I am curious to hear some words of advice on how to select a publishing community for multi-disciplinary topics.

Your contribution is that methods in area A, which is your main area, can solve problems in B more efficiently than traditionally used methods from area C.

Where do you publish, A, B, or C? You are contributing a new application domain to your main area A, along with theory that supports the bridge between A and B, but your reviewers are not familiar with domain B and do not find it relevant. You are contributing new tools to the problem domain B. Finally, all of the related work is in C.

This is CS research, if that helps.

  • In Bioinformatics there is a classical problem solved with Statistical Mechanics (Physics). I have seen papers on the topic published in all Physics, Bioinformatics, and Biology journals.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 8:37
  • Not really an answer (and thus a comment), but have you looked for an appropriate interdisciplinary journal? These do not only exist in the very high ranks (Nature, Science, …). For example, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B says that it “publishes research articles across the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences” (I do not know their stance on computer science though).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 9:27

2 Answers 2


The answer of jakebeal seems pretty good to me, but there is another option (to be considered with care, as the line between wise publishing and salami publishing is rather thin): to publish two papers in both A and B. The first paper would describe in depth the technique of the method and could assume knowledge in A; the second paper would assume the conclusion of the first paper (proofs and evidence and technical discussions being there) and would explain how good the method is for the B-problem you are considering, i.e. it would focus on the application of the method. The point of publishing two papers is that community B might have a hard time getting into the technical details of the A-heavy method, while you need to have them documented somewhere.

The first paper might only get published in a lesser venue if community A is not appealed to much by it, but I guess that if community B is excited by your work you might be able to publish the second paper in a first-tier journal or conference. And, as mentioned in a comment, it might be that you have a good starting point for a career in B -- one need not stay in the same field for 40 years, and switching can potentially happen anytime, given the opportunities.

  • Thank you so much for you suggestion. You are absolutely correct. The methods are too intricate for community B, and that is that worries me about just publishing it in B. I like the idea splitting the paper. A more theoretical paper that justifies the methodology goes to a lower-tier A venue. And then develop an application paper for the community B with a strong real-life application. That is exciting! Thank for your feedback. And it is true, I do like application area B, and I can proceed with both interests.
    – afaust
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 16:47

Where you publish depends on what you are trying to do with a particular publication. From my own experience with interdisciplinary research, I would say:

  • Work focusing on the nature of the techniques goes to community A. These are good for building up your credibility in your home community, building your tenure case in a department of A, etc.
  • Work focusing on the value and contributions to the application area goes to community B. These are good for getting your work into use, building collaborations, extending into new areas, building a tenure case in a department of B, et.

If your topic is something that many are thinking about, then there will also likely be some explicitly interdisciplinary AB meetings. These are often less prestigious than the single-discipline venues, but much better for networking and getting feedback on your work.

  • I am early in the career, so publishing my area is in my best interest. However, the said paper got rejected twice in the community A conferences because of not high-enough relevance despite very high technical scores. Community B is excited about the work. And there is nothing between A and B. So, do I improve my motivation for community A, or is it time to cut the losses and submit the work to a journal in the application area B?
    – afaust
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 0:08
  • 4
    @afaust Why do you think publishing in Community B is "cutting your losses" if Community A doesn't appreciate your work? You might find a very nice home in Community B!
    – jakebeal
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 0:33

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