By Camille Gamboa, SAGE US PR & Conventions Assistant
Part 2: Where to publish
A Book or a Journal? – So you’ve decided that your work is worth pursuing further. What next? Now you have to select the appropriate publishing outlet. First of all, remember that this is not a decision that you should make on your own. Take advice from mentors, colleagues, or your trusted thesis chair. Dr. Charlotte Frost, blogger for phd2published, and Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish your PhD, provides some issues you may want to consider before deciding which route to go which we have synthesized here with our own comments:
- Time-Sensitivity – If the topic of your paper is relevant because of time-sensitive issues, a journal or online publication may be a more appropriate fit for you. Still, remember that the time it takes to publish an article varies from journal to journal and it is never an instantaneous process.
- Subject Area – The subject area that you work in may help determine if you go the book route or the journal route. For example, Caro states that publishing in a book is a more attractive option for those scholars working in sociology, literature, or cultural studies, while journals might be a better option for those working in psychology and economics. Those working in history, politics, and law should consider both options equally.
- Quantity of Material – Before deciding to transform your thesis or dissertation into a book, it is important that you take a step back to decide if you have enough material. According to Caro, for a book, you are looking at publishing around 60,000 words. Frost warns that just because your dissertation is hundreds of pages long, doesn’t mean that there is enough original content to warrant a new book.
- Writing Ability – Are you a natural writer or is it really the process of research that keeps you going in the world of scholarship? If you don’t really enjoy the writing process, you should reconsider a decision to write a book.
So now that you’ve decided where you want to publish your work, the next step is to decide which aspects of your thesis, dissertation, or paper are the best for publishing. Coming up in a future post, we’ll provide you with a list of questions to help you with this part of the process.