Publishing the dissertation enables graduates to advance their academic career and establish valuable connections that can open doors for collaborating on future projects.

Publication Options

The first thing to know when understanding the process is that there are several ways to do it, each having different advantages. Grand Canyon University’s Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching (CIRT) provides four ways to publish a dissertation.


This commercial service for full-text theses and dissertations allows authors to choose between restricted and open-access publication. As this is not an academic source, publishing with ProQuest may diminish the credibility of your dissertation. Be aware that prior publications may lead to the rejection future submissions of your dissertation manuscript.


You may consider self-publishing your content, using a self-publishing services and retaining all profits that come from printing and distributing the book. As with ProQuest publications, self-publishing may diminish credibility and make it difficult to submit work.


Book publication is an option for some students. Most research is suitable for academic journals, but it may be appropriate to publish the dissertation as a book if it contains a significant amount of original work.

Scholarly Journals

Journals are the most common route for publishing dissertation content. Publishing in a journal has the benefit of editorial or peer review, and the narrow focus of most journals usually enables authors to publish parts of their dissertation in multiple publications.

Publishing in a Journal

Academic journals are the most common choice for publishing a dissertation, so it is the most important process to understand. It is important to know which journal best fits your dissertation, become familiar with the journal’s guidelines and to carefully interpret feedback on your work.

Select a Journal

Academic journals have a great deal of variety, organizing content tailored to specific academic interests. Peer-reviewed journals are the most common. In peer-reviewed journals, editorial boards will ask experts to review each submission to filter out low-quality content that would damage the journal’s integrity.

Open access journals leave their content free, unrestricted and online for public view. The most common way to make an open access journal is by directly publishing content in a “gold” journal, which provides open access to its readers. Non-open access journals are the traditional route for publication. Non-open access journals require that readers purchase a subscription.

To help decide which journals work best, read previous issues to get a sense of the journal’s academic focus. Make sure that the scope and aims of the journal align with your target audience and research. Be careful to avoid “predatory” publishers who appeal specifically to researchers willing to pay to have their work published. CIRT recommends that graduates check Beall’s List of Predatory Journals, an online resource that lists publications to avoid.

Rework Your Dissertation

Once you have selected your journal, you will need to tailor your research. Familiarize yourself with the journal’s submission guidelines and then begin reading through your dissertation. Keeping organized is crucial here, and the best place to start is to summarize your dissertation in a separate document and eliminate unnecessary information. After cutting unnecessary content, re-organizing the material into a smooth and logical order will provide a guideline for rewriting your dissertation.

Writing Your Cover Letter

When the time comes to submit your work, the first impression that comes from your cover letter is the difference between publication and an immediate rejection. Closely follow the submission requirements, avoid jargon, be concise and do not include any information that that the journal does not ask for.

Revision and Resubmission

If you receive reviewer feedback in a letter from the editor, read these comments carefully and mark any suggested revisions on your manuscript. Keep track of each revision so that you can reference them when writing a response letter to the editor.

Make the revisions you agree with, and be prepared to address the ones you disagree with in your response letter. You should proofread and review your work again carefully before resubmitting. If the changes are accepted, you will receive a number a proof copies to proofread before final production.

Take the next step in your career with the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University. Our doctorate programs, such as the DBA in Data Analytics, will prepare you to advance in your academic career and give you the resources to lead and innovate in your field. Learn more by visiting our website or clicking on the Request More Information Button at the bottom of this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.