I have several topics that I would like to publish. While I can get a paper, in technical terms, 100% of the way done I am not an English major. I don't do great at speaking human, or dotting my "i"'s. I could be much more productive if I had help.

I am currently not affiliated with a university or academic institution. I work and on the side I sometimes do some thinking or work on (statistically) fun problems. I would like to share the results in an approved and excellent forum.

How does one go about finding someone with that strength to help edit (or is it co-author) articles with the intention of publishing them in decent to great peer-reviewed publications? Are there any culture-known "best known methods"? Are there negative repercussions of having non-mathematical technical help? If so, what?

1 Answer 1


I suggest these four steps:

  1. Identify your research community. The problems you are working on should have some connections with previous works. If not, it will be hard to publish your work anywhere, because it is harder to draw the attention of other researchers on your topic. You can use search engines such as Google Scholar for this purpose.

  2. It is likely that the authors of these papers use the same notations, publish in the same journals and use a similar article structure to describe their work. Become familiar with the format by reading related articles.

  3. Write down a draft, following the usual format of your field. If your English is weak, you can ask someone to fix your mistakes (he/she should not need to be familiar with your work, but it is easier if he/she has some scientific background).

  4. Contact a researcher working on close topics, asking him/her for feedback on your draft. If the feedback is positive, a collaboration might be possible.

I have followed these steps and this has lead me to my first research paper (co-authored with my "mentor"). It takes a lot of time but it is worth the effort.

  • I said that I knew the technical content well. I have a degree in the field. I can write so that another engineer can understand it. I just don't write pretty and often miss the every formatting detail that journal formats require. I'm looking for 1) help speaking human and 2) help putting my octagonal peg in the circular hole by shaving off the rough edges. Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 12:49
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    @EngrStudent: Yes, I have understood that you knew the technical content. (Otherwise why would you try to write a research paper?) I still recommend contacting a researcher, because I don't see where you could find a copy-editor. Moreover, if you are new to academic research, it is likely that there will be more changes to do than just formatting issues. (Hence a real collaboration could be possible.)
    – pintoch
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 13:40

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