Has Dissertation Reviews helped you?


We recently invited a few of our authors and contributors to reflect upon how Dissertation Reviews has helped them in their work, and the early career academic community more broadly. Here’s what they had to say! If you’d like to contribute a testimonial of your own, please email it to dissertationreviews@gmail.com

Dissertation Reviews has offered so much to junior scholars. By publicizing our intellectual contributions to the scholarly community in such a timely fashion, it has helped build connections between the established researchers and new faces. Since the review of my work appeared in Dissertation Reviews, I have received invitations to conference panels, meetings, and workshops. It has created a warm, wonderful space where young scholars are given center stage and seen as the source of inspiration. The presence of Dissertation Reviews makes one feel appreciated and supported when the big step from the dissertation to the first book is yet to be conceptualized and taken. Dissertation Reviews has become an indispensible, deeply cherished part of the scholarly community.


– Ying Zhang, Assistant Professor of Chinese History, Ohio State University

I am glad I accepted to have my dissertation among the first STS works reviewed by Dissertation Reviews. The reviewer chosen by the team could hardly have been a better fit, and she has done an excellent, insightful, and thorough job. The result is very helpful to me. Although we have only corresponded so far, it is quite exciting to have discovered a bright young scholar researching in the same area as I do, and I hope to meet her in person at a conference sooner than later. Besides, as more Science Studies reviews have been posted on the website, I find it is a great medium to find out about some of the recent research that young STS scholars are engaging in.


– Christine Aicardi, Wellcome Library Research Fellow, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London

I am always eager to see who is featured or writing in Dissertation Reviews. Dissertation Reviews provides an immediate snapshot of the topics, research methods, and theoretical trends that scholars are currently at work on. At a practical level, such discussions facilitate day-to-day scholarly work like putting together conference panels, but it also provides a sense of the future directions of our field and the ways it is likely to be enhanced as this research takes book form.


– Kate Merkel-Hess, Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Thank you for introducing us vicariously to so many young scholars through their dissertations. I have already read several reviews of people I would like to work with on conference panels and other endeavors. I’m sure many other people have told you how essential Dissertation Reviews will be to reversing the institutional-based isolation of graduate school and help us all get to know each other, so I’ll just add a modest echo to that chorus of praise!


-Loretta Kim, Assistant Professor of History, Hong Kong Baptist University [Review of Kim’s Dissertation here | Kim’s Review of another dissertation here]

Book reviews written by notable experts in the field have long been available in a variety of journals and websites to help scholars become acquainted with key research in their field. However, such reviews often appear long after ground breaking research has been conducted at the dissertation level. Dissertation Reviews now offers scholars access to substantial expert reviews of dissertations which represent current and leading research in their fields. Moreover, as an online resource, it allows a centralized database that is easily searchable and accessible. It is an invaluable resource for keeping up to date with current academic trends and research


– Tanya S. Maus, Assistant Professor of History, Wittenberg University [A review of Maus’ dissertation here]

Dissertation Reviews has quickly developed into an indispensable scholarly resource. Not only does it serve as a digest of new research, the review process also creates a forum for constructive exchange and collaboration. It is a great service now and will no doubt only grow more valuable with time.


– Benjamin Brose, Assistant Professor of Chinese Buddhism, University of Michigan [A review of Brose’s dissertation here]

Publishing on Dissertation Reviews illustrated to me the clear advantage of open-access scholarly websites. I received immediate feedback on my short review as well as mentions or trackbacks from other people and on other websites. In less than one month the review had already been read at least several hundred times. Thanks to Dissertation Reviews we finally have timely and easily accessible information on research in the field!


– Amanda Shuman, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

I was grateful for the opportunity to have my doctoral thesis reviewed for the ‘Science Studies’ section of Dissertation Reviews. This field was launched only in Winter 2010 but is fast becoming an invaluable resource for connecting scholars in our field. I have been invited to present a paper at a forthcoming conference on the basis of the review. The review has also provided enormously helpful feedback as I revise my thesis for publication.


– Salim Al-Gailani, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge

In my experience, Dissertation Reviews provided a forum to share years of research conducted in relative isolation to an interested audience beyond my PhD committee (including scholars and non-academics). Through this experience, my academic networks grew tenfold. Not only did the process of intellectual exchange in writing the review prove very satisfying, it also assisted in establishing contacts with publishers. Besides helping to build these professional networks, participating in Dissertation Reviews has increased my awareness of the current state of my own fields (Religious Studies/Sino-Tibetan-Himalayan Studies).


– Nicole Willock, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Denver [Review of Willock’s Dissertation here | Willock’s Review of another dissertation here]

The Dissertation Reviews project has done a superb job in keeping the scholarly community updated about the cutting-edge work in history years before the dissertations can be turned into published books. It also allows younger authors to get valuable feedback about how to better revise their manuscripts. As both a reviewer and an author, I have personally benefited enormously from both reading others’ work and getting constructive suggestions. It has helped generate much more scholarly interest in my research than otherwise. Its open access also allows scholars all over the world to exchange ideas and distribute knowledge promptly. I believe that this project deserves all the support it needs for its continued success.


– Li Chen, Assistant Professor of History, University of Toronto

Dissertation Reviews offers an informative and refreshing perspective on knowledge sharing, as well as the histories of China, Japan, Korea, and now the History of Science.  Its dissertation reviews, shop talks, and cohort of scholars are welcome additions to a larger body of online resources for new and established academics alike. I’m grateful for its presence and am thrilled to see its much deserved expansion!


– Di Yin Lu, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

As a young scholar I have benefited from the forum that Dissertation Reviews offers for developing my skills as a constructive reviewer and from having the opportunity to see what my colleagues at different universities (and on different continents) are working on.  This exposure has already allowed me to make a number of serendipitous connections that I would have never made (or thought to look for) otherwise. Thanks!


– Robin Wolfe Scheffler, PhD Candidate, Program in the History of Science and Medicine Yale University

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