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Writing up Your Dissertation as a Journal Article

Deadline: TBC

Well done on completing your dissertation/thesis and taking the first steps to writing a journal article!

Remember that a journal article is very different to a thesis or dissertation.

Whereas a dissertation to some extent, and a thesis to a much greater extent, is about showing how much you know about your chosen subject matter, a journal article is written for busy researchers and practitioners, who want to find out the original and specialised evidence-based information that you can offer in a succinct and efficient manner. A journal article must be focused, and completely selfcontained. It should include an abstract and keywords, introduction, concise literature review, brief outline of the methodology, the findings, a discussion which outlines how your research is new and relevant for practitioners and researchers in your field and a conclusion. References are also required in the journal’s mandatory style (check website for details).

It is advisable to choose a particular aspect of your dissertation to write about. This will help you to keep your article tight, focused and relevant.

A journal article is much shorter than a dissertation or thesis. Most journals have a word limit of 6,000 words which includes the references, abstract, tables and figures. This means that rather than cutting or pasting sections of your dissertation, you will need to select and rewrite content from your dissertation to support your line of argument. All authors, including well-established and respected ones, must stick to this word count. It makes for a much better article.

Read the journal’s instructions for authors and follow them exactly! Otherwise the article will be returned to you, so for example, stick to the word count (6,000 words for Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy) and referencing system and instructions about uploading files, etc. We have developed a checklist for authors [create hyperlink here] to assist you with this.

Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy

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What Happens Next?

The submission process: Once an article has been submitted to Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, it is checked to ensure that the basic criteria have been followed, such as its relevance to the journal readership, language, word count, referencing, etc. If it does not meet the criteria, it will be returned. So, save yourself any disappointment and ensure you follow the instructions for authors at first submission.

The peer review process: If it passes the initial submission process, it will be assigned to a co-editor who will select two peer reviewers for your article. The peer reviewers should not know who the author is and should not be able to identify the author. Therefore, two versions of the manuscript must be submitted so that the anonymised version can be sent to the reviewers. It can take up to four months for the journal editors to find a suitable peer reviewer and for a review to be completed. Once both reviews have been submitted by the peer reviewers, you will receive their comments. 

The revision process: You will have to revise your article based on the peer reviewers’ comments and suggestions. The editors may also add some comments for you to consider. Don’t be disheartened when you receive peer reviewers’ comments – your article will be much better once you’ve considered them! It is very rare indeed for an article to be accepted for publication without some revisions. Even well established and experienced authors need to revise their articles.

Bear in mind that you may be required to revise your article more than once. Also, keep an eye on the word count. The article must stay within the 6,000-word limit. If peer reviewers suggest you include more information, that necessarily means you will need to edit out other information.

Final edits: Once you have revised your article and the editors agree that it is ready for publication, it will be checked for typos, formatting style, and basic language quality. The editorial assistant will also check that the referencing is correct. So, you will most likely have to complete some final edits before the article is sent to the publishers.

Copy editing: When your article is sent through to the publishers, they too will check it and copy edit it, so you may have to do some more edits.

Finally, you will sign a copyright agreement and your article will be published online at first, and then in an issue.

Taylor and Francis have an Author Services Website with lots of useful information about writing a journal article and the complete process from choosing a journal to dissemination.

Here are some links: 

We look forward to receiving your article!