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Publishing Ones Dissertation in a Peer Reviewed Journal is an Acceptable and Highly Desired Practice

September 11, 2011

Certain internet smear campaigners who are upset with my criticism of certain therapies and therapists, have blogs that appear to be exclusively devoted to attacking me and respond to almost every single thing I post here and elsewhere. Even though much of it is propaganda and distortions, the fact that they feel the need to respond to practically everything I post here must be an indication that they consider my work important and effective. If it wasn’t, why bother to invest so much time following me around in cyberspace and post regularly about me? In their latest smear posting on me, they appear to be ignorant of the highly accepted and valued practice of publishing ones dissertation data in peer reviewed journals and are denigrating the fact I recently published part of my dissertation data in a journal as “recycling” and “fraud”. No, on the contrary, publishing ones dissertation data is a completely accepted and encouraged practice.

In point of fact, publishing ones dissertation is not only acceptable in the academic community, it is a highly desirable goal for the PhD graduate and the general consensus is that too few people do it and more ought to and since dissertations are required to be original research, publication of ones dissertation is considered original research. Some people are even able to publish several articles if they have a rich data set, as I do and I plan to publish more from data analysis that was not part of my dissertation.  Here is what the American Psychological Association has to say about publication of a dissertation.

Although finishing your dissertation may be the final hurdle to completing your doctorate, getting it published may be an important step toward your career as a psychologist.

Indeed, academic psychologists are not the only ones expected to publish-research is increasingly a part of clinical positions, says University of Rochester Medical Center associate professor Robert Pollard Jr., PhD. And your dissertation may be the most logical place to start. Even if it’s a small finding in a big field, your dissertation is probably a quality piece of work because it’s been closely supervised by knowledgeable faculty, he notes. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to winnow a traditional dissertation-averaging upward of 200 pages-to the lean 40 pages or less required by most journals.

The article provides helpful tips for new graduates who are trying to publish their dissertations. Publication of ones dissertation in the social work profession is also highly encouraged and since dissertation material is required to be original, publication of it is considered to be an original publication. In fact, Bruce Thyer has told me I am the only recent graduate of his who has done so and he is trying very hard to encourage his other graduates to publish theirs.

Here are some examples of people who successfully published their doctoral dissertation material in peer reviewed journals, all considered legitimate peer reviewed publications:

Psychology Professor James Herbert of Drexel University has as consistent track record of his students successfully publishing their dissertation material.

Again, this is reviewed as commendable and gives him bragging rights that so many of his former students have been so successful at publishing their dissertation material, certainly not fraud. Here are a few examples:

Gaudiano, B. A., & Herbert, J. D. (2006). Acute treatment of inpatients with psychotic symptoms using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Pilot results. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 415‐437.

Gaudiano, B. A., & Herbert, J. D. (2006). Believability of hallucinations as a potential mediator of the relationship between their frequency and associated distress in psychotic inpatients. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 34, 497–502.

Dalrymple, K. L., & Herbert, J. D. (2007). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for generalized social anxiety disorder: A pilot study. Behavior Modification, 31, 543-568.

Moitra, E., Herbert, J. D., & Forman, E. M. (in press). Acceptance-based behavior therapy to promote HIV medication adherence. AIDS Care.

Sharp, I. R., Herbert, J. D., & Redding, R. E. (2008). The role of critical thinking skills in practicing psychologists’ choice of intervention techniques. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 6, 21-30.

Here some of  Bruce Thyer’s other former PhD candidates’ publications from their dissertations:

Sowers-Hoag, K. M., Thyer, B. A., & Bailey, J. S. (1987). Promoting safety belt use by young children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 133-138.

Vonk,M.E.& Thyer, B.A. (1997). Evaluating the quality of supervision: A review of instruments for use in field instruction. The Clinical Supervisor, 15, 103-114.

and last but not least, from Union Institute:

Myeroff, R. L., Mertlich, G., & Gross, G. (1999). Comparative effectiveness of holding therapy with aggressive children.Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 29 (4), 303-313.



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