I have a 10-page manuscript of my independent research and would like to ask a professor for comments. In short, I claim that I've seen a bridge between Shannon's information and semantic information.

The field has been stuck for a long time and I think it might give a breakthrough on it. However, I do see that it isn't really rigorous, and even have contradiction. I know ideally I should spend more time to research but since I need secure funding and getting some comments might be more efficient now, should I ask them anyway? I have also thought about go crowdsourcing, but if I get accepted maybe I won't need to do that?

I've asked some person who knows me, but they are all busy or out of the field.

PS: it is rigorous and not contradict anymore now. Here is the manuscript, I hope that you can have a comment on it. Many thanks. Clearness and Fadedness as a link between semantic information and physical oscillator

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  • 12
    If your work contains a contradiction, don't you know it is incorrect? Mar 17, 2018 at 13:09
  • 1
    It can be. But since this is still in the definition phase, I think it can be resolved. Maybe the contradiction is the result of not rigorousness?
    – Ooker
    Mar 17, 2018 at 13:54
  • 1
    It's funny that after asking this question, I see where is the problem
    – Ooker
    Mar 17, 2018 at 18:34
  • 7
    I am skeptical of your use of the word "the" in "the bridge between ... ". You seem to be interested in connections between a technical concept (Shannon's def information) and a much more nebulous concept (how "information" is used in natural languages). There are doubtless various links between the two. To say that something is the link strikes me as implausible. For one thing -- the only way you can prove anything is via a formal definition of semantic meaning, and once you do that you have a brand new bridge problem: what links your formal definition with the natural language "meaning"? Mar 17, 2018 at 20:02
  • 1
    I agree with @JohnColeman. I'm not sure what "rigorous" would even mean for a question like this that sits in between several fields. I hope you don't mean mathematical rigor, because the thing you're working on isn't a math problem.
    – user37208
    Mar 18, 2018 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


It's the nature of the work of academia to throw out interesting ideas and have them torn to pieces, and then to pick out what remains and build it into something publishable.

Since you're in the definition phase and have a 10-pager, I'll assume that you've put together a reasonable literature review and/or theoretical underpinning. What remains is to express the intuitive leap sufficiently plausibly that your oversight (supervisors, funding bodies, university review panel, etc) is prepared to back you.

There's no need to have it all worked out - that's the work to be done. You just have to demonstrate that you might be on the right track. Naturally, the closer that 'might be' is to 'are', the better. But if you can demonstrate this much, feel free to ask for comments.

  • How do you define "reasonable literature review"? I do read introductory books, and see that's it has been stuck for a long time, but haven't read recent papers. But from the link I can see that it is still going circular.
    – Ooker
    Mar 17, 2018 at 14:27
  • 3
    @Ooker You need to show that you are familiar with what's out there. It's impossible to keep absolutely on top of everything that's just been published (there'll be more by the time you think you're done), but go through some recent journals and attend a conference or two in your area. You can ask more experienced researchers in your area for advice on how recent the papers you review need to be. A couple of journal acceptance cycles (how long it takes from submission to publishing) is probably reasonable.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 17, 2018 at 14:33
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    @Ooker To merely ask for comments, you're probably fine with being conversant with the established theories. I'd still suggest going to one or two relevant conferences to get a feel for current research, but it's going to be the intuitive leap that you need to express. The lit review helps establish that you're not a 'crank' but it doesn't justify you asking for their time - it's your original ideas that justify that.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 17, 2018 at 14:37
  • it's also not really fluently in English. Is this a problem?
    – Ooker
    Mar 17, 2018 at 18:35
  • 1
    @Ooker That's a separate question, but 2 days isn't a lot of time to go through a 20 page document, especially if the reviewer is busy with other things. You might want to ask them to give you some idea of when they think they might be able to reply.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 4, 2018 at 9:08

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