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Phase 4:


Creating a Peer Reviewed Paper: Begin with a Conference Presentation

joanneThis type of paper can be both challenging and frustrating but with persistence an acceptance from an editor of a journal is possible.  If you have just finished your thesis, you have a good start because your committee has guided you through the process.  The hardest part is taking the large document and reducing it into something that is about 25 pages of content and 5 pages of references.

The first thing that you need to do is decide what type of article you wish to write.  The choices are review, theoretical, experimental or practitioner article.  To make this decision, decide the single most important theme that you discovered in this paper.  This usually is more apparent through discussion with others in your field.  I strongly suggest developing a presentation or poster paper for a local, regional, national or international conference - the smaller the conference the more feedback that you will receive from participants.


To begin this process, decide what conference is appropriate for your thesis area.  Get the guidelines for papers or poster sessions and follow them carefully.  Choose what you believe is the major point(s) you can cover in a 20 minute presentation with 10 minutes for audience feedback.  You cannot cover everything that is in your approved thesis document.  Now it is time to develop your slides.  Begin with the Method section and keep this to 1-2 slides.  Now do the Introduction (Justification) that justifies your research question (you can only do one) and you methodology which is another 1-2 slides.  Then do one slide of results.  You have more results than this but you are only answering one research question.  Keep in mind results are about numbers and not explanations. You may have 1-2 slides of tables or figures but keep them to a minimum.  The final 2 slides are the discussion about the results.  Don’t forget to summarize the three major points that you want the audience should remember from this presentation.  Then use the 10 minutes that are available to get the feedback that you need from the audience.  If there are some very active people in the audience, try to get an individual meeting with them to get more clarification about their perceptions and ideas.  Take notes during these interviews and informal ones that happen at the conference.

Don’t forget to record your presentation during the conference.  This will give you a solid first draft of a potentential paper.

After the conference, put your notes together.  Write down your major conclusions.  If the presentation is still relevant, use software to get in written form and begin revising based on the suggestions.  Now it is time to look for the right journal!  There is an entire process involved in choosing the journal and developing the manuscript for submission.  This is covered in another section of DoctoralNet.  There are other things that you may need to further develop the paper for publication but this gives you a great start!

  • Pick a conference
  • Decide on paper session or poster session
  • Get guidelines from the conference and follow them carefully
  • Choose one research Question
  • Develop slides 1) Method, 2) Introduction, 3) Results, 4) Discussion
  • Practice and time to get to 20 minutes with 10 minutes for audience feedback
  • Record Presentation
  • In audience feedback, take notes if you can.  Notice who is active and get individual interviews with them for clarification.  Take notes
  • At home, if presentation is still relevant then use software to get to written form.  Read over notes and revise based on feedback
  • Begin looking for a journal


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