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I have a B.S. in computer science, and I have an idea for a computer security white paper. It essentially builds on top of another white paper's security mechanism. It would propose an alternate application of the security mechanism, and it would also add an extra feature to the security mechanism, which would be necessary for the alternate application.

Is that sufficient to write a non-academic white paper about?

From research that I have done on reasons for writing non-academic white papers, I have gathered they are essentially used to inform people, and persuade people making business decisions.

The real reason I would like to write this white paper is so I can ultimately get into a Master's program or PhD program. Could writing a non-academic white paper offset a less than desirable GPA due to classes in my minor? I have also heard that 5 years of experience in Industry could be enough to get into a Master's Program, which I almost have.

Also, would it be possible to get a grant with the proposal?

I also have a question about white paper verification. Is it necessary to have a working prototype to publish the white paper? I don't think it would be useful to redo the work that was done in the previous white paper, but would need to be done to build a prototype of course. Could I just propose the features that would need to be added?

I have also done research on attacks that can be done on the security mechanism for the white paper I am building on top of, and I suspect these attacks could be applicable to my alternate application, but would occur in a different context. Should I write about that as well? Or should I leave that for a separate paper?

Thanks for your time answering any of these questions.

Edit2 Someone answered my questions, so making it the original post.

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Compared to an academic publication, the main problems with publishing a white paper are the following:

  • There is no dissemination channel. White papers are usually issued by experts, institutions or companies which already have a reputation and the means to reach an audience. Unless you already have a reputation in the field, it might be difficult to make your white paper reach its audience. If experts don't know about it, it won't have any impact and it won't be evaluated.
  • There is no peer review process before publication. So unless a few experts pick it up after publication and evaluate the content, publishing a white paper does not prove your skills to any non-expert (or to any expert who didn't read it). In other words, I can write something on my blog and call it a "white paper", it doesn't mean it has any value to anyone.

Is this white paper worthy?

If you have a solution to these two problems, i.e. if there is a reasonable chance to make your paper known, discussed and evaluated, then it could be a valuable advantage when applying for a PhD.

Could writing a non-academic white paper offset a less than desirable GPA due to classes in my minor? I have also heard that 5 years of experience in Industry could be enough to get into a Master's Program, which I almost have.

It's impossible to say because PhD applications depend on so many things. In general an industry experience tends to make academic grades less relevant.

Also, would it be possible to get a grant with the proposal?

That's something to discuss with a potential PhD supervisor.

I also have a question about white paper verification. Is it necessary to have a working prototype to publish the white paper?

A white paper is whatever you decide it is, there's no requirement. However you probably want to make it as convincing as possible, it's up to you to evaluate the value of a prototype in this perspective.

I have also done research on attacks that can be done on the security mechanism for the white paper I am building on top of, and I suspect these attacks could be applicable to my alternate application, but would occur in a different context. Should I write about that as well? Or should I leave that for a separate paper?

That's way too specific to be answered here. You'd have to discuss this with an expert, typically a potential PhD supervisor.

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