I am an independent researcher and have spent the past year writing a fairly extensive (60+ pages) research paper on a topic in probability/statistics. The paper is almost complete but there are a couple minor loose ends that I am having issues with proving. Furthermore, given the length of the paper I am not sure of the appropriate journal to submit for publication and thus am considering contacting relevant professors in academia for help/guidance. My plan was to offer co-authorship in exchange for help addressing these loose ends and guidance with the publication process. That said, my impression is that research faculty are inundated with these sorts of requests and so I was not sure if this approach was likely to get a response. Is this practice frowned upon in academia? If not, are there general best practices for reaching out with these sorts of requests?

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    What journals are the papers you cite published in? That will guide you on which journal it is appropriate to submit to.
    – astronat
    Sep 14 '20 at 17:14
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    @astronat Thanks for the comment. This is typically how I would search for journals to publish in. The problem is that this paper took an applied problem in optics and approached it from a purely mathematical "theorem-proof" approach and so the content of the paper is too math heavy for the optics journals most of the related literature is published in. Sep 14 '20 at 17:49
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    Is there any way to reduce the length of the paper (by splitting it into multiple papers, or breaking into appendices, or what have you)? My concern is that getting a stranger to read your paper can be tough, but a ~5 page paper is much more enticing than a 60 page paper.
    – cag51
    Sep 15 '20 at 14:19
  • @cag51 I agree that the length is a problem if I want someone to read it. Ultimately I think the paper will have to be split up into multiple parts for publication. However, how to go about doing this in the proper way is one of the things I am seeking guidance on. Perhaps I could select the main theorems of the paper without the proofs and write them up in a letter (~5 pages)? That way someone could read the letter and decide if they wish to take a closer look. Sep 15 '20 at 15:01

It is common practise to ask domain experts for help and, where appropriate, to offer co-authorship. As professors are busy, you might want to seek more junior researchers. (I'll refrain from explaining how to write an email, since you can find answers on this website.)

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