I have a result from my Phd that I've been trying to get published somewhere. I don't know if I should ask either my Phd or PostDoc supervisor for advice (In theoretical computer science / math). I am a bit reluctant because I'm not sure to what extent your PI is an advisor as a postdoc especially for self publication and about the breakdown of group projects versus personal projects during a post doc (although I did all the research during my phd).

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    By self-publishing you presumably mean publishing as a solo author? If so, self-publishing is not the right term to use: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-publishing Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 23:10
  • Welcome to Academia.SE. Please ask only one question per post. I'll remove the second question for now -- you can ask it separately, but I suspect it's a duplicate of this. I'll also edit the title to reflect Adam's correct comment.
    – cag51
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


If you mean publishing as a sole author, yes, you can ask and it might be good to get their advice on whether your work is ready for "prime time". You aren't required to get that advice, however, if the work is yours alone. If you submit your work then you will get feedback from editors and reviewers. But, advice is good when it comes from people you trust.

If you mean publishing on a personal website or otherwise not involving a journal or conference, again, you don't need their advice, and you can do as you please with your own work. But, self-publishing in this sense won't advance your career much in the early stages. It will be difficult for the right people to find your work. Once you are established it isn't such a big issue if the people who want to read what you write already know how to find you.

  • I mean the former I initially submitted it to a conference a few months into my post doc without getting their advice got rejected now two months later I'm trying to think about what to do. The work is mine alone that I did during my PhD which is why I initially didn't ask their advice. Anyways how should I word such an email? Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 0:49
  • Part of your supervisor’s job is to prepare you for your future career, so you shouldn’t be afraid to have this conversation. But I’d definitely approach it in person not by email- it’s hard to mentor someone over email!
    – Aant
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 7:15
  • @Aant I personally like to write conversations in email I often have trouble speaking in person. In this case especially because we collaborate a lot I do want to politely emphasize that this is finished work that I completed during my PhD that I'm wanting to solo publish. Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 23:35

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