I have been working in the industry of software engineering for 5 years so far. Lately, I am planning to take a PHD, I am interested in software architecture and quality, something that started fascinating me after experiencing failing/successful projects because of bad/good architecture mainly.

After doing some search about the matter, I see that most of PHD positions demand some publications so my plan B is to get something published to have the courage to email some possible advisors, especially that my master thesis was done in artificial intelligence, something that would be funny to tell a software-architecture-advisor about.

My question is, would an academic conference accept a paper written by me, alone, no advisor and no university to belong to?

Thank you all.

2 Answers 2


There is no requirement that a person be employed in academia to publish papers or submit them to academic venues, including conferences. Papers are supposed to be reviewed for their own qualities and insights, not the position or reputation of the authors (though some abuses occur).

But before submitting to any venue, you should spend some effort looking at the sorts of things that get published there, so that you style isn't too different and the quality of your results is at a similar level as that of successful submissions. There is no real bar, but, like most things, first attempts aren't always successful.

You don't even need to associate yourself with your employer for this. Independent Researcher is fine as an "affiliation".

You should, however, also explore whether your assumptions about how to get accepted are valid. It would probably be worth the effort to talk to some potential advisors and see if your current qualifications are sufficient.

  • Thank you for the enlightenment, I have bachelor and master degree in computer science, both my master degree and my only publication is in the field of artificial intelligence, those are the basic qualifications I believe necessary for pursuing a PHD, I don't forget my work experience which may also help.
    – user133611
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:25
  • Another question just hit my mind, would a possible advisor be willing to work with an "independent researcher" without him being associated to the university of the advisor?
    – user133611
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:36
  • That seems unlikely. Collaborations with industry people are possible, but you'd need to be an "equal" contributor, whatever that means.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:49
  • Thank you a lot!
    – user133611
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 14:13

My question is, would an academic conference accept a paper written by me, alone, no advisor and no university to belong to?

All conferences I am aware of accept papers based on their scholarly content, without any (explicit) considerations regarding the authors, their networks, or affiliations.

There are, indeed, thousands of scholarly publications (in journals and conference proceedings) from authors whose affiliation reads "Independent Reseacher" or "Independent Scholar". See also the tag independent-researcher.

According to my own experience, publishing in journals and attending conferences as an independent researcher is unproblematic as long as the content you produce is acceptable. However, obtaining funding might be a different issue - many funders require you to be affiliated with a research institution (including for minor travel grants for conference participations).

  • Thank you for the answer, I had no idea of the independent researcher.
    – user133611
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:21
  • Oh, I wanted to link to somewhere else; I corrected it. By the way, Buffy was quicker than me...
    – anpami
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:25
  • Oh, Buffy's answer just appeared second, I checked green his answer
    – user133611
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 13:26

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