Term of reference for transformation of originals from dissertations and theses
The academic quality of a dissertation or thesis attested by the evaluation bank is not credential enough to turn it into a book. The dissertation or thesis meets certain formal requirements and is aimed at a specialized audience. The academic book is addressed to a wider audience, which includes both the specialized reader and the non-specialist reader. They are two vehicles of diffusion of the knowledge with very peculiar characteristics.
In addition, the book is not always the best way to disseminate a dissertation or thesis. Articles in scientific journals may, depending on the case, be the best vehicles to disseminate research results and have more impact in terms of readers and citations. The publication in periodicals of recognized importance is one of the attestations of the quality of the research. A dissertation or thesis approved in a postgraduate program will most likely be available in free access on the Capes Thesis Portal and / or the respective program’s web page. Thus, for the purpose of diffusion of knowledge, master’s dissertations and doctoral theses are already accessible to the general public shortly after its approval.
A good dissertation or thesis does not necessarily turn into a good book. Evaluation banks sometimes recommend their publication in this format. However, for a publisher this indication is only one element, among others, of its own evaluation. In the Fiocruz Publishing House, the originals of a dissertation or thesis begin a new, and different, evaluation process, which involves technical screening, issuance of opinions by ad hoc consultants and final decision by the editorial board. This process does not differ from the one to which all the originals presented to Editora are submitted.
The relevance of the theme to the field in which the originals are inserted, the originality, the quality and fluency of the writing considering a wider public, the methodology or the sources used are, together, elements analyzed when it comes to evaluating the interest for Publication. Another important aspect concerns the way in which the book in evaluation (in particular as regards the theme and the methodology) relates to the Catalog of the Publishing House and to the titles on the theme published by other publishers.
Adapting to the book format
A book from a thesis should not be a faithful copy of its original content. The format of the book requires text to undergo changes in its structure and content. In general, in the field of humanities dissertations and theses are long, and their transformation into a book will require reductions. Studies of areas where, on the contrary, the material presented to the evaluation bodies is less extensive will require complementation. In both cases, a book is expected to have a number of pages compatible with what you need to communicate.
The text should be reworked in order to bring it as close as possible to its new audience. Some parts or sections may be reduced or enlarged.
Marks considered to be typical of dissertations and theses should be deleted, but dispensable in books intended for a wider audience:
1 – Long titles are not recommended. The title of the book should clearly state the content of the study, but need not be the same as the dissertation or thesis. It should be short and, if possible, without subtitle. Its adequacy is considered in the evaluation of the originals.
2 – The thanks must be parsimonious and directed to those who have effectively supported the research that generated the book and the making of the volume. They are not necessarily the same acknowledgments of the thesis or dissertation.
3 – The theoretical chapter, which generally places the research within the scope of existing literature, must be written with objective language to provide a pleasant and profitable reading. In some cases, this chapter can be incorporated into the presentation.
4 – Too many references throughout the text is not appropriate because it interrupts the flow of the reading. It is no longer necessary to “prove” that the author (ex-graduate) knows the bibliography on the subject. What is most relevant is that the cited bibliography discusses the arguments effectively developed in the text. Therefore, it is desirable that only the references that are really relevant, necessary and used in that dialogue be retained.
5 – Excess and / or long notes, which also interrupt the reading flow, should be used sparingly.
6 – Citations in note should not be used.
7 – Do not apply to books the procedure of starting the chapter always announcing what is going to be discussed and ending it summarizing what was discussed.
8 – In the references of the book, only the titles actually mentioned or mentioned in the text should be included. In Editora Fiocruz, only the Historia & Saúde Collection books include the list of all the bibliography consulted by the author.
1 – The book should begin with a presentation in which the author informs about the origin of the study, the theoretical references it adopts and the way the volume is structured.
2 – The classical structure of academic studies, as well as the corresponding intertitles of the genre – Introduction, Methodology, Final Considerations, etc. – must be modified. It is advisable to adopt suggestive titles and subtitles while at the same time objective, short and direct, preferably without adjectives and articles.
3 – Attention to internal references and repetitions, often recurring in texts submitted to newsstands.
1 – The language should be direct, clear and concise. This is not to say that the style should be ‘plastered’ and inelegant, or excessively colloquial. It is possible to write with elegance being simple and direct. The conciseness makes disappear from the text the linguistic excesses that add nothing to it.
2. Specific technical terms and jargons of a particular area should be briefly explained (apart from footnotes, for example, or in a brief textual formulation) as soon as they appear for the first time, notably if they are unusual or give rise to different meanings .
3 – The coherence in the use of the person of the speech throughout the text avoids duplication of interpretation about the origin of the idea in question.