I am a 16 year old researcher and was wondering whether to apply to publish my paper in a special journals for young scientists, which have a higher chance of acceptance, or to apply in a regular peer-reviewed journal which might have a less chance of acceptance. I am confused between the quality and impact factor of the two journals and don't know which will be better. My research is completely original and not to show off but kind-of revolutionary.

  • 3
    If your research is revolutionary, why submit to a lesser journal? Send it to Nature or Science or some other appropriate big journal with a wide audience.
    – Allure
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 20:51
  • 2
    Why settle for less, if you can get more? Good luck! Take care, however, if the lingo and similar factors also add up. There are normally senior co-authors for this, but I understand you as you are writing the article alone. You might also want to use arXiv to secure a time-stamp on your research. Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 20:57
  • @Allure yes I plan on sending to one of those journals you have mentioned. Can not tell which. Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 21:24
  • @OlegLobachev I have consulted with 3 researchers, all at high posts in research institutes, but none have seen the actual initial submission. Please do tell me about arXiv, like does it cost money, like Elsevier, and does it take interdisciplinary and applicative rather than theoretical papers. Thanks fo the help. Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 21:28
  • 2
    Err... arXiv is free, you can find the category that suits you and upload virtually anything there. arxiv.org Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


When I supervise student research, the dream is always that it can be published in a professional journal, like where I publish my own results. However, that dream is often not realized, because it's very unusual for an undergrad (let alone a high school student) to produce work at that level.

Still, getting published looks good for the student, and this is a chance to learn the ins and outs of the publication system. So, I encourage my students to submit their papers to undergraduate journals, of which there are many. Often these journals require the author to be an undergraduate (this is to keep out papers by grad students and professors; if a high school student submitted a good paper, it would not normally be prohibited), or to have been a student when the work was done. These journals are easier to publish in than a professional journal.

A student researcher should consult their faculty mentor to determine if their results are at the level of a professional journal, or at the level of an undergraduate journal, or not publishable at all. If the faculty mentor decides the work is publishable, then they can help the student decide which journal and which editor to submit the paper to.

Lastly, there was some discussion in the comments about arXiv. I teach my students to put their papers on arXiv. This is a good practice, but it's not the same as a publication because the work is not peer reviewed in any meaningful sense. Still, it's good for the student to learn how the arXiv submission process works, and also to get "endorsed" by me so they can get their first arXiv submission accepted, which then makes it easier for them to upload more submissions later in their research career.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .