During the course of my post-graduation, a friend and I worked on a personal project in pattern recognition. I honestly am not hesitant to admit that although the technique has a decent result on a publicly available dataset, it is not publication worthy in any journal or conference of note (or so I feel), nor do I (my friend is unavailable now) have enough time or background knowledge in the field to keep working on it till it is.

Can it be published as some kind of academic report or something on a site like arxiv or academia.edu or something? I'm interested predominantly because I'm wondering if this online availability would lend more credence to it being mentioned in my cv - as opposed to merely mentioning it and not having any transcript available.

PS: The method was something we came up with. It was not implemented from somewhere else.

  • please clarify what you mean by "publish" in your second paragraph. I can't answer for arxiv, but putting it in your academia.edu page will mean it is accessible to the world -- but it won't count as a peer-reviewed publication and may not count for much in other senses of the world "published"
    – virmaior
    Jun 13 '15 at 13:54
  • @virmaior Well in the context of the line in question, I use "published" to mean simply putting it up for access on a site like arxiv or academia (with a tag perhaps saying academic report). Yes I realize it won't be peer reviewed and I should state that I'm not expecting it to mean much more than a clearly written account of my experiments and results.
    – Roy
    Jun 13 '15 at 14:11
  • 1
    If you want it to be worth something on your CV, you should invest the time to make it publication-worthy and publish it
    – Luigi
    Jun 13 '15 at 17:19
  • I understand your point. I know that myself to be honest but nonetheless I will keep your suggestion in mind in case I find time to work on it though I admit it's unlikely. Thanks.
    – Roy
    Jun 13 '15 at 19:27
  • I don't think you can publish it in a way that you can derive credit from. But if you want it to be public so someone else can take the ball and run with it, then publish it on the web (with your collaborator's permission). Jun 14 '15 at 21:58

There are two different questions in here, one about personal projects and another about whether it's worth publishing a non-peer-review tech report.

For the first: there is no need for "official" blessing on any scientific work; I've published personal side projects just as happily as projects in my "proper" line of work. These can end up being quite significant: one of my bits of side-dabbling, published in a minor workshop, kicked off my entire current line of synthetic biology research.

That surprising consequence also leads us toward the answer to the second: significance is where people find it. If you've put work into something, and written it up in a non-embarrassing way, there's no reason not to put it up online in an archival format, whether arXiv, tech report, or some other low-impact format. Symposia and workshops can be a lot of fun too, since they often accept things that are interesting but not expected to necessarily be high impact.

If a piece of work is non-embarrassing, what's the worst that can happen if you put it online? Nobody cites it. But you never know... your coauthor might end up building something more significant out of it later (happened to one of my side-publications), or it might get noticed by people who happen to be dealing with a similar problem (happened to another of mine), and collect a few citations or even unexpectedly many.

In short: there is never a reason to throw good work in the trash. Put it online, and let the universe decide whether it's neutral or positive.

  • Non-embarrassing is the thought that has floated in my mind many times I guess. Thanks - I'll see what I can do.
    – Roy
    Jun 18 '15 at 6:21

If it involves a lot of code, you can put it as a repository in GitHub or Bitbucket. It won't count as a publication, but it will be available for others to see and possibly re-use or work upon. In some fields, bioinformatics for example, it is perfectly ok to list one's github repositories in the CV, serving to showcase your skills to future employers.


Are you affiliated academically or with some research organization? If so, one possible option is to investigate whether you would like to issue your results as a technical report. (See also this discussion on this very site on why technical reports exist.)

Some examples:

If permitted by your sponsors, such reports can also be posted to arXiv together with the internal technical report number.

Though to be honest, with online publication as easy as it is, there is no real need to go through the above except if you want it to "look more official" somehow.


I don't think you can publish it in a way that you can derive credit from. But if you want it to be public so someone else can take the ball and run with it, then publish it on the web (with your collaborator's permission).

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