Publication of research in peer-reviewed journals is the final activity of all research projects: it is our product. Peer reviewed publication is the mechanism by which the scientific community vets its activities and transfers technology. It is also the basis upon which members of the scientific community are judged, indicates to potential funding agencies our ability to complete research projects, and is commonly the single most important indicator of productivity in institutions of higher learning. Simply stated: research that is not published was never done!

Research may not achieve publication for two reasons: either it is not publishable, or it is publishable but not submitted for publication. Both reasons are unacceptable outcomes of M.S. and Ph.D. programs.Research that is not publishable either was not justifiable (should have not been conducted) or was not conducted in a manner sufficient to achieve critical evaluation by peers (was poorly conducted). Essentially, if the research is not publishable, it is not worthy of satisfying M.S. or Ph.D. requirements. Graduate students should always plan and conduct their research activities such that the years they toil for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree will result in peer-reviewed publications.

All Thesis-option M.S. students are expected to prepare and submit a manuscript of their research results for publication in a refereed professional journal. All doctoral students are expected to prepare and submit at least two manuscripts of their research results for publication in referred professional journals . The graduate student shall obtain assistance from the major professor in planning, reviewing, revising, and submitting the transcript. In cases where students do not submit manuscripts within 3 months of graduation, the major professor may choose to write a manuscript for publication based on the thesis or dissertation, and chose to list him/herself as first author on the manuscript. To facilitate publication of graduate student research, at the advisory committee’s discretion, the thesis or dissertation may essentially consist of one or more manuscripts formatted to meet the requirements of The Graduate School. All manuscripts originating within the Department must be reviewed on several levels prior to submission.

Normally, a graduate student who prepares a publication resulting from his/her thesis research will have senior authorship with the major professor listed as second author. However, first authorship should lie with the individual who made the greatest intellectual contribution to a particular manuscript.. Thus, in cases where the graduate student played a lesser role in the development of the research questions, or in intellectual development of the manuscript as a whole, the major professor may justifiably be listed as first author. As stated earlier, if the graduate student does not take primary initiative in writing or revising a manuscript within 3 months of leaving the University, the major professor may publish results from the student’s project and be listed as the senior author, even if the previously stated criteria are not met.

When publishing thesis or dissertation research, it is suggested that any persons meeting the following criteria be considered for authorship (guidelines are based in part upon the American Medical Association’s Guidelines for Authors):

All authors must have:

  1. Given final approval of the submitted manuscript.
  2. Participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for part or all of the content.
  3. Made substantial contributions to the intellectual content of the paper, as follows:

At least one of the following three:

  • Conception and design
  • Acquisition of data
  • Analysis and interpretation of data

At least one of the following two:

  • Drafting of the manuscript
  • Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content