Dissertation to Publication: Building Scholar/Practitioner/Leaders

Dissertation to Publication: Building Scholar/Practitioner/Leaders

We so often think of leadership as something innate, something a few rare and gifted individuals are born with. But leadership is so often a function, not of one's personality or psychological makeup, but of the role one finds oneself in . . . in my lieutenant's uniform, leading men whose lives depended on me, I was able to fill that role.  -- Warren Bennis, 2010, p. iv

Developing scholar/practitioner/leaders is a recurrent theme in School of Advanced Studies doctoral programs.  Research (Miles et al., 1998; Musa et al., 2017) suggests positive relationships between effective leadership, strategy execution, and overall performance. A study of 193 organizational entities (Musa et al., 2017) confirmed correlation between entrepreneurial tendencies and strategy execution.  Lovitts’ experience (2001) demonstrated interaction with even a single faculty member can strengthen a student's resolve enough to ensure completion.  Germinal theorists (Knowles, 1968) and contemporary andragogical thought leaders (Cookson, Hayek, & Buckley, 2015) link interaction between working adult students, faculty, and the educational institution with retention, academic achievement, and career success.

University of Phoenix faculty, alumni, and students have articulated angst about “jumping into the Research Hub” and uncertainty about formulating a “concrete scholarship plan that can be put into practice.”  Actions speak louder than words.  The Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR) “Dissertation to Publication” model epitomizes a practical solution to persistent scholarship challenges by:

  • Enhancing the student experience (Cohen, 2017);
  • Catalyzing faculty/student collaboration;
  • Advancing faculty/alumni scholarship; and
  • Promoting the University of Phoenix Research Hub.


Dissertation to Publication programs help participants publish their completed doctoral dissertations. Doctoral alumni, committee chairs, and committee members work together as co-authors to prepare the journal manuscripts with the center’s support.  There are two types of programs: The "Individual Support" program is appropriate for the participants who are self-disciplined, well informed about how to write a manuscript, and prefer to develop the manuscript at their own pace.  The "Dissertation to Publication" workshop is appropriate for novice authors who are interested in learning about how to write a journal manuscript and need structure and timelines to complete/submit their papers to the journals (Kebritchi, 2017).  The “Dissertation to Publication Questions and Answers” thread provides opportunities to dialogue directly with a CEITR reviewers.

Individual Support

CEITR provides target journals and step-by-step guidance to prepare a manuscript based on the dissertation. In addition, experienced reviewers edit the manuscript and provide feedback to refine and finalize the manuscript before submission.  Here is the procedure:

  • Join one of the research centers
  • Send the dissertation via EducationalTechnology@phoenix.edu
  • CEITR will identify appropriate journals and provides guidelines and timeframe
  • CEITR will introduce participant to one of the center Reviewers to work one-on-one with participant to prepare manuscript  

Dissertation to Publication Workshop

The mission of the workshop is to teach the art of developing a publishable manuscript based on a research. The tangible outcome of the workshop is to generate a publishable manuscript and submit to a peer-reviewed journal. To fulfill the mission and achieve the outcome, we provide structured support and guidelines via monthly web-based meetings. Target journals for publication are suggested at the beginning of the workshop. The manuscripts are broken down into three major sections of introduction, method, and results. The committee of reviewers closely work with the participants to review, revise, and finalize their manuscripts. Participants submit their manuscripts to their target journal by the end of the workshop (Kebritchi, 2017, para. 4).

Certificates of completion are awarded to the participants who completed and submitted their manuscripts to the journals by the end of the workshop. Faculty who participate in the workshop and help their students complete/submit the manuscripts earn credits for the annual SAS Academic Review. To earn the credits, faculty upload their certificates to their Research Hub profiles and Academic Review application (Kebritchi, 2017, para. 5).

Participant Eligibility: University of Phoenix affiliates, including faculty, staff, graduated doctoral students, and doctoral students close to graduation, who are interested in publishing their doctoral dissertations (in all disciplines) are encouraged to participate. Dissertation chairs/committee members may participate with their doctoral students (University of Phoenix, 2017, para. 5).

Dissertation to Publication Questions and Answers Thread

The Dissertation to Publication Questions and Answers thread provides an opportunity to seek guidance and clarification on publication issues.  Reviewers monitor inquiries, offer support, and provide guidance to help researchers complete their manuscript for submission to peer-reviewed venues (Hartman, 2017).  For example, discussions elucidate differences between traditional and open access publication options (Price, 2017), strategies for editing dissertation content to journal-appropriate material (Bostain, 2017), and techniques to optimize use of Cabell’s Directories and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (Hartman, 2017).


Supporting adult students is pivotal to individual and institutional academic success.  To illustrate, Grantham University specializes in delivering flexible, affordable, accredited online degrees to working adult students around the world.  In 2011, Grantham received the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities’ Innovative Best Practice/New Program Award for its faculty training and student support programs.  Grantham's experience suggests (Cookson et al., 2015):

  • Course design and architectural flow of courses that “swaddle” students (Swaddling Support Services™) promote success.
  • Creating an intense network of both academic and emotional support provides the foundation students need to succeed in the online environment.

In the same spirit, the Dissertation to Publication model provides “academic and emotional support” by creating a respectful, collegial, and user-friendly process to strengthen dissertation research by continuing collaboration between chair, committee members, and alumni.  CEITR reviewers bring knowledge and understanding of manuscript publishing processes to the team.  When the chair and/or committee member(s) move into the position of co-author, they become actively engaged partners who review, revise, and edit the manuscript.  CEITR reviewers focus on providing feedback on structure and content as identified in specific journal submission guidelines and/or the CEITR Manuscript Preparation Checklist (Hartman, 2017).

The CEITR Dissertation to Publication model demystifies scholarship, empowers participants to formulate best practices to develop content appropriate for peer-reviewed journals, and provides a blueprint for building scholar/practitioner/leaders.


Bennis, W. (2010). Still surprised: A memoir of a life in leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bostain, N. S. (2017, August 6). Dissertation to publication questions and answers. Research Hub. Retrieved from https://research.phoenix.edu/center-educational-and-instructional-technology-research/forum/dissertation-publication-questions

Cohen, P. (2017, August 15). Organization update:  Student experience.  Message for All University of Phoenix Faculty.

Cookson, C., Hayek, C. & Buckley, N. (2015, June). Reversing the trend: How full-time faculty increase student persistence. The Academic Forum presentation.  Retrieved from http://www.theacademicforum.org/uploads/3/6/0/2/3602716/the_academic_forum_june_2015_conference_proceedings_-_online.pdf 

Hartman, R. (2017, March). Dissertation to publication questions and answers. Research Hub. Retrieved from https://research.phoenix.edu/center-educational-and-instructional-technology-research/forum/dissertation-publication-questions

Kebritchi, M. (2017). Dissertation to publication.  Research Hub.  Retrieved from https://research.phoenix.edu/content/center-educational-and-instructional-technology-research/dissertation-publication

Knowles, M. S. (1968). Andragogy, not pedagogy. Adult Leadership, 16(10), 350-352.

Lovitts, B. E. (2001). Leaving the ivory tower: The causes and consequences of departure from doctoral study.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Miles, R. E., Snow, C. C., Meyer, A. D., & Coleman, H. J. (1978). Organizational strategy, structure, and process. Academy of Management Review, 3(3), 546-562.

Musa, S., Soetjipto, B. W., Gardner, W. L., & Rachmawati, R. (2017, January). Authentic leadership, strategic orientation, strategy execution and firm performance. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2017, No. 1, p. 13330). Academy of Management.

Price, C. (2017, April 20). Dissertation to publication questions and answers. Research Hub. Retrieved from https://research.phoenix.edu/center-educational-and-instructional-technology-research/forum/dissertation-publication-questions

University of Phoenix. (2017). Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR):  You are invited to attend our Dissertation to Publication workshop - Spring 2018 Registration.  Research Hub.  Retrieved from https://research.phoenix.edu/center-educational-and-instructional-technology-research/you-are-invited-attend-our-dissertation

About the Author

Louise Underdahl



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