I have a PhD in Business with an emphasis in Political Marketing and a Masters in Linguistics.

Now due to some personal and life circumstances, I would like to start collaborating in research about Linguistics and second language acquisition.

My question is, can I initiate or collaborate on research and publish my work in a completely different field than my PhD?

  • 15
    What would stop you? Sep 24, 2014 at 5:24
  • 3
    A field of research is not a prison, unless you make it so. Sep 24, 2014 at 13:06
  • Thank you. You are very helpful. I recently contacted a professor inquiring if I could collaborate with him in a research and he turned me down because it wasn't my field of expertise. I thought I could absolutely make it my field of expertise. It was a matter of time and work. Thanks for your advise.
    – Silvia
    Sep 24, 2014 at 22:46

4 Answers 4


If you can perform some research and write it up with the result that a journal wants to publish it, then it doesn't matter what qualifications you have, if any at all! Many journals do blind reviews which means their reviewers don't know the qualifications of any of the papers they review.


There is no reason why not. Consider this - you have already qualified in the field of linguistics to a Masters level, and presumably passed final examination/defense, therefore have already shown that you have knowledge and experience in that particular field - this can potentially help in generating research projects and collaborations

I am in a very similar situation, my PhD is in Physics, my Masters is in Digital Education - I have been able to contribute published research to both - the published research in both has been the most assistance in my case.

The main thing is to contribute robust and new research to the field, this is the main way that research collaborations can be initiated and generated.


Why not?

Unless you are an already recognized person in a given field (to which you write this paper), reviewers don't care what is your main field. (Of course, you need to meet the same standards to the quality of research and writing.)

You affiliation may bias reviewers (but I would guess that people would be more biased by prestige of the univ./institute/department than other factors). Moreover, it is not uncommon to:

  • have people working in more than one field,
  • official names of affiliation being not directly related to their actual specialization,

so I don't think it is a big factor.


You certainly can. Just consider the example of Professor Scott E. Page (University of Michigan) who has published in the following fields:

  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Physics
  • Management
  • Public health
  • Computer science

He has an MA in Math, MS in Business, and a PhD Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences.

So you can not only publish in the area of your masters but even in areas unrelated to either your masters or PhD.

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