I am a PhD candidate who is working on something new to me in a similar but different field as my educational background. So I have received some guidance to start with what my supervisor knows well. After reading into the topic and coming to my own conclusion, I have realized that intuitively I am researching something that is obvious. In the sense that if I talk to my other colleagues and say the idea the result is obvious to them, I don't even need to explain anything.

So I feel like it should not be published as there is no contribution but rather proving something that is intuitively obvious. But my supervisor was taken aback when I raised this with her and I am not sure what to do. Because she seems to think it can be published otherwise she wouldn't be taken back, is my feeling. I read on another post that because the supervisor is more senior and experienced, they would know better as to what is publishable and what is not. But I am starting to think that it is pointless to work on the topic and that it isn't worth doing because of how obvious it is.

  • 5
    What is your field?
    – Bryan Krause
    Nov 14 at 18:20
  • 5
    What exactly is the question here? "What can be published" is far too general. Also from your description we can't possibly know whether what you're talking about is publishable or not. Your supervisor is the right person to ask but from what you write it isn't clear what she said. Have you asked here directly "do you think this can be published?" What was her answer? What your feeling is is not informative to us. Nov 14 at 18:27
  • 6
    Keep in mind that things that are "intuitively obvious" and that "everyone knows" turn out to be false more often than one might think, precisely because no-one really bothers to apply any scrutiny to them. Nov 14 at 19:39
  • Just ask.her. maybe if you don't want.to appear as stupid (which I understand), you might ask.her first whether your result is already in literature/stronger versions of the result are true/if it is really true etc..
    – user111388
    Nov 14 at 21:32
  • @ChristianHennig, my question is, the thing that I am working on, I think is "intuitively obvious" so I don't see the point of publishing, but I think my supervisor disagrees with that thought.
    – timmy1691
    Nov 15 at 19:23


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