I would like to write a peer-reviewed publication from my master's thesis (in mathematics).

I don't know how to ask my supervisor, and actually, I don't know what to ask.

He suggested the initial topic and provided feedback along the way. I don't know if he wishes to be involved in the writing process, and in fact, one reason to contact him would be to get his opinion on whether my work is worth publishing.

Should I simply ask what he thinks about writing the article, or should I already propose him to be co-author? Any additional tip is also welcome. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


I suggest you have that conversation but primarily to ask if they think the work is worth publishing. Also ask for possible venues.

Don't propose he be a co-author but you could ask how much, if at all, he wants to be involved. Depending on his answer you could then explore authorship, but raise the value to you of sole authorship if he thinks that is appropriate. Note that sole-authorship would have value if your career path is in academia. Most(?) of us in math don't consider proposing the topic and giving feedback to be grounds for authorship, though they should earn an acknowledgement.

But make a judgment about their personality also. And evaluate the conversation in real-time about their likely reaction.

In math, it is usual in mathematics for an advisor to defer to the student for sole-authorship unless the case otherwise is very clear.

Note that if other faculty members are familiar with your work then you could also ask their opinion about its publishability.

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