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Publishing mathematics from home?

  1. Jul 13, 2008 #1


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    I'm thinking about the field of mathematics.

    Many mathematic academics complain about teaching responsibilities and the admin matters that comes with working in an organisation. For those people, it seems research is on the top of their priority. So how about the option of researching and publishing from home? Hence one's income comes only from publishing papers in journals. In this way one does full time research while generating an income to sustain himself/herself. However is the income very small? How much would it be? Another thing is you might have to be very good to do such thing as you are most likely working in isolation. Obviously the people who can do such thing already has an equivalent of a Phd.

    How realistic is this option? All suggestions welcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2008 #2
    Articles are written for free. In fact, it costs money to conduct research so the net income from a publication is negative. Publications are your proof that you are a serious researcher and are what you point to when trying to get money from a private research or academic institution.
  4. Jul 13, 2008 #3


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    What money would it cost to conduct research, if one was to do it willingly in one's own time?
  5. Jul 13, 2008 #4


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    If you were doing it in your own time then no, it would probably not cost much, but that wasn't the scenario you mentioned in the OP- you asked why people don't quit their job and research from home on a full time basis. This is not feasible, since you will have no income.
  6. Jul 13, 2008 #5


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    So there is no income. That doesn't mean not only do I get nothing but I also have to pay someone else in order to do my own research, which was the senario I assumed will.c was describing.
  7. Jul 13, 2008 #6


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    Actually, many journals require you to pay some of the publishing fees. I don't know about mathematics, but I know the Astrophysical Journal is charging authors $150 a page a the moment. It costs money to do the research AND to publish in many fields. Not to mention just getting access to the relevant journals can cost thousands of dollars a year. Universities cover those fees for you as well - working from home, on your own, with no income, isn't really all that practical.
  8. Jul 13, 2008 #7
    When I was thinking of research costs in mathematics for someone working without some academic or industrial affiliation, what I was mostly thinking of was journal access, which some universities are starting to have trouble with, and would quickly bankrupt an individual.
  9. Jul 13, 2008 #8


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    It's very easy to take for granted the access afforded by universities.

    There are lots of scenarios in which you could conduct research outside of academia. Depending on your area of expertise, you could do freelance work for various companies that need your skills, but can't obtain them on a full time basis. If you have a marketable idea and are able to sell it, you could get pilot money from venture capitalists. Another option is "amateur" research - support yourself with a day job and do your real work at night. My understanding is that this is reasonably common in the field of astonomy.
  10. Jul 14, 2008 #9


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    For mathematics, one sure way may be to tutor high school and university students to cover for daily expenses.

    The unfortunate thing about these journals is that not many people read them anyway. Their charging authors so the publishers of journals must not be making much profit. I can't imagine authors of fictions books for the public be charged to publish.
  11. Jul 14, 2008 #10
    Once again, though... it costs money to print and sell a fiction book; if you have a contract with a publisher, they will pay to have your book printed and distributed because they know that they will get a much higher return on their investment. Similarly, I would think universities wouldn't expect professors to pay out of pocket for journal submission fees, but I am not a professor, so I don't know if this is true.
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