Is it too ambitious for a masters student to get work published?

(13 Posts)
climbingcorfecastle Sun 14-Jun-20 11:41:25

I'm a LLM student with apparently an interesting topic for dissertation. I would like to pursue a Phd but not for another few years, so I'm wondering if it is possible to write or contribute to articles at this stage? If so how would I go about this? I'm asking here first rather than going to my supervisor as I don't want to be laughed at/pitied simultaneously if it is such a ludicrous idea.

Any suggestions/recommendations welcome.

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SarahAndQuack Sun 14-Jun-20 14:02:41

I'm not in your field, but in my field, it isn't unknown. Usually it's not work that makes it to a top rank journal but, given you're not doing a PhD immediately it makes sense you'd want to get it out there where it could be useful to others/would make you feel satisfied.

I think definitely talk to your supervisor.

climbingcorfecastle Sun 14-Jun-20 14:35:02

Thanks @SarahAndQuack, can I ask what field/department you are in and how someone would proceed?

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SarahAndQuack Sun 14-Jun-20 14:38:36

English Lit/History.

In either of those fields you'd probably ask your supervisor and hope they were enthusiastic/had time to help you.

There are also blogs like Pat Thompson's, or The Professor Is In, or Laura Varnam's, which talk about writing journal articles, and I'd get a student to search those for relevant pieces on publishing.

I am hoping someone in your discipline comes along, too, TBH! The issue is I don't know much about publishing as a co-author/in a subject where people co-author. In my subject you just write your piece as best you can, find a journal that publishes work of that type, look to see if they've published something v similar recently (they may not want to do it twice), and tweak it to fit their publishing guidelines on length/reference style.

But it's more complicated if you have other people who've been involved in the research/writing stage.

GirlCalledJames Sun 14-Jun-20 14:49:33

I published a paper based on my MPhil thesis. It was in a very niche, very unimportant journal (but not a predatory journal).

Nearlyalmost50 Sun 14-Jun-20 16:56:36

I would just tentatively ask your Masters supervisor. Why not? I did publish my Master's thesis as a paper but when I had done my PhD and had a bit of experience in publishing. Good luck!

parietal Mon 15-Jun-20 10:43:23

we are strongly encouraged to help our MSc students publish work, and the number of student projects that get published are used in the stats to advertise the MSc course.

Often, a student project won't be published alone, but might be part of a bigger paper with work from other MSc or PhD students. That is because a scientific paper can need data from several experiments done by several people.

Anyway, do ask your supervisor.

murmuration Mon 15-Jun-20 11:08:29

Definitely not unusual in my field - working on two papers with Masters students right now (one a recent student staying with me for a PhD, one tidying up work from a decade ago after she both got a PhD elsewhere and had a career break). I often see submitted papers on CVs for PhD applications. I'm in science however - I'm so far from your field I had to google it to find out it's in law smile

I'd suggest talking to your supervisor - I would think most people would appreciate the ambition of a student wanting to publish.

climbingcorfecastle Tue 16-Jun-20 12:35:20

Thanks for the advice everyone. Shall I wait until I finish my dissertation to broach this subject with my supervisor?

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Abertropper Tue 16-Jun-20 13:00:04

I published during my undergrad! The issue is if your already finishing your dissertation what exactly are you expecting to publish? If it was dissertation has your supervisor indicated that it’s a topic that might be publishable?

climbingcorfecastle Tue 16-Jun-20 13:45:23

@Abertropper I don't even know myself! I suppose it makes total sense to do the dissertation and then ask if there is anything in it that is worth publishing.

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Pota2 Tue 16-Jun-20 17:07:46

There are a few student journals in your field so you could check those out in the first instance. Avoid predatory journals. I do some crossover with law stuff and it’s not common to have LLM work in the mainstream journals but not totally unheard of either. I’m not sure an absence of affiliation would be a problem though? I presume you will be graduating and won’t be tied to your institution any longer.

DressesWithPocketsRockMyWorld Mon 29-Jun-20 14:33:30

My MA dissertation supervisor is encouraging me to think about writing journal articles from my research. Him even saying it gives me the biggest case of imposter syndrome in the world! He thinks my work would be really good to take through to PhD too which is terrifying and amazing in equal parts.

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