I am a master's student and want to publish a paper in a specific subfield in mathematics. I have written the paper all by myself.

The problem is my advisor won't check my draft. He says he is busy and so he could not find time.

My question is:

  • When papers are submitted to reviewers and editors, do they see what are the names of the authors in the paper submitted?

  • If my professor co-authors a paper will it be easier to get published?

  • Should I include my professor's name with my name to get the paper published easier?

I really want to publish it with my name only. But I really don't know how this publication process works.

  • 3
    In pure mathematics, I would say that the answer to your 3rd question (the one in the title) is a big NO.
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 1, 2018 at 2:52
  • 3
    If you advisor doesn't have time to advise you, he's sucking at his duties.
    – user68958
    Sep 1, 2018 at 7:05
  • 1
    I agree 100% with @corey979 (unless there are mitigating circumstances which require him to take leave, but that doesn't seem to be the case here)
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 1, 2018 at 12:46
  • 2
    @Karl Speaking as someone who has been supervising graduate students almost continually since 2010 (in pure maths), I do not agree with the attitude that you seem to condone. Maybe things work differently in lab sciences?
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 1, 2018 at 14:03
  • 1
    @Karl um, yes, it’s precisely somebody’s duty. It’s called advising students, and someone who regards it as a “waste” of their time shouldn’t be a professor.
    – Dan Romik
    Sep 1, 2018 at 19:18

3 Answers 3


The much bigger issue here seems to be that you are in dire need of proper advising and mentorship, and your official adviser isn’t providing you with those things. You say “I really don't know how this publication process works.” Well, I don’t think anyone here can give you the sort of advice that you need - a few suggestions and rough ideas, maybe, but without getting very specific advice and feedback from someone who has actually reviewed your work and knows what it’s about, I fear your path to successful publication of your paper will be a very hard one indeed. So, I think you should set it as your goal to fix the situation of the neglectful advisor, whether by talking to other professors who are interested in what you’re working on and are willing to mentor you, complaining to the department chair, or by having an awkward but necessary conversation with your current advisor. It is a difficult problem and I don’t have an easy fix, but at the very least I think it’s important to recognize that this goes much deeper than just the question of who should be the author of the paper.

Coming back to your “official” question: no, you should absolutely not add your advisor’s name as a coauthor to your paper just to increase the paper’s chances of acceptance. There may or may not be some good reasons to have your advisor as a coauthor (for example, he may have proposed the research question, and that might be seen as a sufficient intellectual contribution to make someone a coauthor), but this particular one is most certainly not a good reason - in fact it is a blatantly unethical reason to make someone a coauthor.

Good luck!

  • My advisor has not even posed the research question,I have chosen the question and done the answer all on my own
    – user96599
    Sep 1, 2018 at 10:12
  • I only asked him to check the draft but he says I am busy,he makes me sit in his room for long hours and finally when he arrives he is busy with Facebook,Whatsapp,etc
    – user96599
    Sep 1, 2018 at 10:13
  • @PureMathematics well, it sounds like he should not be a coauthor. Also remember that: 1) you’d need his permission to make him an author; 2) it’s very doubtful whether having him as a coauthor would make a substantial difference to the paper’s chances of acceptance. At least, the “name recognition” effect (to the extent it exists) is orders of magnitude weaker than people with no publication experience think it is.
    – Dan Romik
    Sep 1, 2018 at 16:44
  • 1
    @PureMathematics in any case, I again strongly suggest that you focus your efforts on getting the department to provide you with proper mentoring. Until you have access to the guidance you need, I expect it will be an uphill struggle to make progress with publishing the paper.
    – Dan Romik
    Sep 1, 2018 at 16:46

When papers are submitted to reviewers and editors, do they see what are the names of the authors in the paper submitted?

Unless the journal uses double-blind or triple-blind peer review (uncommon), editors and reviewers will see the names of the authors. You can check whether the journal uses double-blind or triple-blind peer review on the journal's website.

If my professor co-authors a paper will it be easier to get published?

Not really. The prestige of the author does matter when publishing a book, but the impact in journals is much smaller. It's not non-existent - for example if one is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, it's relatively easy to get published in PNAS. But in general, plenty of professors get their papers rejected as well, and it's what's written in the paper that counts.

Should I include my professor's name with my name to get the paper published easier?

Warning: this is usually viewed as unethical. All authors should have contributed significantly to the paper to be listed. Some publishers explicitly list this as part of their policy, and violating it can get your paper retracted and you (+ your co-author) blacklisted. Here's an example from Elsevier. Quoting only the relevant part:

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors.


Co-authorship could be for various reasons but usually all authors contribute to the manuscript in a way or another. Usually authorship is better discussed at the beginning of the project and whenever a new contributor join the team of people working on the paper.

The question is did you agreed with your supervisor that you together will be coauthoring the paper ? if not, then you have the option of be the sole author of the paper.

Do co-authoring the paper with another author who already have publishable work increase the chance of publishing ? usually yes. But that depends on the field, the journal and most importantly the submitted manuscript.

Discuss authorship with your supervisor first before doing anything else. if you think your supervisor have the experience and knowledge to contribute to your paper but is busy at the moment with other projects, simply invite him to coauthor the paper with you ( specify what you would like him / her to contribute to ) and ask him when he could have the time to go over the paper with you.

He may decline or suggest another professor or he may accept and define a schedule in the coming time.

  • We did not discuss anything previously, I just did the paper because I wanted to do it and now after doing doing it,I dont know how to get it checked
    – user96599
    Sep 1, 2018 at 2:04
  • do you think your advisor can contribute to the paper ? is it within his research field interests ? you can check that based on his published work and courses he / she teach.
    – N00
    Sep 1, 2018 at 2:07
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    But the problem is he does not seem interested at all in the project,whenever I ask him he makes me sit for long hours and then arrives and asks me to talk about the project and when I am talking he is busy in Whatsapp,facebok etc
    – user96599
    Sep 1, 2018 at 2:09
  • this is really bad sign ! maybe you wanna ask him if he can suggest other professors. the question would be is how to take the paper further. maybe yo wanna wait a bit before mentioning publication and authorship.
    – N00
    Sep 1, 2018 at 2:11
  • 1
    Yes, of course! push forward meant collaboration and providing input.
    – N00
    Sep 1, 2018 at 3:10

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