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I am rather disappointed by the existing research in my area of interest. There is a big disconnect between the solutions practitioners need and what researchers look at.

  • I have read everything available on the subject in e-journals.
  • I have many ideas which I believe can solve some small problems in my field.
  • I also have ideas for paradigms (or major expansions of existing paradigms) which I believe can help the researchers and practitioners look at the problems in a different light.
  • I am not in a PhD program, so I lack the advice, time, resources, and know-how for setting up controlled experiments to validate these ideas, so I can only address them as thought experiments or identify the nearest related experiments not directly testing my ideas.

Can I publish short here-is-an-idea paper (e.g. “Proposed Solution for X” or “(new) Model for Y”) well before having any means of providing some proof?

  • What do you mean by "e-journals"? Can you give specific examples that you are referring to in your field? – 410 gone Sep 12 '14 at 1:54
  • By e-journals, I mean the articles available in Ebsco. – Village Sep 12 '14 at 5:45
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    Do bear in mind that there are some very applied fields where journals simply don't carry the state of the art, because that information is so commercially viable. So what's your area of interest? I'm absolutely fascinated to learn about an area of interest which is so small that it's humanly possible to have read everything available on the subject in journals, but not to have written on or formally studied that area. – 410 gone Sep 12 '14 at 7:22
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    Sounds like you need a blog. – curiousdannii Sep 12 '14 at 8:32
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    @curiousdannii Blogs filled with ideas that the authors think are game changers are more than abundant, and I don't think any of them help. – G. Bach Sep 12 '14 at 20:18
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Generally, no.

Insights are a dime a dozen. Insights with evidence are how science (social and natural) proceed.

Proceeding through your bullets:

  • You mention e-journals. Have you read the "literature" in traditional journals/books/whatever the field's standard is? There's a lot of good reason to be suspicious of e-journals, so you may not have a full view of the field.
  • Belief in ideas doesn't make them true(r). Sorry.
  • Is there a reason that you think that these expansions of paradigms haven't been considered? Are you sure that they really have never occurred before?
  • Perhaps that's the argument for obtaining a Ph.D. or research master's --- to demonstrate that ideas have empirical heft.

If you really want to make a difference, you will have to offer evidence that your ideas work or have worked, beyond the logic you offer.

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    +1 for insights are a dime a dozen. Insight suggests that the world is flat and the earth is not turning. This is why people believed those concepts to be true for thousands of years. – Alexandros Sep 12 '14 at 22:46
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    Why should I be suspicious of e-journals? I found them in Ebsco and they are listed as "peer reviewed". – Village Sep 12 '14 at 23:47
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Sure, one can publish ideas before properly evaluating their value. But it depends. Your area of research might be different from mine, but I have written "position papers" papers in the past where the main purpose is to generate discussion. Then you usually have to go to the conference and workshop your ideas with other participants.

So if there really is a big disconnect between practitioners and researchers, do some groundwork, maybe interview those practitioners so that you can back up your claims when you meet the researchers. Then propose improvements to current research so that you can work on your ideas and study them properly. You may also find help and advice and co-authors for the future.

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In order for a work to be scholarly, the content has to be reviewed by a group of experts in your field, tested by those peers for accuracy and then you have to find someone who is willing to publish your work. You don't have to have proof of your findings for them to be published, but the work wouldn't be considered a scholarly document. Just remember that theories aren't just ideas, but concepts that have been tried and tested to be logical and accurate. Whatever you do, make sure that your experiments can be repeated and that you get the same "Proposed Solution for X" every time. Remember that every revolution begins in the mind of one man, and that your "proposed solution" might possibly be the right one, with or without proof.

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    +1: "Just remember that theories aren't just ideas" - hypotheses are ideas! I get very frustrated by the confusion over these terms in the popular media... :-) – darthbith Sep 12 '14 at 14:47
  • "tested by those peers for accuracy" do you mean, before I should publish my ideas, I should find peers and have them test it out? – Village Sep 12 '14 at 23:53
  • Running your ideas by others in your field before publishing would certainly be a good idea. They could give you some early indication of whether this is well know, already refuted, "not even wrong", not testable, or actually interesting. I suspect you want to know that before you start putting your reputation on the line. – keshlam Sep 13 '14 at 4:35
  • Actually, I would think that it's not really a matter of looking like you don't know what you're talking about, but more so of making sure that the material published in the community actually benefits the scientific (or literary :D) community. – Camden Conekin Sep 15 '14 at 2:24

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