I am half-way through a Masters degree in Logic and Philosophy of Science following a BSc in Astrophysics. Although I've dreamed for years about getting a paper published, I still haven't submitted anything for publication. The reason why I hadn't submitted anything was very clear to me as an undergraduate: I chose to pursue theory over experiment right off the bat and, although I got to fiddle around with very ground-breaking mathematical techniques, I quickly realized that my knowledge of modern physics was not up to par with the foundational work I was pursuing. I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical physics focusing on quantum gravity and want to wait until I have taken the relevant courses in particle physics and general relativity before putting my old research results in the context of the current consensus view.
In the meantime, I pursued a detour into the philosophy of science because I am fascinated by and very passionate about the foundations of physics. My experience in philosophy has been remarkably different. Besides my application essay, I have written two term papers that I am very proud of. I deem them to be of publishable quality because I went beyond the mere expectation of "meeting the examiner's criteria" and actually took a deep dive into the literature to produce novel research. I think they are ready for the peer-review process, but am hesitant about what to do with these drafts.
I first came across ResearchGate, and later Academia.edu, while doing literature searches, but quickly realized that a number of my current and former professors are active in these sites. I've been seriously considering uploading my drafts namely because I feel that I've been too secretive of my ideas for too long and it's time to get them out. I do, however, have some reservations. These lead to my question:
- Would uploading my papers to "social media sites for academics" interfere with the peer-review process of reputable publishers? (e.g. Elsevier, Springer) I understand the purpose of these sites is to share ideas with as broad of an audience as possible, but they do not carry the weight towards career advancement that a publication in a "good journal" gets.
There is also a related follow-up question:
- Is there a right time to get out a first publication? I used to be intimidated by people who published one or two papers during their undergrads, but these were mostly collaborations with an established research group. Conversely, I have friends who didn't publish their first paper until they completed their P.h.D.
Am I overthinking all of this?
Thank you so much for your time.