I'm an undergraduate math major, recently I've written a paper about approximation by neural networks in a theoretical settings because I really like the mathematics involved in neural networks. It is a paper mainly based on another paper, for your information, 'Optimal Approximation with Sparsely Connected Deep Neural Networks' by Bölcskei et al.

What I've done is not something innovative at all. I proved two results from the original paper because the author only gave a hint on how to prove the theorems, and I thought it will be a good idea to explore more. As a result, I found some other research papers which helped me to gave the two proofs in great detail.

Now my paper is nearly complete, I just have to choose which journal to submit my paper, then do a little adjustment based on their requirements, it will then be done. However, I'm not confident enough to publish my paper to, for example, the SIAM Journal or the IEEE Journal, because they would expect research works with more originality and innovation. How do I find and evaluate suitable journals for my type of research paper?

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    I'm an undergraduate math major --- It would help with answering your question if you explained why you didn't ask any of your present or former teachers, or someone else in your department. Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 13:02
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    There are journals that publish specifically undergraduate research. From your brief description, it sounds like such a journal would be good for you to try. See also these questions: academia.stackexchange.com/q/65166/4484 academia.stackexchange.com/q/117224/4484 academia.stackexchange.com/q/11094/4484
    – GEdgar
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 13:58
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    @GEdgar I didn't see specific undergrad math journals mentioned in those threads. See academia.stackexchange.com/q/116377/19607 academia.stackexchange.com/q/41575/19607 academia.stackexchange.com/q/1439/19607
    – Kimball
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 15:56
  • @DaveLRenfro I have tried to ask my advisor about it, and he did gave me a list of math journals and their tiers to let me choose from. I'm thinking hearing more from other professionals will help me for choosing the right choice. I'm sorry if this doesn't meet the rule of this community. Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 0:58
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    My question wasn't really a matter of meeting the rules of this community, but rather the fact that for the vast majority of people here (I would guess, at least), seeking the advice of your teachers or asking another department member would be the obvious first step, perhaps even done when first thinking about the issues (i.e. before beginning to work on the problem), so I guessed that maybe COVID issues have made things different now or maybe your local customs might make this something difficult to do, and I thought it would help if you said why to avoid everyone saying "see your teachers". Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


When one isn't certain about where to publish something, often the first place should to go is people you know. In the case of an undergrad, you should have professors/mentors are your school who can help out. Another option is to ask the authors of the original paper who may have more of an idea. In this case, given the circumstances, an undergraduate focused journal may be ideal. There also may not be a good place to formally publish it at all. Sometimes people don't give almost any details of a proof, and you have to work it out on your own; that's not publishable in general (even if it should be). However, at a minimum, you can certainly put it up on the arXiv as an expository work there, which doesn't count for "publication" for most purposes but will still look good for things like applying to grad school.

  • Indeed, my final goal is to use it to raise my chance for getting into a PhD degree. I've asked my advisor and he didn't say anything like it is non-publishable, maybe because I did put some original work in it. And thanks for your information, I think I'll put it on arXiv then consider an undergrad journal to publish my paper. Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 1:15

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