Importance of Publications During PhD

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Importance of Publications During PhD

The PhD degree is a transformative milestone in a scholar’s life. If you are on the path to becoming an academic or a research scholar,  qualifying with a doctorate brings to you a title – that of a ‘Dr.’ placed before your name. And, that is an amazing achievement! It often leads to the publication of books and subsequent research papers and invitations to speak at conferences and universities. In this blog, I will discuss everything about the importance of PhD publications.

What is the Importance of Phd Publications?

So first let us consider what a PhD. really signifies. It signifies that the scholar is an authority over a particular subject or at least a topic on which they have done deep research. 

Important point: The process of that research is as important as the findings. Therefore, some universities (both in India and abroad) may actually require doctoral candidates to publish two or three research papers before they actually submit their doctoral thesis. 

There is also a huge personal advantage to this. If you are a doctoral scholar, getting one or two (or more!) papers published while doing your PhD. works extremely well for your future career. This will give a wide reach to your work and you can begin to establish yourself in your field, even before you get your PhD degree. This can be very helpful for getting Post-doctoral appointments, faculty teaching positions and other scholarly grants and fellowships. Early publications can set the stage for you to apply for positions at research institutions, universities, international organizations, UN agencies or think tanks.

Also Read: Are LORs important for Study Abroad Applications

Tip: When aiming for publications it is important to target reputed journals which are well-ranked and peer-reviewed. These journals have a wider reach so when your research is published in such journals it will get cited by other scholars in your field. This adds huge value to your professional credentials. 

Challenges Faced in Getting Research Papers Published 

The challenges to publishing papers during your PhD journey can be of two kinds:

  • The first is related to time.  While doing a doctoral dissertation there is a lot of flexibility of time and 3-4 years may seem like a long time. However, research can involve travel for data gathering. This needs to be followed by analysis. Only after that can the actual writing begin. The flexibility of time and no externally structured schedule sometimes require careful planning and self-discipline.  

Tips: Plan, Allocate time for data gathering, processing and then writing. Work out a calendar for the year and the next year too! 

  • The second challenge that many young scholars face is about choosing the appropriate journals that would be the best for their research. This requires some research: you need to do online searches for journals with the appropriate keywords and then read about the subjects/ topics that those journals focus on. In addition to that, the formatting style of each journal needs to be followed. Often rejection of submissions happens in the early stages of the research article does not follow the required style of citations etc. 

Tip: Seek guidance from supervisors and research mentors about the appropriate journals. Create a shortlist. Read up the ‘Guidelines for Submissions’ for each of the journals (usually available online). This will help to decide which journals would be the best to submit to. 

Alert: Do not submit the same research article to two different journals. This is unethical you can be disqualified by both! 


Why is publication important for PhD students?

Publishing papers prove extremely beneficial for a PhD student. Publications during a PhD programme help scholars establish themselves in their academic fields even before they get their degrees.

Is it important to have publications before applying for PhD?

No. Any PhD programme does not mandate publications. However, the admissions committee or prospective supervisor may ask candidates applying to a PhD course to showcase their research skills.

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