B – Publishing before the thesis: 58 postgraduate views

Hartley J, Betts L. Higher Education Review 2009; 41(3):29-44

In this study a draft questionnaire – later defined and assessed in its final form – was submitted to various postgraduate students (English, American, Australian). “Publishing before or after completing the thesis(http://www.parint.org/isajewebsite/isajebook/isajewebbook.htm) not only shows the importance it plays such an exercise for postgraduate students themselves but also the “changing role of the supervisor” itself. Early publishing encourages and give self-assurance to the student and the supervisor becomes also a co-author. The questionnaire shows that “32 out of the 58 students (55%) had successfully submitted papers for publication before submitting their theses” and that students received significantly more help from their supervisors before submitting their thesis rather than after and the latter were listed more in their papers again before than after publishing. The question of citation of coauthors in relation to the quality of the thesis themselves emerged and the average of journals with more “impact factors” where the students had published was taken into account; in this case data showed no relevance whether publication occurred before or after the thesis: it did show, however, a significant difference when the publishing was done by the students with or without the supervisor contribution. Further data from the questionnaire are compared.