Which journal to publish in ?

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Suppose one wants to publish an idea, a concept, an alternative interpretation about a topic in relativity and that the article contains few (say 10 % of the text part) equations, what would be the most appropriate journals ?
 

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  • #2
HallsofIvy
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Which journals have you searched to make sure what you have hasn't already been published? Those are the ones that would be most likely to publish what you have. If you haven't done such a search, you should. Normally, researchers do that before they invest a lot of time in writing an article.
 
  • #3
marcusl
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notknowing said:
Suppose one wants to publish an idea, a concept, an alternative interpretation about a topic in relativity and that the article contains few (say 10 % of the text part) equations, what would be the most appropriate journals ?
From the way your question is phrased, I assume that you are not a formally trained physicist working in a research group. I also gather that you are unacquainted with the literature in your area of interest and with physics journals in general.

Assuming that this is correct, the news is not good. It is likely that your ideas are based on misunderstanding (or lack of understanding) of the subject matter. Accordingly, it won't matter to which journal you submit your manuscript. You are likely to get rejection notices with little explanation. I'm sorry for being blunt, but this will help prepare you for what you face as you go forward.
Edit: If you are in college, I suggest that you speak with a professor about your idea and get some feedback on how to proceed.
 
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marcusl said:
From the way your question is phrased, I assume that you are not a formally trained physicist working in a research group. I also gather that you are unacquainted with the literature in your area of interest and with physics journals in general.

Assuming that this is correct, the news is not good. It is likely that your ideas are based on misunderstanding (or lack of understanding) of the subject matter. Accordingly, it won't matter to which journal you submit your manuscript. You are likely to get rejection notices with little explanation. I'm sorry for being blunt, but this will help prepare you for what you face as you go forward.
You were not correct in your assumption (see now how dangerous it is to jump to quick conclusions :grumpy: )
I am a formally trained physicist, I have a Phd (in plasma physics), I am author of more than hundred articles, and I am still involved in doing research in the field of nuclear physics in an international environment. BUT, I do not consider myself to be a theoretical physicist, in the sense that I'm not working most of my time on highly theoretical and mathematical topics. While I've been studying relativity at the university and having continued this on a private basis, I do not consider myself to be an expert in this field. Nevertheless I am convinced that some of my ideas are worth publishing. So, is there nobody (of the big experts) who can give me advice on a journal ?
 
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HallsofIvy said:
Which journals have you searched to make sure what you have hasn't already been published? Those are the ones that would be most likely to publish what you have. If you haven't done such a search, you should. Normally, researchers do that before they invest a lot of time in writing an article.

1. I'm sure it hasn't already been published (I have checked this)
2. I made indeed a search of possible journals but there are many- therefore my question to have some advice.
I'm sure there are a lot of high quality journals, who like to publish anything as long as it contains for 99 % formula's (even when it's absolutely nonsense and completely irrelevant) and where the editors and referees are highly pretentious people, unable to accept ideas other than their own. I just want to avoid these type of journals. Any good advice is welcome.
 
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marcusl
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Many apologies, I indeed should not have jumped to conclusions. Best of luck to you!
 
  • #7
Garth
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notknowing said:
You were not correct in your assumption (see now how dangerous it is to jump to quick conclusions :grumpy: )
I am a formally trained physicist, I have a Phd (in plasma physics), I am author of more than hundred articles, and I am still involved in doing research in the field of nuclear physics in an international environment. BUT, I do not consider myself to be a theoretical physicist, in the sense that I'm not working most of my time on highly theoretical and mathematical topics. While I've been studying relativity at the university and having continued this on a private basis, I do not consider myself to be an expert in this field. Nevertheless I am convinced that some of my ideas are worth publishing. So, is there nobody (of the big experts) who can give me advice on a journal ?
We need more information.

When you say "relativity" do you mean GR or SR, in other words are you dealing with gravitation and space-time curvature or not?

When you say "I do not consider myself to be an expert in this field", you need to study to make yourself an expert, at least in the field containing your own ideas, before you can successfully submit a paper.

There are several people in PF who can suggest textbooks and papers that will help you on your way to become such an expert.

Garth
 
  • #8
pervect
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Few or no equations, and lots of words? Try a journal with "philosophy" in the title :-). (I'm only half joking).
 
  • #9
robphy
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One suggestion: find a journal that has articles that are similar to the article you are writing.

Without much more information, it's not easy to make explicit suggestions. At one extreme, there is of course "Physical Review Letters". If it has pedagogical value, there's the "American Journal of Physics". There are also journals like "Foundations of Physics" and "British Journal for the Philosophy of Science". If there are technical issues, "Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Communications in Mathematical Physics" are some examples. You can use the web to at least browse abstracts of recently published articles. Depending on your institutional access, you might be able to read entire articles. There's also the arxiv.org preprint server.
 
  • #10
robphy said:
There's also the arxiv.org preprint server.

If you are affiliated with an academic institution, I think this would be your best bet.
 
  • #11
ZapperZ
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Note that ArXiv is NOT a journal, as requested in the OP.

Zz.
 
  • #12
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robphy said:
One suggestion: find a journal that has articles that are similar to the article you are writing.

Without much more information, it's not easy to make explicit suggestions. At one extreme, there is of course "Physical Review Letters". If it has pedagogical value, there's the "American Journal of Physics". There are also journals like "Foundations of Physics" and "British Journal for the Philosophy of Science". If there are technical issues, "Classical and Quantum Gravity" and "Communications in Mathematical Physics" are some examples. You can use the web to at least browse abstracts of recently published articles. Depending on your institutional access, you might be able to read entire articles. There's also the arxiv.org preprint server.
Thank you very much ! Finally someone who gives me some useful advice.:smile:
 
  • #13
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pervect said:
Few or no equations, and lots of words? Try a journal with "philosophy" in the title :-). (I'm only half joking).
I do not really agree with your point of view. Were Einsteins orginal thoughts with elevators, space-ships, trains, gravitational redshift, time dilatation not based on simple drawings and a lot of words ? Were these thoughts not valuable ? Were they merely philosophical ? Of course, now everything is put nicely into equations and this is the way it should be. Maybe that mathematically minded persons "think" in equations before they realise what it means physically. For most physicists, like myself, the physical ideas or intuitions come first, followed by the equations.
Also, the fact that there are few equations does not mean that it is less valuable than lots of equations. Look at de Broglie's famous formula relating wavelength and momentum. ONE equation, a lot of text, but an enormous significance. I find that very often the opposite is true : Some articles are full of equations, sometimes difficult to verify by the referees, and with no clear message at all. THESE are the type of articles which will be forgotten very soon.
 
  • #14
Stingray
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notknowing said:
I'm sure there are a lot of high quality journals, who like to publish anything as long as it contains for 99 % formula's (even when it's absolutely nonsense and completely irrelevant) and where the editors and referees are highly pretentious people, unable to accept ideas other than their own.

Maybe it's just because I'm young and inexperienced, but I've never noticed large amounts of math to either be necessary or sufficient to get an article published in any journal I'm aware of. Of course, all ideas have to presented with a reasonable degree of precision, but I'm sure you know that.

The standard journals for relativity are "General Relativity and Gravitation," "Classical and Quantum Gravity," and "Physical Review D." PRL also exists of course, but that's more for short surprising papers on very topical subjects.

Now I don't want to sound rude, but I'm not really sure that this is the right course of action anyway. Your posts in the relativity section seem to indicate that you're just starting to get into this subject. You might want to double-check that what you think you've found is (a) correct, and (b) not obvious to experts.
 
  • #15
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notknowing said:
I do not really agree with your point of view. Were Einsteins orginal thoughts with elevators, space-ships, trains, gravitational redshift, time dilatation not based on simple drawings and a lot of words ? Were these thoughts not valuable ? Were they merely philosophical ? Of course, now everything is put nicely into equations and this is the way it should be. Maybe that mathematically minded persons "think" in equations before they realise what it means physically. For most physicists, like myself, the physical ideas or intuitions come first, followed by the equations.
Also, the fact that there are few equations does not mean that it is less valuable than lots of equations. Look at de Broglie's famous formula relating wavelength and momentum. ONE equation, a lot of text, but an enormous significance. I find that very often the opposite is true : Some articles are full of equations, sometimes difficult to verify by the referees, and with no clear message at all. THESE are the type of articles which will be forgotten very soon.
Einstein's original paper ( http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ ) was full of equations, and I can't help thinking that if it had simply been philosophising about riding on a light beam then it wouldn't have got very far. You may not like it, but it's the mathematics which can be verified by the readers of the paper.
 

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