I am a very beginner and I want to publish my first research in theoretical physics. I do not yet have the terminology of experts in this field. Is it possible to accept a research in physics without high-accuracy scientific terms and experience?

  • 12
    A demonstrable understanding of the vocabulary that is used in a scientific field is usually considered to be an essential attribute of someone who truly understands the area. It is almost certain that if you learn the correct vocabulary you will accomplish three things simultaneously. (i) you will learn the standard way of talking about important things in the field, (ii) you will improve your own ability to communicate with others in the area, and (perhaps most importantly), you will improve your own knowledge of the field. ... Do that; then rewrite your paper and publish it! Jul 7, 2021 at 3:44
  • Perhaps you could get a co-author to help you with the vocabulary and jargon and so forth. Jul 7, 2021 at 12:47

5 Answers 5


It's very improbable. If you don't know the terminology, odds are you don't know what you're talking about and cannot contribute meaningfully to the field, especially if the field is theoretical physics (this field is complex enough that many physics graduates cannot contribute meaningfully to it).

If I received a paper discussing, e.g., dark matter and it's not clear the author knows what dark matter is, I would probably desk reject.


It is possible, but very unlikely that such a paper would be published. It would be likely to confuse experts if you use terms that aren't standard, though good explanations would help.

More seriously though, is that your lack of knowledge is likely to lead you to write things that experts consider trivial and that you might wind up making erroneous statements.

But, one way to proceed is to find some local source, who is knowledgeable, and ask their advice on what you write.

Your amateur standing is much less important than the accuracy, novelty, and importance of what you write. Occasionally an amateur will have some fresh insight into an important problem, but it is very rare.


Publishing a solo paper is a big ask for someone at the level of "very beginner." Papers take a long time (often at least a month) for experienced people to write well because there are so many layers of details -- ranging from making sure every statement is technically accurate, to making sure there are no ambiguities or ways a sentence can be read in an unintended way, to conventions about hyphenation -- that all have to be checked and double checked.

If you are not sure you have a grasp of the language, my friendly suggestion would be that you are not ready to undertake this. There are other activities you can do. If you have some peer group of people who are at a similar level (if not you should try to form one) you can

  • start a journal club where you read papers and explain them to each other
  • share your draft with some critical and smart readers and address their comments
  • rope one in to collaborate on your paper, have them check calculations and suggest their own ideas
  • give a presentation about your work and see if you can explain each step

Even if not, there are many opportunities for self-study

  • over the past year there has been an explosion of online conferences with talks available online, find and watch talks relevant for your area
  • watch online videos of courses in your field
  • take a course in technical writing
  • read famous papers in your field carefully
  • keep tabs on the arxiv for your field
  • prepare slides as if you were going to present your work and give them out loud (I have found talking through every step out loud, even to yourself, to be a surprisingly effective way of finding gaps)
  • be skeptical of your own work
  • I wish we could bookmark answers. A really nice one! How does one find famous papers in their fields (assuming they can't ask someone)? Is there a way to sort publications in a field based on their citations or something?
    – justauser
    Jul 9, 2021 at 2:28
  • 1
    @justauser "Is there a way to sort publications in a field based on their citations or something?" Google Scholar can help with that, I think.
    – nick012000
    Jul 9, 2021 at 2:49
  • @nick012000 Ah yes. I'd have to know the big names in the field, but Google Scholar is a good place to start. Thanks!
    – justauser
    Jul 9, 2021 at 3:15

No, it’s not possible. No one wants to read a research paper with vague and imprecise explanations that don’t make use of the correct terminology of the topic you’re writing about. We have a place to read such things — it’s called “everywhere that’s not the scientific literature”.

Research papers are exactly where researchers go to read precise, carefully thought out ideas that advance their understanding and the state of knowledge of their field. In the research literature, especially in math and theoretical physics, precision is the name of the game. If your work does not have the quality of being precise at the standards of the area you’re working on, it’s not valid work, and you shouldn’t be trying to publish it. Instead, you should work to bring the precision up to the expected standard. Once you get it to that level, that’s when it’s appropriate to publish.


I agree with all other answers. Peer-reviewed scientific journals are not the place for imprecise terminology.

If you really think your work contains good research, perhaps you could look at depositing the research in an rxiv pre-print server. These are not formally peer reviewed, but are part of the scientific record. It might help you get some valuable feedback from the scientific community which you can use to help a future submission.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .