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About writing and publishing a paper

  1. Mar 7, 2006 #1
    Let's say I write a paper. It's my first paper after my (unpublished) dissertation and is written in my spare time at home.

    I don't have any physics peers to show the paper too, apart from those at PF, however I am naturally worried about copyright stuff. It would be great to get it read by some knowledgeable, less strict, peeps on PF before sending it off to some hardcore journal (feedback and all that).

    What would you suggest so that my ideas and hard work don't get used by someone else before my work is published and thus protected from plagiarism? Are the archives the place to put the paper up? I mean do the archives provide copyright protection? How does one submit to the archives?

    Once the paper is in a form which I feel is satisfactory for submitting to a journal, generally speaking what do I have to do?

    Many thanks in advance for any posts =)

    EDIT: specifically a physics paper

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2006 #2
    Mail a copy to yourself by certified mail. Leave it sealed in the package, the date on it confirms when you had the ideas layed out on the paper in the package.
  4. Mar 8, 2006 #3
    Would that really be enough to stop anyone from stealing the idea?
  5. Mar 8, 2006 #4

    No, but nothing you can do, short of never telling anyone will do that.

    Doing that however, will constitute proof that it was your idea.

    That said, I think these concerns in a scientific setting are petty.
  6. Mar 8, 2006 #5
    You mean there are stealers also as members of the journal commitee ?


    Also, alfred how do you know that your idea is new enough to be in a journal ? I think ideas or theorems without experiments to prove will not be accepted. I am not sure anyway.
  7. Mar 8, 2006 #6
    That would be idiotic on the part of a referee when several referee's all read the same paper.
  8. Mar 8, 2006 #7
    you're probably right about that but I doubt any professional would be happy about someone else taking credit for their work... careers are important.

    I certainly wouldn't be worried abnout that, however I would be worried about posting a draft of my paper on PF. On the other hand it would be very beneficial in terms of feedback.

    why do you assume my ideas are unprovable? I am a qualified, trained physicist =) So far all my paper is doing is proposing an experiment which wouldl solve the "measurement problem" and determine the "collapse condition" in orthodox QM. I believe my arguments are sound and that the experiment is a valid one. Regardless of all this, for the sake of providing an answer to my OP one should assume that the paper has some merit.

    I agree.

    Basically my post was asking 4 questions:

    What is the best way to get feedback on a physics paper one is writing while minimising the risk of someone stealing your ideas? (considering I don't have any physics contacts other than PF).

    Do the archives count as a form of copyright protection? (http://xxx.lanl.gov/)

    If so what is the procedure to get one's paper published in the archives?

    Once my paper is in a satisfactory draft what is the general procedure to be followed in order to publish it in a journal?

    Answers to any of these questions would be much appreciated.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2006
  9. Mar 8, 2006 #8


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    Only crackpots, and those already accepted as authorities in the field, worry about others stealing their new ideas!

    1) Test out the ideas in the paper by posting them individually as questions on PF and weigh up the qualifications of those who respond with constructive criticism. Or....
    2) Find a suitable journal and simply submit it for publication following all that journal's "Instructions for Authors". Then wait for about a year until it is returned with the referees' comments and criticisms and learn from them. If that journal has given it an outright rejection, as opposed to a conditional agreement to publish if rewritten, rewrite your paper taking their criticisms into account and then resubmit to another appropiate journal.
    Yes, they are all dated, and archived for future referral
    Having ascertained which arXiv it is most suitable you will need to register and find an endorser for your paper, see e-Print Archive Help.
    As with 2) above. Take particular care of the "Instructions for Authors" and make sure the journal has declared itself interested in publishing your sort of paper.
    You are welcome Alf. Best of luck!:smile:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2006
  10. Mar 8, 2006 #9


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I guess no one actually read this:


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