My master thesis is an improvement of a code. I gave this code about one year and half ago from the author of the one paper.

After working on his code, I improve the result. but my implementation is not a lot. My added part to his code is less than 300 lines.

The base paper was published on 2013 in the journal with impact factor 2 .

My question is "improvements works" have the ability to send to a journal? Or when you can send your work to journal which you should develop the whole things.

By the way the issue which I am working on is one of the new standard.

  • What did your advisor say when you asked him this question?
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:24
  • @ff524 he wants to send our work to journal.
    – M R R
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:25
  • 3
    Any reason you don't trust his judgment, and felt the need to ask us?
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:26
  • @ff524 but one of our phd student told me it is hard to send "improvements" to a jouranl
    – M R R
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:26
  • update after the first answer: because the topic is new our idea is really help the field.
    – M R R
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:32

2 Answers 2


For purposes of publishability, it doesn't really matter whether your implementation was built from scratch or from an existing codebase, or how many new lines of code it required.

What matters is whether your results contribute some new knowledge to the field....

... which we can't evaluate for you here. You need to read the literature and the previous work, and identify what you're contributing that's new. (It's not measured in lines of code.)

  • I am really sure about our idea. But am I should bold our idea on the paper and describe that more. is this criteria OK? based your answer. because I want to start writing the paper.
    – M R R
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:37
  • 1
    @alex I don't know anything about the merits of your idea; you need to talk to your advisor about that. Your question was about whether basing an implementation on an existing codebase makes it unpublishable, and my answer is that it doesn't.
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 7:42
  • 2
    @alex You may as well start writing it anyway. Whatever work you do on it will be useful for your thesis. Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 8:52

Publishable? Yes. Everything is publishable, as long as it's original work and you can find a journal that thinks it's interesting enough. Publishable in a good journal? We've no idea: ask your peers in your field. Ask your advisor: it's what s/he is there for!

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