How to get published?

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  • #1
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I am an undergrad physicist and I wrote a mini-dissertation on hydrogen power. My professor told me I should consider getting it published in a science magazine like scientific american or physics world or something.

How would I go about this? Do I just send it in and hope for the best?

Thanks
Dan
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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I am an undergrad physicist and I wrote a mini-dissertation on hydrogen power. My professor told me I should consider getting it published in a science magazine like scientific american or physics world or something.

How would I go about this? Do I just send it in and hope for the best?

Thanks
Dan

Ask your professor since he/she was the one who suggested it.

Zz.
 
  • #3
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I would save some effort and pretty much forget about Scientific American or most other commercial periodicals. The articles that appear in these mags are almost always solicited. In fact, I think it may actually be policy that they don't accept unsolicited submissions. So I'd check on that first before I spent any time writing for a specific periodical and spending cash on figures, graphs, etc.

Typically, as an undergrad especially, you want to find some small, specialty journal specifically in your field and break into it that way. Often times, especially if the journal's new, they will be eager to accept unsolicited submissions.
 
  • #4
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My advisor's advice (my paraphrasing):

1. Find a bunch of peer-reviewed journals which accept unsolicited articles and publish stuff related to what you did. (As DiracPool said, SciAm and other popular-media magazines are probably *not* a good place to start!)

2. Pick the journal that looks most relevant. Edit your paper so its length/jargon/format are approximately compatible with that journal.

3. Send it and wait for a response.

4. Repeat as needed.

Warning: many journals do *not* allow you to send your paper to multiple places. That means you typically have to do this algorithm in serial form: send to journal A, wait, if rejected send to journal B, etc.

I've only done this once, but it worked. My first choice took a few months to respond, but they published it right away after that. I think it helped quite a bit that I deliberately chose a journal whose editors included people I cited who are experts in the particular subject I was writing about. That makes it hard to get away with bullgarbageting, but it also nearly guarantees that the editors will be interested in your topic.
 
  • #5
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Did you do experiments under the direction of that prof? Whoever you did research with, or the labs you collaborated with, ask those profs to help you with submitting your thesis. It might be easier to submit it if you have a published prof to back you up as the person who gave you guidance during your research. Good luck!
 

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