Can you give me advice, how can I publish easily and quickly in a number of papers? I'm not really a scientist, I'm a web developer, but I really need to build a publication list. I need to publish at least 10 papers or maybe 20.

I want to build a publication list because if you publish (and you meet some other criteria - which I do meet) you can get an uncapped visa to the USA. I'm currently being interviewed by top firms in the Silicon Valley, but even they are not able to guarantee the visa. The researcher visa seems to be the most flexible one and the only thing I miss is the publication list. The number 10 is because I consulted with an immigration lawyer and they have a 98% success chance with researcher visas.

I wrote a thesis for my Masters last year in an interesting and not really researched topic related to Web Usability and Search Engines and I think I can put together some articles in this topic. I'm also working on a second Masters in another university to investigate the problem's business/user behaviour aspects. Both are in the top 200 according to the Times ranking and Sanghai ranking, too. I'm planning a PhD, too, hopefully on Stanford, where I work with a professor.

I don't need to publish in Nature or Science, I just have to build a publication list.

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    You publish when you have results, which have to be novel, by definition. This is not something you can do easily, if we are talking about real research. A typical PhD, meaning 3-5 years of full work, will give you on average 4-5 papers.
    – mmh
    Jul 14, 2014 at 9:26
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    -1 The implication that publishing 10 papers even in moderate venues is quite easy shows very little knowledge at what effort is required for publication. Voted to close
    – Alexandros
    Jul 14, 2014 at 10:59
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    I strongly disagree with the votes to close. The answer may very well be "No, that's not how it works," but the question is firmly on topic.
    – JeffE
    Jul 14, 2014 at 12:34
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    I voted to close because the question needs clarification. It's implausible that a web developer one year out from a master's degree really needs ten or twenty academic publications. Asking how to do it "easily and quickly" comes across as trolling or asking for advice on how to cheat the system. Is the research for 10+ papers already completed, with the question being how to get them written and published ASAP? How to split one master's thesis into ten or twenty papers? How to carry out the research for ten papers quickly? How to publish research papers without actually doing research? Jul 14, 2014 at 13:38
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    How to publish research papers without actually doing research? — Yes, precisely. This is an important question of direct relevance to academics, whose correct answer is a slap to the back of the head.
    – JeffE
    Jul 14, 2014 at 16:36

3 Answers 3


Ten or twenty papers in reputable journals is hard, and will take years. So how do you get started?

Something that may appeal to you as a software developer is creating or contributing to open source software and writing a paper about the software. An example from my field is the Journal of Statistical Software. It's very reputable, and the many of the articles are essentially introductory guides to software that the author has created. I'm sure there must be a web development equivalent.

You could also consider making friends with scientists and contributing to their research. For example, if you can help scrape some data from the internet, or help social scientists run a questionnaire (and then write what you did in the methods section of the resulting paper) then you can get your name on a paper without too much work. You won't be first author, but that may not matter. (As a statistician, I'm resigned to permanently being second or third author on papers.)


If you want to publish your Master's results, have a chat to your supervisor about writing a paper. You should not try to publish them without involving your supervisor(s)!

It's certainly feasible that a Master's thesis will produce publishable results, but more than one or two papers? No way, no how. It could easily take well over a decade of research to publish 10 or 20 first-authored papers in a respected conference or a reputable peer-reviewed journal.

In the eyes of a scrupulous employer, writing a large volume of low-quality papers simply to bulk up your CV will reflect very poorly on you. Having one good paper published from the results of a Master's thesis is a good achievement. Having 10 or 20 poor quality papers will just raise suspicious eyebrows.

  • My supervisor works for the military currently and she removes even the references/mentions about herself... It's difficult. The number 10 is because I consulted with an immigration lawyer and they have 98% success chance with researcher VISAs. That's why I'd like to publish at least 10 papers. Oct 23, 2014 at 9:29
  • And to be honest I don't need to publish in Science magazine or similar... I will probably never be a big scientist. As well as may of my current professors, who are not great scientists, too. But they still publish. Oct 23, 2014 at 9:30
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    +1 for never ever...ever think about publishing or doing anything without consulting your supervisor !!! Don't even think about... May 8, 2018 at 3:22

The rules for publishing articles vary by discipline. Many of the people on here are in scientific fields, and the rules for scientific publication is much more strict. What you find in many of the IT fields might be considered a 'white paper' than a 'scientific article'.

As you're in web development, I'd recommend looking at web development blogs that accept external contributions and cover the specific sub-topic you want to write about. (eg, A List Apart got slammed after their first article on JavaScript, because they didn't have the expertise to peer review it properly, so they accepted some less than ideal code).

If your work involves building websites for a specific community, you might look to see if there are journals or newsletters in that community that accept short papers describing new tools & software. (there's a growing push for software citation) You might also consider if your topics cover other aspects outside of software development, such as psychology or design, and look for journals in that field.

I'd also consider who it is that has decided that you 'need' to publish; if it's a professor or boss telling you this, then can likely tell you where you should be publishing. If you're just trying to bulk up for CV because of a percieved need, then try to find CVs of people with a similar background and see where they're publishing. I've heard of people getting consideration when hiring for running blogs in their field (scientific field, even ... the blog handles outreach to the general public), or even for writing good answers on stack exchange sites.

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