# Is it common practice to publish parts of a PhD thesis in advance? [closed]

I'm interested in publishing parts of my PhD thesis in advance and I'm wondering wether or not this will result in problems later on. One of the problems I'm thinking of is that usually the copyright is transferred to the journal/publisher but at our university you are required to publish your thesis online via the library website, which means you have to give them the right to publicize the thesis (which I'm not sure you still can do, even when a slightly modified version of the journal paper is only part of the thesis).

So I guess my question is this:

Is it common practice to publish parts of a PhD thesis in advance and if so does this result in legal problems? What are your experiences?

Somehow related

Publishing journals articles without transferring copyright.

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## closed as off topic by Felipe Voloch, Bill Johnson, Fernando Muro, Igor Rivin, Mark MeckesSep 25 '12 at 14:24

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It is certainly quite common to publish papers during your PhD. Then your PhD thesis consists of your papers with some re-writing, an introduction to the state-of-the-art, some concluding words... and it can be considered a fairly different document from your articles. Lots of people have done this (myself included) and I'm not aware of any subsequent issues. This doesn't mean that it's 100% legal though. –  Pierre Sep 25 '12 at 12:24
I think this question is more appropriately asked at academia.stackexchange.com –  Joel Reyes Noche Sep 25 '12 at 12:57
The style of Ph.D. theses and research papers is different, so I think it's perfectly normal (and even encouraged) to submit papers first, and rewrite/expand them for the thesis. A thesis should contain lots of extra background and trivial details which you don't put in a paper, and it's far easier and more interesting to write papers first and then convert/expand them into thesis chapters than the other way round; and, once converted into thesis format, they will be sufficiently different that copyright could not be an issue. But be sure to acknowledge all this in the papers and the thesis. –  Zen Harper Sep 25 '12 at 13:44
But, being cynical, I believe that, with rare exceptions, almost no-one reads Ph.D. theses apart from the examiners if you're lucky ; published papers are much more important because that's what far more people will actually read and cite if you're lucky . But choose your journals with care! –  Zen Harper Sep 25 '12 at 13:47

I think a lot of journals will expressly allow this in their copyright policy. I just poked around, and I see for example that the AMS allows this:

and even Elsevier allows this in its journals:

Added later: my last comment was inspired by having read the article Do Mathematicians Get the Author Rights They Want?'' by Kristine K. Fowler in: