Academic publications

Although researchers and scholars are generally familiar with the academic publishing world, this page presents tools and resources offered by the Institute to meet the ongoing needs related to publication goals. It offers advice on how to find a publisher, how to prepare a proposal and how to turn a dissertation into a book. Links to various websites dealing with major issues of academic publishing are also provided in the last section.

Graduate Institute’s Publishing Grants

 

The Institute encourages recently graduated students to publish their work through a fund specifically designed to support the publication of PhD theses defended at the Institute.

Principle

Two PhD holders can benefit yearly from CHF 2,500 each in order to publish their PhD results.

Procedure

  • The publication project must be submitted to the Research Office (with copy of diploma, grades and jury’s evaluation, electronic copy of the thesis, and publisher’s agreement to publish as well as terms of this agreement).
  • Each year, a committee selects two proposals.
  • The grant is paid after confirmation that the thesis will be published.

Conditions

  • The thesis has been defended within six months prior to the submission of the proposal.
  • The thesis has been awarded summa cum laude (very good) or summa cum laude with congratulations (very good with honours).

Details

  • The grant can be used either entirely to cover publication fees or partly to cover the author’s revisions under the supervision of the publisher.
  • The selection criteria will be the quality of the thesis, the justification for the subsidy and the relevance for the recipient’s academic career.
  • The publisher can be established anywhere in the world. However, commercial publishers of poor reputation will not be taken into consideration.
  • The committee is composed of the Executive Director of the Research Office and two professors; when appropriate, one or more representatives of academic departments may be invited to complement the committee.
  • An exemption may be provided for a translation grant.
  • Manuscripts in English and in French are accepted.

Proposals can be sent throughout the year to Marc Galvin.

Library

Publications by the Graduate Institute

Browse publications of our faculty, researchers and graduates by academic department, research centre, year and type.

Find the Right Publisher

 

The first step when you want to publish your thesis is to find a publisher. There are plenty of different types of publishers besides the more common university presses and commercial publishers. Focus on publishers whose books are similar to your future one. Also, check the books produced by publishers in your field; average prices charged even by university presses vary widely, so go for the publisher whose prices are lowest (60 Swiss francs is definitely too high!). And don’t forget that you may send your proposal to as many publishers as you want.

This list of publishing houses, classified by regions and disciplines, should help you in your quest.

From Dissertation to Book

 

After having completed your PhD, you may seize the opportunity of a postdoc scholarship to start working on your first book. Although your PhD thesis usually provides the basis for your book, it is not the book, and adapting the thesis for publication will be a rather daunting task. Furthermore, once your proposal has been accepted by a publisher and submitted to external review, you’ll have to go through another round of revisions. This lengthy process from submission of the manuscript for review to publication may last from eighteen to twenty-four months when minimal revisions are necessary, or several years when major revisions are involved and/or a second external review is required.

Here are general guidelines about the revising process, followed by a list of resources.

Revising Process

  • Look closely at the books you have found most persuasive and most engaging and identify what makes them successful.
  • The introduction is the reader’s “way in” to the argument. It must be accessible and clearly state the aim of the book.
  • A clear narrative thread will ensure the coherence and organic unity of the book.
  • Substantial methodology sections should be omitted. You may discuss your methodology in the introduction or opening chapter, or talk about it briefly as you present your results.
  • You may have to condense, or even suppress, very good parts of your dissertation that are too long or too far off topic to be included in your shorter, focused book.
  • Circle points that are of least significance: mark every point with a number with the most significant ones being ranked 1, 2, 3… and then exclude points that are of least significance.
  • Reduce some of your evidence or confine it to notes.
  • Presenting some of your information in a graphical way (tables, diagrammes) may help both to save space and to summarise material more effectively than mere words can. However, first consult your publisher’s guidelines regarding figures and tables.
  • Avoid repetition.

To put it simply, try to write the book you would most want to read about your subject.

Online Resources

Other Resources

  • Germano, William. From Dissertation to Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. (Available at the Graduate Institute’s Library, call number: 371.3 HEIA 65289.)
  • Harman, Eleanor, Ian Montagnes, Siobhan McMenemy, and Chris Bucci, eds. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-time Academic Authors. 2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2003.
  • Jackson, Gerald, and Marie Lenstrup. Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2009.
  • Luey, Beth, ed. Revising your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors. Updated Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. (Ebook available via the Graduate Institute’s Library.)

How to Prepare a Convincing Book Proposal

 

You will have to prepare a book proposal as soon as you choose to turn your dissertation into a book. From that time onwards, you must think of the book as a separate entity from the thesis.

A good book proposal can be anywhere between four and fifteen pages in length. It includes a “prospectus” containing:

  • The title (most likely to be changed later on)
  • one-page general rationale for the book, in which you will state very clearly the focus and main argument of the book. You may organise it in four paragraphs:
  1. Hook – Invite the reader into your proposal with an interesting anecdote or some surprising data.
  2. State your main argument, and back it up with a few sentences.
  3. State the contribution to scholarship and place in the literature.
  4. Provide a brief roadmap for the book.
  • statement on the expected audience. This will help the publisher to understand which established markets your book will sell to. To this end, make sure your topic fits in with current events and debates and is of interest to a broad readership. Remember that for a book to be viable, even in a relatively high priced hardback edition, a publisher will need to be sure of selling several hundred copies.
  • brief review of the existing literature (particularly any potentially competing titles) and the place of the book within it. Be aware of competing titles because why publish in an area that no one is interested in writing about? 
  • list of well-known reviewers who you think might be appropriate readers for your book.
  • An expanded list of contents including a one-paragraph abstract of each proposed chapter.

Include also a brief CV in your proposal.  

Some publishers will ask you to include in the proposal one or several sample chapters for external review. You may choose to take the chapters you feel will need least revision from your thesis, but it is often more effective to send a revised chapter. For example, the first chapter is ideal, but may be the most difficult to rewrite for publication, in which case try working on a substantive middle chapter instead. Other publishers may even require the full, completed manuscript

Most publishers post their submission guidelines on their websites (see for example those from Harvard). These guidelines usually indicate precisely what materials must be included in the proposal – typically a prospectus, one or two sample chapters, and a two-page CV.

Address your proposal to the correct commissioning editor. Contact details can always be found on the publisher’s website.

Beware:

  • Do not send the complete thesis, unless the publisher specifically requests it. (The same goes for a manuscript.)
  • Never submit a proposal to more than one publisher at the same time unless you have received the consent of each to a multiple submission.
  • Never conceal from a potential publisher arrangements you have already made for the publication of chapters in journals or in edited volumes.

To sum up, when preparing your proposal, keep carefully in mind the following four criteria:

  • Rigour – is the book a scholarly piece of work?
  • Significance – is the book talking to a wide audience?
  • Originality – are you doing something new?
  • Marketability – is the book commercially viable?

Issues of Academic Publishing

 

You want to know more about digital and traditional publishing models, you need information on copyright issues, you wonder where to find free illustrations, you need advice on how to write clearly, etc. The links on this page will lead you to helpful resources in these aspects.

Current Global Issues – Blogs and Newsletters

  • Correspondants IST-SHS – un site collaboratif s’adressant à toute personne intéressée par les problématiques de l’information scientifique et technique.
  • Open Electronic Publishing – the blog of the OpenEdition project, developed by OpenEdition Center. This tool distributes information about electronic publishing in the humanities and social sciences and is a spin-off of the French-speaking blog L’Édition électronique ouverte.
  • PhD Life – a blog of the University of Warwick about the trials, tribulations and triumph of pursuing a doctorate. There are also many helpful posts on how to be better skilled at, for instance, using Facebook as a research, managing an academic blog or publishing in journals.
  • Publier la science – une sélection d’informations sur la publication et la rédaction scientifiques diffusée trimestriellement par la Cellule d’assistance à la publication scientifique (CAPS), mise en place au sein de l’Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), en France.
  • The Thesis Whisperer – a  blog newspaper dedicated to helping research students everywhere and edited by Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of Research Training at the Australian National University.

Open Archives

  • HAL – une archive ouverte pluridisciplinaire destinée au dépôt et à la diffusion d'articles scientifiques, publiés ou non, et de thèses.
  • MédiHAL – une archive ouverte de données visuelles et sonores (images fixes, vidéos et sons), produites dans le cadre de la recherche scientifique.
  • TEL (pour «thèses en ligne») – un environnement particulier de HAL. Comme ce dernier, il vise à rendre rapidement et gratuitement disponibles des documents scientifiques, mais en se consacrant aux thèses de doctorat et aux habilitations à diriger des recherches.

Other Web Platforms

  • Academia – the easiest way to share papers with millions of people across the world for free.
  • Episciences.org – a technical platform of peer-reviewing; its purpose is to promote the emergence of “epijournals”, namely open access electronic journals taking their contents from preprints deposited in open archives and not yet published elsewhere.
  • Héloïse – un service d'information qui permet de chercher et de définir les droits de diffusion des publications dans des revues sur différents supports (archives ouvertes, sites personnels, intranets).
  • ISIDORE – un moteur de recherche qui collecte, enrichit et offre un signalement et un accès unifié aux documents et données numériques des sciences humaines et sociales. Il fait partie des outils développés par Huma-Num, une infrastructure de recherche du Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS).
  • SciencesConf.org – une plateforme multilangues et configurable destinée à faciliter les différentes étapes de déroulement d’une conférence, depuis la réception des communications jusqu’à l’édition automatique des actes en passant par la relecture et la programmation des thématiques.

Social Networks and Research Communities

  • jobs.ac.uk – the leading international job board for careers in academic, research, science and related professions, launched in January 1998 by the University of Warwick.
  • ResearchGate – a social networking site that gives scientists and researchers new tools to connect, collaborate and keep up with the research that matters to them.

Advice on Writing and Publishing

Copyright

Open Access

Royalty-Free Photos

Other

The Pressure to Publish Pushes Down Quality – scientists must publish less, or good research will be swamped by the ever-increasing volume of poor work, says Daniel Sarewitz in Nature.

Support and Contact


You need to get in touch with publication-related service providers proofreaders, writing coaches, translators, graphic designers, etc. (in French and in English)? Please contact Marc Galvin at the Research Office.