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How to publish a paper without university affliation?

by Sridhar Mahadevan
Tags: affliation, paper, publish, university
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Sridhar Mahadevan
#1
Feb22-05, 08:22 PM
P: 3
I am doing independent self study in physics. I am interested in publishing a paper containing some research I have done in Foundations of QMech. Where do you suggest I can publish it? I do not have any university backing my research and in that case, what are the options I have? Is it a necessity for a preprint.

Please Advise.
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imabug
#2
Feb23-05, 07:51 AM
P: 345
go to the library and find some journals that you think your paper might be appropriate for. Read through the Information for Authors that each journal should have somewhere. That will tell you all kinds of things you need to know about submitting to the journal.

None of the journals I'm familiar with require any kind of university affiliation, although I'm sure in the eyes of the editor and reviewers, a paper from an unknown author with no academic affiliation might not get as much consideration as one from someone affiliated with an academic institution.

Never hurts to try though. The worst they can say is no, and even then you could always throw it out onto the web as a non-peer reviewed article.
ZapperZ
#3
Feb23-05, 08:11 AM
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Quote Quote by Sridhar Mahadevan
I am doing independent self study in physics. I am interested in publishing a paper containing some research I have done in Foundations of QMech. Where do you suggest I can publish it? I do not have any university backing my research and in that case, what are the options I have? Is it a necessity for a preprint.

Please Advise.
imabug gave very good suggestions. However, here's where I throw in a wrench to this whole thing. If you are clueless in knowing where to publish your work, then I am guessing that you are also not familiar with all the relevant physics journals out there. This then leads me to conclude that you haven't been doing any sort of an extensive literature search on the state of knowledge of whatever area it is that you did your "independent research" on.

So my questions to you are:

1. How would you know your work is "valid" and free of errors and misunderstanding? The validity would come from self-consistency with the existing theories, and from experimentally verified observations.

2. How would you know that what you have done has not been published already, or has already been disproven?

Please note that the probability of someone without a formal education in phyiscs, coming up with something "new" on any fundamental issues of physics, is practically zero. Don't believe me, just try finding the last time this has happened. Unless you believe that you have an unusually exceptional quality, insight, and abilities, I strongly suggest you do not fall into such illusion and make sure first that what you have is halfway decent. Find someone who has a physics qualification and ask him/her to review what you have done. Even Nobel Prize laureates give their manuscripts to someone else for a 2nd opinion, so why not you?

Zz.

controlfreak
#4
Feb23-05, 08:50 AM
P: 28
How to publish a paper without university affliation?

Thank you so much for imabug and zapper for your suggestions.

Zapper,
You are absolutely right! I just recently went through the possibilities of submitting online in PRL and arXiv.org and each had asked for an affliation but then it is possible to submit without one, but as you both indicated it would NOT be looked at with the same credibility as one from a univ where it would have already been reviewed to an extent.

I also understand that as I am not aware fully of the developments in physics as I am not following the present progress in PRL and other such prestigious journals.In all probability what I am thinking might be naive, wrong or may already been explored more than 40 years ago. I would have no way of knowing unless I read more litreture or in contact with other people who have read more than me and who are more aware than me. That is the essential problem.

The problem is that I have never been in physics for past 8 years after I did my masters in physics (In India) and I quit physics and entered into IT. Recently in the past 3 months, I have quit my job and ventured into researching in physics. The problem I face is that I have no one to discuss my ideas face to face. I have no professors to guide me. I am planning to start doing a PHD next year in India, but I wanted to do some independent research and present some papers before that. So here I am in a fix. I thought I will try to publish an article and that would automatically be reviewed and I would know how much way off the mark I am. Are there any other ways to informally interact with a professor of considerable repute or someway I can discuss face to face my ideas with someone knowledgeable in this field without actually enrolling oneself in a Univ? In short as Zapper suggested I need someone else for a 2nd Opinion. As I am doing Independent Self Study, I have no one to approach if I get stuck somewhere in understanding a concept.This is one of the reasons I have joined this forum.

Thanks again for all your suggestions.
controlfreak
#5
Feb23-05, 08:52 AM
P: 28
I am Sridhar Mahadevan too!.. I created another ID as I had problems with the first one and also I found that all of you are having nicknames for ids instead of actual names!!
controlfreak
#6
Feb23-05, 11:06 AM
P: 28
Infact I was reading feynman's lectures "Principle of Least Action" and saw what I thought of QMech is actually Feynman's formulation of Quantum Mechanics based on "Action within h(plank's constant)". But then there is something missing in his formulation. I am working on those lines.
cronxeh
#7
Feb23-05, 11:27 AM
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would it hurt you to publish it here? I mean right here on the forums - I can host the pdf for ya so everyone can see it if you want.

Edit:
Removed personal info.
HallsofIvy
#8
Feb23-05, 11:33 AM
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In 1904, when Albert Einstein wrote three papers that changed physics (and, just incidently, made him famous) he didn't have a "University affiliation"- he was working as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.
dextercioby
#9
Feb23-05, 11:39 AM
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I don't know how u know about him writing them in 1904,when all his (famous) articles WERE SUBMITTED AND APPEARED IN ANNALEN DER PHYSIK in 1905...

Daniel.
dextercioby
#10
Feb23-05, 11:41 AM
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Quote Quote by controlfreak
Infact I was reading feynman's lectures "Principle of Least Action" and saw what I thought of QMech is actually Feynman's formulation of Quantum Mechanics based on "Action within h(plank's constant)". But then there is something missing in his formulation. I am working on those lines.
That's DEADLY INTERESTING!! I only hope that u twisted his famous book on all sides and you're not making erroneous statements...


Daniel.
ZapperZ
#11
Feb23-05, 12:14 PM
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Quote Quote by HallsofIvy
In 1904, when Albert Einstein wrote three papers that changed physics (and, just incidently, made him famous) he didn't have a "University affiliation"- he was working as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.
That's true, except that you forgot a few "minor" factors: (i) he already had a physics degree/knowledge, and (ii) he WAS, after all, Albert Einstein, a freak of nature that doesn't happen very often.

Zz.
franznietzsche
#12
Feb23-05, 01:49 PM
P: 1,783
Quote Quote by HallsofIvy
In 1904, when Albert Einstein wrote three papers that changed physics (and, just incidently, made him famous) he didn't have a "University affiliation"- he was working as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.

He also had a PhD.

Next person to bring up einstein as an example of people outside of physics making breakthroughs gets a smackdown, because he was a physicist. Whether or not he had a univiersity post is trivial, he had a PhD in physics. He was actually trained, and well versed in the subject material and published literature.
dextercioby
#13
Feb23-05, 02:35 PM
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Quote Quote by franznietzsche
He also had a PhD.
Incorrect.He got his PhD in 1906,one year after publishing the 4 articles...

Daniel.
Chronos
#14
Feb23-05, 04:08 PM
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A university affiliation is not required to register with ArXiv. It appears you can put just about anything down as your affiliation. What is required to submit a paper is an endorser. Details are provided on the ArXiv site [Pull up an abstract of a paper in your field of interest, click on 'Which authors of this paper are endorsers?' and follow the links]. That said, you should still heed Zappers advice.
controlfreak
#15
Feb23-05, 05:43 PM
P: 28
Thanks a lot for you suggestion Chronos.

In regards to the discussion I had sparked abt doing something great without formal education, I personally believe that is mostly impossible as impossible as a baby reading english classics and making sense. Also I wish to say that I did do my MSc in physics from BITS Pilani a good university in India.

All the same one definitely needs to have some kind of education, atleast self education, and that would mean not just deriving starting from euclid all by oneself, but by studing loads and loads of stuff which has already been done by millions of guys. There are a lot of good books out there which are really good for self education providing you all the information taught in colleges by profs. Infact in my college I never went to classes, and scored ok.

But then there is a practical problem with self study and that is that one definitely gets stuck in that process of self learning and with nobody like teachers or peers to help you out and you will likely remain stuck for sometime. It just slows down ur process of learning and with reduced tools (mathematical methods) to discover, you are limited in your thought process too and hence in you capacity to discover. Everyone cant be Newton (that freaky guy) to discover calculus for his physics problems.

So systematic college education and exposure to highly knowledgeable teachers makes that process of learning faster and richer. By richer I mean you will have different perspectives on the same problem from differnet people and it will broaden ur thought process. So people like say Edison and Faraday are only exceptions. I would say Wheeler, Bethe or Jehle had a lot of influence in leading Feynman to his path integrals.

Infact it is not more true than in present day physics with its complexities and specialization increasing thousand fold nowadays. Everyday more and more is discovered, which means you need to read more and more to discover something truly original.

So lets cool down :) and concentrate of discovering new beautiful things of life!!
WORLD-HEN
#16
Feb24-05, 12:33 AM
P: 45
Try sending your paper to some one well known, and if he/she feels that your paper is worth it, theyll help you publish it.
juvenal
#17
Feb24-05, 03:15 AM
P: 383
Quote Quote by WORLD-HEN
Try sending your paper to some one well known, and if he/she feels that your paper is worth it, theyll help you publish it.
Well-known people get enough papers and other materials from cranks that they'd just throw it out.
franznietzsche
#18
Feb24-05, 04:45 AM
P: 1,783
Quote Quote by dextercioby
Incorrect.He got his PhD in 1906,one year after publishing the 4 articles...

Daniel.
Indeed Einstein succeeded with his plan graduating in 1900 as a teacher of mathematics and physics.
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~.../Einstein.html

He obtained his doctorate after submitting his thesis "On a new determination of molecular dimensions" in 1905.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstei..._and_doctorate

Either way, he had doctoral training at the time. He was not an outsider to mainstream physics, and he was not unversed in the scientific literature of the time (debate over Poincare originating relativity aside).


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