This study aimed to determine the academic publication rate of health sciences graduate theses, as well as the factors that influence researchers to publish. The study took place in Ege University Institute of Health Sciences, Turkey, and used a correlated research model to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data. We obtained data from 159 graduate students selected from 437 who graduated between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2014. From this group, 76 of the theses were published as 141 items. Of these, 93 (66%) were journal articles, of which 51 (36.2%) were published in journals indexed by Science Citation Index (SCI)/SCI‐Expanded/Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). In the multiple regression analysis, we found that employment in a university increased the probability of producing publications from theses by 8.54 times (odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.954–18.440) and that encouragement from a supervisor increased the same by 2.79 times (OR, 95% CI = 1.021–7.640). Reasons for not publishing their theses were classified into 11 items, of which thematic analysis showed that the most prominent reasons were lack of time (n = 18, 24.3%) and workload (n = 15, 20.2%). This suggests that interventions targeting these two factors may result in increased publication of theses.