I work in software engineering, where I specialize in computer graphics. I recently had to do a bit of research for my job, and I'd like to publish it at some point. It's currently going through my company's patent application process, but eventually, I think they'll let me publish it.

I don't have a graduate degree, nor do I have any interest in playing the academic game. On the other hand, my research is novel enough that I expect I'll be getting invitations to conferences when I do publish, and I'd like to know what to expect. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 3
    @Alexandros: Because he or she wants to “play the game to some extent” and academics know best about this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 3, 2015 at 10:17
  • @Alexandros Because they publish on a regular basis?
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2015 at 19:18
  • 2
    Publishing = the academic game. If you want to publish and ask advice how to do it, it is better to at least show respect for this "game". How would you react if someone asked you "I want to program and I need your help but I do not want to learn this software programming thing".
    – Alexandros
    Mar 3, 2015 at 19:33
  • My understanding is that academics have to publish to get tenure and/or keep their jobs. My intent was to signal that I'm not trying to compete in the PH.D. job market (I don't even have a graduate degree). I was trying to appear unthreatening.
    – Joe
    Mar 4, 2015 at 4:13
  • Of course, that doesn't mean I have a high opinion of the academic game. The sheer amount of crap computer graphics papers that get published is awe-inspiring, not to mention endlessly frustrating for us software engineers (though it did drive me to do my own research).
    – Joe
    Mar 4, 2015 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


What you should expect, unfortunately, is a lot less attention and recognition than you expect. Most journal papers don't result in invitations to speak at conferences, and most conference talks are given to fairly small audiences. If and when you do speak, you'll probably get a lot of questions along the lines of:

  • "I'm sure you aren't getting as good a result as you think you are."
  • "Isn't this really the same idea that Dr. Neverheardofem published in 1995?"
  • "I've completely misunderstood what you said and would like to argue with you about it."
  • "This is a neat idea, but isn't it much less important than the things that I care about?"

Try not to take it too hard: this is just the inevitable process by which ideas get challenged, and the better that you are able to respond reasonably and constructively, the better your idea will actually be received.

  • 14
    Dr. Neverheardofem - archnemesis to many! Mar 3, 2015 at 9:53
  • @jakebeal That's good advice for most fields, but (unfortunately), computer graphics isn't that rigorous. I doubt I'll run into that sort of trouble.
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2015 at 19:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .