I am going to send a manuscript for publication. I made the work in my vacations (while having a fellowship) with my own resources and, although related, it was not part of my research plan.

My fellowship is over. I still teach at some university but I am not paid for doing research. However, the institution prefers being the affiliation.

I am trying to figure out what is more convenient, publishing with or without affiliation considering the following:

  • I am in need to find work as researcher in any country due to the almost null probabilities of make research in my own country. I tend to think that a paper published with no affiliation should be good received by the employer, due to it shows real interest in the subject (because of doing the work for free in free time). But I am not sure about how this is considered around the world.

  • Maybe, in real life, it could be more difficult to publish with no affiliation.

  • 3
    I have never seen a paper without affiliation - would look very odd to me as a reviewer ...
    – lordy
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:03
  • 2
    You seem to be making a very fine distinction when you say the work was related to, yet seemingly not related to, your fellowship. No research plan lasts long once actual research starts.
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:05
  • 2
    The affiliation could be: "where can a reader contact you?" Even if you include some other affiliation, also include your current address.
    – GEdgar
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:06
  • @JonCuster, it is related in that is about a well known method used in the research plan for obtaining some properties of a particular system that I had to study. But it was never supposed that I studied this well known method widely used in many fields. Apr 14, 2019 at 13:22
  • 1
    Look, you can slice and dice the reasoning how you want, but it is still a fine line. Under your fellowship you learned about a method, and the applied it to a new problem. How are they not closely related, and why is it so important not to give the affiliation you (apparently) would have for what you would consider ‘true’ fellowship work? What is the real issue here?
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


This is more in the realm of opinion than fact, but I would always use the affiliation. This gives the reader a bit of context that will most likely increase your credibility. If the reader is open to believing what you say even before beginning reading the paper the mindset will be different than if it is just a bit of work by a random, completely unknown person.

Of course, once you become Stephen Hawking the affiliation is no longer needed.

But for the rest of us, knowing that we did the work as a faculty or staff member at the University of the Universe (or whatever) will give us that opening that allows a fairer reading of the work.

  • Thank you @Buffy, I wish to know what do you think in the case that few months ago I published a paper as first author in the same Q1 journal, and this new paper is some sort of completion of the first one? (In the sense that with both an entire old question is answered). Apr 14, 2019 at 13:31
  • (and of course the first paper is mentioned many times in the one that I try to publish) Apr 14, 2019 at 13:33
  • 2
    If you have ten or fifteen papers and are already well known in your field then you don't need affiliation. But I can't guess where the boundary is between 'helpful' and 'not necessary'.
    – Buffy
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:43
  • The only names I have seen without affiliation are very well known, in retirement, and (known to be) somehow discontent with the current state of affairs at their last affiliation. ;)
    – Karl
    Jan 21, 2020 at 18:35

Ask the university. You do not have anything to sacrifice, while the university might be pleased of that. In this way you avoid any possible troubles with the university. Good relationships and no relationship are always better than something cracked or not perfect.

Affiliation, though in principle should not be like that, surely will assist going through the reviewing process.

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