The Path from PhD to Publishing

In this session, with the help of our panel of publishing professionals, we will explore the options for researchers in publishing – the roles, the skills, the areas of publishing where a doctorate is essential and the areas where it is a ‘nice to have’; how a doctorate degree is viewed and how best you can promote the skills you have developed on your DPhil.

The panel includes:

Dr Jane Potter, Oxford Brookes University
Jane lectures on the MA in Publishing Media and the BA in Media, Journalism and Publishing, specialising in the history and culture of Publishing and the book trade. She is also Postgraduate Research Tutor for Publishing, supervising PhDs and serving on Faculty and University Research Degrees Committees. Her research focuses on the literature of the First World War; her recent publications include A Cambridge History of World War One Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2023) and The Selected Letters of Wilfred Owen (Oxford University Press, 2023). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English (Occidental College, Los Angeles), an MA in Women’s Studies (York), and an MPhil in Scottish Literature (St. Andrews). She completed her DPhil in English at the University of Oxford. Before joining Oxford Brookes, she was a Research Editor for Literature (1780-2000) at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Assistant to the Archivist at Wolfson College, Oxford.

Dr Claire Dobson, Oxford University Press
Claire came to publishing at the end of her DPhil in Palaeontology, after gradually coming to terms with the fact that a career in academia wasn’t the career she really wanted. She wanted to keep to her academic and STEM routes, and she is passionate about science communication, so moving into the Secondary Science team at OUP ticked a lot of boxes. Since then, she has taken on a few roles in publishing: as an Editor (then promoted to Development Editor) at OUP. Shortly after, she was offered a Commissioning Editor role at a small packager company. Packagers work as a supplier for publishing clients. She missed science publishing and kept feeling that the skills from her PhD and science background were not being used. She ended up returning to OUP and rejoining the science team as a Commissioning Editor.

Dr Patrik Flammer, Senior Editor, BioMedCentral (part of SpringerNature)
As a Senior Editor at BMC, Patrik primarily handles scientific literature from submission through peer-review to publication. The role also involves engagement with academics during visits to research institutions and conferences. He did a BSc and MSc in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Zurich and a DPhil at the University of Oxford, where he researched the use of genomics of infections in archaeological contexts to trace human activities. He continued this research as a postdoc at Oxford. He was an active member of the Graduate Common Room in college, and later he lectured part-time at Oxford Brookes.

Dr Jeffrey Poon, Senior Scientific Editor, Elsevier
Jeffrey works as a Senior Scientific Editor at Elsevier. His primary work involves handling transfers of rejected manuscripts. He advices authors so they can make the necessary amendments to maximise their chances of publication success. Jeffrey also handles manuscripts from submission through peer review to publication as an Editor. He leads a team of four Associate Scientific Editors. He read MChem in Chemistry at the University of Oxford and then a PhD in Chemistry at the University of of Cambridge. After a Croucher Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, he transitioned to a career in publishing.