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I am a computer science student. I have done some work on algorithms and I have got one result. The result is small, 6-7 pages long (entire paper). I want to publish it and my adviser is also motivating me to publish.

Question: Is it worthwhile to publish short paper as graduate student? Will it enhance the significance of my research work?

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  • 4
    Definitely. Publishing is in general difficult. Achieving it as undergrad is very remarkable. Beware of reviewing times of journals (months) and consider conferences instead.
    – noe
    Sep 3 '18 at 11:55
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    Is there any reason you think it will not be worth it? The fact your advisor is urging you to do so is a pretty strong indicator; why do you doubt their advice?
    – jpmc26
    Sep 3 '18 at 23:04
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There are many reasons why it is helpful to publish. The usual reason is that it enhances your standing in the community of scholars and professionals. But another important reason, in my view, is just for the experience of it. You force yourself to bring your ideas into an understandable and maybe usable form. That is good for your mind and publishing is just the goad to get it done.

Submitting to a conference or journal will also get you independent feedback on both your ideas and your writing. That is valuable also.

In CS, however, most of the work is presented in conferences, so you might look for a suitable one and submit there.

If you want a career in academia, publishing is essential, and starting early gives you more experience for when the more important results are ready.

It is also usually good advice to follow your advisor's lead.

Good luck and see you at the conference.

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Flip the question around and ask the reverse: is there any reason not to publish a short paper as a graduate student? Offhand, I can think of:

  • If it's a poor paper it might reflect badly on you to have published it. A related question has been asked before. This isn't all that likely to work against you to be honest, since papers by early career researchers tend not to be very high-impact for obvious reasons. Your advisor who presumably has a lot more experience than you is the best judge of your work. If he says go ahead (and as you write he's already said that), it probably won't reflect badly on you. After all, your advisor's name is probably also going to be on the paper.
  • It takes up time that you could've used to do more research. Is this really the case though? If in the time it takes to write a paper you could've achieved something more substantial, you're one exceptionally motivated student.
  • You don't have the money to publish it open access. If this is a problem for you, simply publish it in a subscription journal.

Can you think of anything else? If not, why not go ahead?

Finally you ask:

Will it enhance the significance of my research work?

The idea behind publishing is that more people become aware of it. If enough people are aware of it and they find it interesting, then you'll certainly have "enhanced its significance". It's possible they don't find it interesting in which case the significance is low, but if you don't publish it then the significance is almost by definition zero since nobody else knows about it. So the answer is yes: it might, and certainly won't hurt.

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If you don’t publish your research, no one will ever know about it. If you publish it successfully, that means it will undergo peer review and be deemed to be worthy of publishing by experienced researchers and journal editors, and then will join the body of knowledge available to humanity. So yes, by its very definition, publication “enhances the significance of your research”.

Or, as Steve Jobs said, real artists ship.

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