For my PhD, I have been asked to get three papers published (in mathematics) in journals indexed by Web of Science or Scopus. Is publishing in such indexed journals necessary?

Also, how would I achieve that?

  • 2
    I think you have a misconception here: indexed refers to journals not to papers.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 18:45
  • 9
    I guess it was only a matter of time before earning a PhD could be reduced to this. Very sad.
    – Ed V
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 18:46
  • 1
    Depends on your university policies.
    – Coder
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 20:45
  • This sounds to me like a "stapled dissertation" which is becoming fairly common, I think.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 0:03
  • 5
    Don't you have a PhD advisor? Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


Since review times in math can easily take 12 months, you achieve this by writing at least four short papers at least 18 months before you want to graduate. Then find journals that are scopus ranked that are not too prestigious and where there is someone on the editorial board in your area. Do not write long papers and do not do anything too revolutionary. Stick with incremental advances. Be sure to have at least four papers so if one is rejected after a year you are still ok.

Better solutions would be to fight this requirement or move to another university. Such a requirement is totally unfair to pure math and other subjects that have a long review time.

Actually, your first step is to see if this is mandatory or not. You ask us if this is necessary. How should we know? Ask whomever told you about this if it necessary. In some countries, there is a law, and laws sometimes get revoked.

Paper publication prior to PhD thesis ?

  • 3
    Another way might be "submit your papers to predatory journals that managed to be indexed in Scopus", but this is another reason this requirement seems unfair to me for any field.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 21:20
  • Could I please upvote a second time for the cynicism in the first paragraph? Commented Jul 17, 2021 at 23:17
  • 1
    @BryanKrause, that reads to me like self abuse, actually. Not a good career move.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 0:01
  • 2
    @Buffy Agreed, which is why I think it's a bad policy: you might be encouraging desperate students to make that decision.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 1:06
  • 2
    To put this in a personal contest, it was three years after I graduated that my third paper was published. Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 3:01

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