I am working on an AI project related to protein structure detection, etc.

My supervisor told me that this project cannot be published in a journal but has to be published as a chapter in a book (a compilation of scholarly articles).

When does a research project become qualified to be published as a full-fledged scientific journal paper, and when doesn't it?

What are the criteria?

  • 8
    Perhaps asking your supervisor why they feel this way would be illuminating. Could even be something silly like they made a commitment to an editor that they'd like to meet, and your work is a good opportunity to do so. Dec 28, 2023 at 14:11
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    I'll go a step further than Scott: you need to ask your advisor why. There is no ordinary hierarchy that goes "book chapter -> journal article", where things that don't reach 'journal article status' are put into books. This is something specific to your supervisor and perhaps your project.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 28, 2023 at 14:35
  • Another angle: imagine yourself spending time reading this article. Will that have been time well spent? Because if it wasn’t, you will never get it back. Stepping back, imagine yourself as a journal editor trying to make that decision on behalf of his readers. The journal can’t refund people’s time either. Jan 3 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


The criteria are somewhat subjective based on judgements by the editor(s) of a journal with advice from, hopefully skilled and knowledgeable, reviewers.

The judgements they make usually look at the "significance" and "novelty" of the work (does it make a good contribution? is it sufficiently new?) along with judgements about the correctness of the process that arrives at the conclusions.

I suspect that the supervisor is worried about significance and novelty rather than correctness. The standards for book chapters are different and more dependent on the goals of the main book author(s). If the book seems like a good business decision to publish then a publisher is interested, even if it is less than "significant" and "novel". Textbooks, after all, seldom break new ground, but are frequently published (and sold).

If you break new ground in a field, journals will be interested, but the reviewers still get to pass judgement and editors get to evaluate those judgements (along with other business decisions).

The above is about reputable publishers. Disreputable publishers have their own criteria, usually based on money: fleece the rubes.


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