I got an email from Dr. L and he reminded me that he's willing to help me turn my thesis into a journal publication. I decided that I have had a long enough time away from that subject matter to be able to see it with fresh eyes. I also feel that I can commit to 30-60 minutes of daily work on the project. I'm going to have to go through my data and redefine a bunch of crap, perhaps get more recent data, run new regressions, make new tables/graphs, condense the chapters, and wait for a while.
I spent some time on the phone with him on Friday. He presented me with 2 options: lower level of work and less reputable journal (or even a "research newsletter) vs. high level of work and higher quality (peer-reviewed) journal. I think I'll take the low road. I don't want this project to cut into my study time for the PhD program, but I would like the benefit of being able to say I've published. Dr. L will be my coauthor, which will hopefully make the submission/revision process with the editors go a little smoother.
I would really like to get into a peer reviewed journal, mostly because of the associated academic street cred that it would bring. I know that I won't get into one of the best journals, partially because my data is a little choppy (by no fault of my own...blame the tax code...). I would like to shoot for a "mid-tier" journal. Aside from having more work ahead of me than if I chose a "research newsletter" as an outlet for publication, the journal pub also takes a longer time between the first submission and date of publication. During that lag time, there may be some important changes in the world of ethanol-related public policy.
I think that the marginal benefit will outweigh the marginal cost after I get a publication under my belt.