I wanted to publish a research paper which has less relevant stuff compacted and would be more focused on important and relevant items.

Also, I have failed to find a guide to publish small compact research papers.

up vote 31 down vote accepted

Yes, if your ideas can be expressed concisely enough. For example if you were to find a counterexample to the Beal Conjecture, then you can write two paragraphs and be done. Watson and Crick's 1953 paper describing the structure of DNA was one page long, and won the Nobel Prize. Some other examples of very short papers (admittedly, some of these are jokes) are here.

My favorite short paper, which like Nash's in another answer is from the 1950s, is as follows:

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I do have a hard time seeing how it would be published these days, but clearly very short papers have been acceptable in the past.

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    Time to add 'write a paper that's just an abstract' to my bucket list (and a short abstract at that). – Bas Jansen Sep 20 at 19:58
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    @Buffy - well, the current accepted value from NIST is 1836.152 673 89(17), while $6 \pi ^{5}$ is 1836.118 108 71 to the same number of decimals, so the paper isn't even particularly interesting anymore! – Jon Custer Sep 20 at 20:07
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    It may be of interest to note that the current accepted value for the ratio coincides with the Battle of the Alamo if read as a year. – Anyon Sep 20 at 22:28
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    The paper is cited 36 times. That's a quite impressive (nb words)/(nb citations) ratio :). – YYY Sep 21 at 10:13
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    @BasJansen I think short abstract is a possible item in itself for your bucket list. Though I suppose you won't beat "Abstract: No." (which I recall being the abstract of some paper with a question as title) – Hagen von Eitzen Sep 21 at 14:14

John Nash published a paper entitled Equilibrium Points in n-Person Games. The paper is one page long. But it's John Nash, and it was in 1950. It was the beginning of a whole new field (game theory), and the man was a genius. (Credit to MathOverflow.)

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    "and the man was a genius" as may be the OP. One can hope. Nice catch. – Buffy Sep 20 at 16:29
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    I've seen one-page research papers not made by genius. Mostly unusual natural observations ("I have witnessed a grouse feeding on red pine"), but as said in this answer, it was another era... – Emilie Sep 20 at 17:02

It is entirely up to the journal or conference.

Most venues have page limits but I have never heard of a minimum. I've seen some really short papers in math journals. Submit it to a venue that you think it would fit in!

  • Agree. The OP would likely get useful feedback from the review and may, then, need to fill out the ideas more. Complete is in the eye of the beholder. – Buffy Sep 20 at 16:24
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    In humanities, lower limits are quite common. This journal for instance only considers submissions between 5000 and 10000 words. – Keelan Sep 21 at 5:34
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    Quite a few math journals do have lower limits, but typically only when there is another journal which is "Journal X, but for shorter papers". – Especially Lime Sep 21 at 10:23

This will often depend on the journal in question. In my field, "Brief Reports" and "Letters" are often quite short, and sometimes less than a single page, highlighting a particular case, a minor point of interest, etc.

A paper should say a little bit about the significance of the result and prior research. In mathematics, the definitions need to be quoted or given. Doing that in one page, along with the result, could be tricky.

But it is definitely possible.

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