Prospects and Challenges of Extracting Scientific Publications from a Doctoral Thesis in International Economic Law: An Academic Excursion




African research, thesis conversion, international economic law, building an academic brand, academic integrity , academic articles


Africa produces less than one per cent of the total global research outputs. This is despite African institutions having been involved in producing knowledge for millennia. The centres of learning of Alexandria in Egypt, the ancient universities of Timbuktu and the monasteries run by Christian organisations in the third century BC are notable instances of research and knowledge production on the African continent. Today, Africa is lagging behind in knowledge production, including knowledge about Africa and Africans themselves. As a response, African universities, particularly in South Africa, have adopted strategies to increase knowledge production.

Amongst the approaches taken is the growing trend to demand co-authorship between supervisors and their supervisees, ensuring that portions of the postgraduate Doctoral research eventually feature as a journal article or a book chapter. The other approach has been for some universities to demand that the student must publish two chapters or one chapter from their thesis before they are permitted to graduate. While both these approaches are commendable, the fact remains that universities are not doing enough to equip these emerging researchers to transition from mere students to published authors in peer-reviewed accredited journals. This article interrogates the challenges and prospects brought about by this academic demand, the causes of some of these challenges, and how students who are registered for international economic law can successfully navigate these barriers. The article draws from the author’s personal experience in converting her Doctoral chapters into published journal articles.

Author Biography

Lindelwa Beaulender Mhlongo, University of South Africa

Lecturer at Unisa College of Law, Department of Public, Constitutional and International Law.


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How to Cite

Mhlongo, Lindelwa Beaulender. 2023. “Prospects and Challenges of Extracting Scientific Publications from a Doctoral Thesis in International Economic Law: An Academic Excursion”. South African Yearbook of International Law 48:26 pages.
Received 2023-10-26
Accepted 2023-11-02
Published 2023-12-14