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PhD Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > PhD Advice / Support


1 to 15 of 21 PhD Forum Posts
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Is it necessary to publish papers


User: pranav09 - 28 April 2009 07:34

Is it really necessary to publish your research work before completing your PhD? What effect it will make on your viva-voice? I am in my 7th month of my PhD and i really want to publish some papers before my PhD defence. Some of my seniors had different opinions. My officemate told me it didn't make any difference. One of my friend who is in his 3rd year published two papers. If publishing papers is important then how many papers we should aim for before completing the PhD?

Any suggestions are welcome. I find this forum today and i used to think that i am the only person having problems in my PhD. Now i come to know that they are lot of people like me. I feel very happy to find this forum as it gives lot of confidence and guidence from others. Thanks to all....

User: megara_9191 - 28 April 2009 09:00

I was told recently that the key to getting a job after the PhD is what you publish during your PhD. I'm also 7 months in and want to start thinking about this side of things. I either have material I've already written which I think could become an article, or I could convert part of my MA dissertation into an article. Either way it's something I want to attempt in the next couple of months.

User: Poppy - 28 April 2009 09:33

I think it really depends on what you want to do after your PhD: If you want to stay in academia, publishing is essential (they say "publish or perish"), but if you know that you will end up in industry or any other non-academic place, I think publishing is not so important. Generally I think, most PhD students want to publish their work, but there might be various reasons why they won't (not enough support from supervisors, not enough data or data are not of high enough quality, lack of time(!) etc). I think your focus should be on producing good work and getting/passing your PhD. If you manage to write papers, either as part of the PhD (e.g. papers as chapters) or in addition to chapters, then that's great, otherwise, it can still be done afterwards. As for myself, I hope to use one or two papers as chapters, so as not to duplicate efforts, but what you are allowed to submit as a thesis really depends on your field and university regulations.

User: bonzo - 28 April 2009 12:04

Publishing during your PhD makes it easier to defend in the viva (that said, you could always get a disagreeable SoaB as an external who will pick holes in everybody's work but their own).
7 months in! I would look at maybe doing a conference at the year mark to get a general feeling for whats out there and to focus your research (generally conference papers are easier ... note I said easier, not easy). As it gets clearer about the 1-2 year mark, then look @ publishing a paper as a Research in Progress. Then closer to finishing, maybe publish a second with your results. Other people would disagree, but hey, thats the purpose of a forum.
The whole area of publishing work would even demand maybe a week or so of research in itself (what journal, what is the style, reading up on writing itself). Pays to get a bit of help on board ... if people you know are working in the same area are approachable, collaborate (some people actually do share their research).
Good to see that you are thinking along that lines this early but give yourself time to become an "expert" in your field.
One bit of advice - get the references in order now as will need to look back thro' them when publishing.

Enjoy the heady days of first year ... if only I had a De Lorean and some uranium 8-)

User: missspacey - 28 April 2009 15:26

======= Date Modified 28 Apr 2009 15:27:22 =======
A PhD that references/incorporates your own papers shows the examiners that you are working at a publishable standard, and thus it looks quite good. But, having published papers won't necessarily help pass your PhD. In my dept. students who have submitted and passed their PhDs within 3 years, tend to have no publications to their name (obviously because they were busy working on their actual PhD), others who have publications and lots of presentations to their names tend to extend their PhD time.

In social science/humanities, I've found zero to 3 published papers seems to be the standard amount.

Edit: The more important aspect of publishing is whether you intend to pursue an academic career - in which case you really do need to produce 2/3 papers.







User: feistymoon - 26 May 2009 21:19

As far as i'm aware it's not necessary to have published work prior to submission, and it seems to depend on the type of research you undertake how much potential there is for publication during intermediary stages.

My research is in modular structure (due to the type of work I do) which means I have been able to submit five conference papers, plus one journal submission. I know of others who have had to wait until their research is complete before thinking about suitable targets though.

I think it's important however to realise however that publishing is not the main objective. Getting your PhD is!

User: tester - 28 May 2009 13:16


When I started by PhD the Dean who is the head of research degree's told us that publishing papers  before the submission of the PhD thesis and reference your own work in the thesis. he advised that this is a good way of ensuring original contribution element of the thesis can't really be contested at the viva as this element of the research has already been tested at the pre-publication stage of each paper by the review panel.

User: smilemoveon - 30 May 2009 21:57

I am in my 7th month of PhD. I have the same question in mind regarding the publication. I felt quite bad when I was told that my supervisor's previous phd students all published something in their first year. A friend who passed viva last year tells me it's better to understand the area in first year, accumulate experimental results until second year and perhaps in the end of 2nd year try to publish your paper for a good conference or journal.

I am still in the reading stage, and implementing some ideas from my supervisor. I do not know how to the original ideas and get them published. Is the ideas from the paper your published has to be yours or from supervisors? It's nice to find this form and know that I am not the only struggling phd.

User: Kmille - 03 June 2009 04:54

I would say it depends on your research field. I am finishing a PhD in computer science, I have published 6 papers and 3 or 4 other ones are in the pipeline. The non-official requirement in my domain is "at least" 1 per year (in France PhDs are supposed to last 3 years, although few people finish in 3 years in my field). In other fields, like algorithmic, they publish 1 paper that corresponds to the idea they defend in their thesis ; a professor in my team did a PhD in algorithmic and everybody was telling him he could graduate as soon as his first paper had been published.

You have to consider several things:
- What is your main goal: do you want a PhD to hang the diploma in your bedroom and have your mom keep pictures of you with a funny hat in her wallet, or do you want a PhD-level position after your PhD? If all you want is to graduate, ask for the requirements of your school. If you want to be able to have access to positions that require a PhD, you will have to have the best resume as possible, which means good references but also good publications. All the other candidates will have at least the required number of publications, the best candidates will have more publications.
- Do you want numerous publications, or do you want good publications? A paper in a good journal / conference generally requires more work than a paper in a lower-ranked conference or workshop. The former will add a line in your resume, the latter will impress more. Maybe you will prefer to work a few more months on something and publish it in a prestigious journal with a good visibility, rather than getting 2 papers accepted in confidential workshops.
- This may be specific to the domain I am working on, but referencing your work by papers you published gives more weight to your dissertation. When the reviewers will read your dissertation, they will trust the quality of your work more easily if they know your results have been peer-reviewed by the program committee of international conferences.

But don't worry too much: you are only 7 months into your PhD! As it has already been written here, you usually build the "foundations" of your thesis during the first year. You appropriate the subject and make your own vision of the problem, build the first ideas, mature and develop them... if things are going well the first papers generally come during the second year.

User: monkey - 03 June 2009 12:34

======= Date Modified 03 Jun 2009 12:35:01 =======
it's not only quantity that counts, but also quality. in my field, the top 2-3 conferences have acceptance rates well below 20% (moves closer toward 10% every year). if you get 2 papers published during the course of your PhD in those conferences you are done. on the other hand, 10 workshop papers hardly count for anything, because the acceptance rate of workshops can be up to 100%. Similarly for journals, 1 journal article in a high impact journal is worth more than 10 publications in really poorly performing journals. if you concentrate on your work and publish 1-2 really, really good papers/articles, you are fine as well.

User: Doodles - 03 June 2009 16:34

That depends on what country you are in.  If you are in the UK it is not necessary or expected to publish before you submit your PhD as you are judged on the quality of your thesis which is hefty generally 60-100 k words. In Europe you need 3 publications as they get their PhD by publication so their theses contain at least 3 papers that are published or in press and any that are in the pipeline are included as manuscripts.  It would seem that this is the more logical way of doing things as it means that you get publications towards the end of your PhD or soon after you finish which are very important in applying for academic jobs if you wish to go down that route. If not it doesn't really matter if you never publish anything!  It would also have to save the bother of turning your discussion chapters of a British PhD into papers and duplicate your efforts as papers have to be more succinct so no doubt you'll be doing some heavy editing!

When you can publish depends on the subject you are studying.  If your thesis is based on ideas and ideology you can publish earlier than someone who needs results from experiments that are often time consuming and usually need to be adapted to overcome problems they incur along the way so it would be impossible for these people to publish in their 1st year or even before they submit their theses!

The quality of the paper needs to be considered - you can publish lots in lower ranked journals or wait until you have good results to publish in more respected journals.  That choice is also yours but if you plan to stay in academia it worth waiting until you have decent results to write about!

User: missspacey - 03 June 2009 17:25

I've found that publishing in other European countries is easier because universities seem to create more opportunities e.g. working papers, in-house journals, very strong relationships with academic publishers, lots of conferences/symposiums. UK universities seem to be lacking on this front, with PhD students competing with other academics to get published in standard journals.

User: bradleyt - 05 June 2009 20:44

It really all depends on where you wish to go in your field. The old saying used to be, and still rings true, publish or perish. I fyouw ant to advance and garner a higher wage than publish and hope it received well.

User: Purna - 11 June 2018 20:02

Doctors can publish paper just by paying money. No extra work

User: ThatDogGirl91 - 28 June 2018 16:57

It looks good on your CV when applying for jobs but makes no difference in the viva. I had a paper published from my thesis in a good journal, it's been downloaded 34,000 times and received a lot of media coverage across the world. But my examiners are still making me do corrections on the published work which seems absolutely pointless. As long as you meet your examiners personal opinion on what a PhD should consist of you'll pass regardless of publications.
1 to 15 of 21 PhD Forum Posts





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