Factors influencing publication of your MPH master’s thesis in a scientific journal


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Are you about to finish your Masters in Public Health (MPH)? Are you hoping to publish your thesis in a peer-reviewed journal? Ever wondered what are your chances of having it accepted? Then read on!

We just published a study that investigated exactly that! The authors evaluated theses of a MPH program in terms of students’ and theses’ characteristics that influenced publication of the theses in a scientific journal.

One hundred and sixty-two students that completed an MPH program at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain between 2006 and 2010 completed an electronic survey. Additional data were obtained from university files.

The main results of the studies are as follows:

– 60.5 % of the participants had already published an article derived from the thesis (or were in the process of publishing it). The majority of them were first authors.

– The likelihood for publication was greater for

a) Women: in fact women were 1.4 times more likely to publish their thesis and this was not related to performance difference to the MPH.

b) Those who had a bachelor’s degree in sciences other than public health

c) Those who have completed their MPH on time

d) Those who had enrolled in a doctorate program after completing the MPH

e) Those who had a master thesis score of more than 7

Identified barriers to publishing included workload, insufficient tutor support and insufficient motivation. Additionally, 17% of the participants identified publication bias against non-significant/ unfavourable results as barriers to publishing.

What is your experience? Have you published your Master’s thesis (or plan to do so?) What motivates you and what holds you back? How important is it for you to get it published?


* this study was written by Malen Hollmann, Carme Borrell, Olatz Garin, Esteve Fernández and Jordi Alonso

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1 Response

  1. YDS says:

    While I do respect the results of the studies, I will not likely be subjected to statistics. There are obviously some factors involve that would influence your output and you as a person. But for me, I would just read on and be guided, but not to the point where I have to freak out and a figure in the statistics.

    Anyway, I like your material. Thanks

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