I have written a research paper (in the field of Education & Social Science, and I am not a professional) and I want to publish it in a reputed peer-reviewed journal.

I am not in cooperation with any of my professors in terms of research activity.

Should I give my writing to one of my professors for a review before sending it to a research journal? Is there any possibility of stealing of ideas?

  • 1
    Are you an undergraduate student?
    – smalldog
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 12:38
  • 1
    @chaos, grad....
    – user366312
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 12:39
  • 2
    Master level then? If you are close to one of your professors, I would definitely recommend that you talk to them about it. If you are worried that they might try to take undue credit for it, you can talk to them about the prospect of publishing a paper without saying too much, for the moment. I think most professors would be happy to have a look simply to lend advice to a motivated student, but if you really do not trust them, by all means, be precautious.
    – smalldog
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 12:42
  • 4
    Giving your manuscript to people for feedback is an essential part of the writing process. Right now what you have written is bad. Really, really bad. Your ideas might be OK (but probably they're bad too). It's your job to make this work not-bad before you submit it, and you can't do that without help.
    – user120011
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 16:37
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    @Poidah I don't believe that anyone who has never written a scholarly work could draft one by themselves that isn't bad. I also don't believe people who have written a scholarly work can draft one by themselves that isn't bad (myself included). I think this is a rule that applies to work in all languages.
    – user120011
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:40

2 Answers 2


Unless the professor should be a co-author or you need their permission to include their name in acknowledgements, there is no need to have it reviewed. If the work is yours, you can decide to submit it.

But if you have any doubts about it or any part of it, having a review by a professor can be worth it. You may get advice that results in a revision or you may get advice that is worthless. But again, you are in control.

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. While it happens, it is rare and not something that reputable people do. If you have doubts about the ethics of someone, don't send it to them, but that is obvious.

If you send it, you will get feedback from independent referees. It is to your advantage to start out with the best product you can create, but the review process itself can lead to some improvement.

If you don't have a particular journal in mind then a professor might be able to give advice on that, just from reading an abstract. Lots of possibilities.

But the work is yours. You choose.

  • 9
    +1 Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 14:33
  • It's not that often that ideas are so outstanding that they get stolen, but, when they are excellent, it does happen; let's not pretend it doesn't. On the other hand, when someone comes to a prof to ask their opinion and implies to them that they want to make sure it does not get stolen (by implication: by the prof), the prof will probably compliment them to their achievement and suggest to the author to publish first before they will comment on the work. Nobody wants to be accused of plagiarism - openly or implied. It cuts both ways. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 16:18
  • 1
    It could be that the author is only familiar with researchers who are not reputable and that plagiarism is flagrant in their community or area unfortunately.
    – Poidah
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:09

It does seems very unlikely that anyone can develop such a novel research concept without much research experience and then produce novel work. Let alone write at a peer review level at the simultaneously.

However let us assume that this is the case. One way forward is to contact the editor that you are interested in publishing with a brief outline of your paper to check that your concept is indeed worthy. So then at least if your idea is "stolen" by researchers you approach later for support, you are better able to argue and mount an academic integrity claim? You can also highlight your previous discussions with the editor so outright "stealing" may also be discouraged when you approach researchers to help with drafting your research paper?

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