Scientific Communication for Natural Resource Professionals

Chapter 8: Converting Your Thesis or Dissertation to a Journal Manuscript: Guidance to Students and Mentors for Removing Impediments and Promoting Success

Thomas E. Lauer and Ashley H. Moerke


Much of the published scientific research is associated with colleges, universities, or similar institutions of higher learning. The success of faculty, staff, and students in academe is often tied to this type of productivity (Valiela 2001) for job, promotion, and grant opportunities. Although the extent of research conducted at these institutions is not easy to quantify, simply looking at the addresses of published authors gives us some indication of the academic-based scientific contributions. For example, there were 198 contributed articles in Volume 87 (2006) of the journal Ecology . Of the 651 people who authored these articles, 82% had addresses that were associated with academe. Similarly, of the 530 authors’ addresses in the 144 regular articles found in Volume 135 (2006) of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society , 54% were associated with a college or university. Moreover, when the articles had multiple authors, 94% of the Ecology articles and 88% of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society articles had at least one author associated with a college or university. Although these data could be a bit confounded (e.g., students, faculty, or staff who move sometime during the publication process; researchers with multiple addresses), they do illustrate the magnitude and extent of research conducted at institutions of higher learning. Based on anecdotal evidence from presentations at professional scientific meetings, conversations with colleagues, or observation of the size of our graduate school programs, we also hypothesize that students contribute heavily to this body of knowledge. We readily admit our inability to clearly quantify student contribution or partition it from faculty or staff research findings.