Are there any books on how to be an independent/freelance researcher?

  • 3
    Independent? Independent from what? Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 3:55
  • 3
    Maybe it refers to being a researcher not affiliated to an academic institution.
    – noe
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 6:32
  • What field are you considering? E.g. social sciences, sciences, arts and humanities?
    – Phil
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 9:58
  • @Phil physics & math, specifically
    – Geremia
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 2:54
  • 1
    And what kind of research resources would you need? Just pen and paper, and access to journals, or also computing clusters?
    – Davidmh
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


By being an independent/freelance researcher I will assume you mean being a researcher not affilated to academia or working at a research center.

First thing you shall consider is access to research sources. For example in academia you have acess to the university library, journal subscriptions paid by the university, laboratory facilities etc. Same goes for working as a full-time researcher for a national research center or a large corporation.

Additionaly, getting funding for your research(by the government) is harder if you are an independent researcher and easier if you are at university or a corporation.

In my opinion the best case would be to fund a company which offers products/services related to your type of research (e.g if your research interests are in statistics you would consider consulting, software, visualization tools etc.) and invest a percent of your income to your research.

Of course in that case you would not be an "independent" researcher. You would still be affilated to your company, which is acceptable. Every corporation, multi-national or relatively small invests time and money in research.

You may also consider checking the following questions of SE:

Applying for research funding as an independent researcher

Can I work as a freelance researcher?

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