I am currently in the 3rd year,studying BSc in Economics. This period I finished a project which ended up with statistical significant results, covering a topic which was not mentioned in the literature. I found a journal of Elsevier that matches the Field of Research. My question is whether I could try publishing my work since I am an undergraduate student. By searching their webpage, I did not find anything with reference to reasearchers not pursuing a PhD or being Professors etc.

  • 16
    There's nothing special about Elsevier as opposed to other scientific publishers (apart from the fact that they're often (quite rightfully) identified as (one of) the most unethical publishing house and one to avoid if at all possible (example)). Have you considered doing a broader search, ideally guided by your advisor, for journals that might be a better fit?
    – E.P.
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:37

2 Answers 2


I think that this will be good practical experience for you, regardless of whether you're proceeding to further study.

A few things to note:

  1. Discuss your plan and involve your supervisor in your preparation of the manuscript. The reason for the first is that statistically significant results and a potential research gap aren't sufficient in and of themselves in guaranteeing acceptance. The reason for the second is because there's more to submission of a paper than simply writing it. Your supervisor will be able to provide you with guidance.
  2. Read and dissect some papers from the journal to which you plan to submit. This will orient you about the style of writing, formatting, referencing, etc. Certainly, read the instructions to authors, but also be guided by good samples from the same journal.
  3. Prepare emotionally for the review process and the decision. First time authors are often surprised by the delays, unhelpfulness or viciousness inherent in the peer review system.

Good luck to you.

  • 5
    I would replace “supervisor” in this answer with “faculty mentor.” The student may not have a supervisor for the project, but may have a faculty member who has taught a course in this broad area and who they get along with. You should also advise the student to discuss the choice of journal with a faculty mentor.
    – Dawn
    Aug 10, 2018 at 14:08
  • 2
    I don't know about Economics, but maybe a grad student mentor would be possible. They get a little task of supervising an undergrad and an easy publication. Aug 10, 2018 at 15:38

Most economics journals published by Elsevier are pretty high quality indeed. They are very competitive too, even the ones on the very bottom of the rating may publish only a fifth of the papers they receive. Additionally, it is highly unlikely that they will accept a paper without revision. Review + revision + review of revision + ... usually takes more than a year, sometimes several. I've seen so many economics papers that were publish 5 years after they were originally submitted. On top of that, each economic journal normally has a subscriber base that is interested in specific conclusions and implementability of results and editors prefer the papers to fit that scope, revised if necessary, trying not to compromise scientific rigor in the process, of course.

With that being said, I'd definitely give it a try, but don't expect it to be published until graduation. Even if it is rejected with some constructive feedback, you will learn a lot. Often times you can revise the paper and publish it in a lesser journal. If you can team up with someone senior to help you see it through, good. If not, you can go solo just as well. Economics is notorious for young individualistic researchers who made great contributions all by themselves. The drawback is that it does take a long time.

On a side note, economics is a field where you got to publish, regardless of whether you plan to work in academia or business. You will have to make that journey anyway. Starting early and setting an ambitious goal is not a bad strategy, especially if already have some good data ready.

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