I'm doing independent research in computer sciences and i develop some program that i think i might be could write a couple paper for this.

My question is what should i do between

  1. Publish a paper first then release its application
  2. Release application first then publish its paper

In actually i prefer the second choice because i start developing application already and this can finish soon. May be better to release it than waiting to finish writing a paper that a little bit take time.

Any advice or concern please ans below.

  • Where were you hoping to publish your work? What sort of application is it? Depending on the application, a journal might expect to see an evaluation of how it's used by users, so releasing it might be necessary. A workshop might just be interested to see a working demo
    – Landric
    Jul 2, 2015 at 10:27
  • e.g. application in DSLs and publication focused on its design.
    – fronthem
    Jul 2, 2015 at 10:50
  • I think if release application first we can write about criticism, discussion or even improve the application. But how to make sure that no one will write about this before you write it. Because there is space between release the application and publish a paper e.g. 4 months.
    – fronthem
    Jul 2, 2015 at 10:55
  • 3
    It is very unlikely that someone will pick up your application, fully understand it, and be able to write an article about it before you can. I wouldn't worry about it.
    – Bill Barth
    Jul 2, 2015 at 11:52
  • 1
    @BillBarth Can you please expand this into an answer so that I can vote for it?
    – jakebeal
    Jul 2, 2015 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


Your threat model just doesn't work out in reality. By knowing your code well (because you wrote it), you have a huge advantage over everyone else in the world. It is very unlikely that someone, even an expert in Domain Specific Languages, will pick up your application, fully understand it, and be able to write an article about it before you can finish your article and get it submitted. I really wouldn't worry about it.

Besides, my experience is that people are out there talking about their open source codes well before they get their marker papers published. It's good to be able to discuss your work with colleagues and to drum up users before you finish the paper. Perhaps you will find several collaborators in the process.


You should likely publish the code first. While most journals require they be the first to publish the paper, the rules don't generally apply to related items (like a code library). If its like most research, a year from now when the proceedings are published, you will have likely made substantial improvements. Be sure to branch.

You also have the advantage of being able to find interested parties BEFORE your paper is published, which will probably lead to a better attended talk.

  • In my area (theoretical computer science), the proceedings are published at the same time as the conference. But, even with journal lead times, you seem to be missing the third option: submit the paper, then publish the code. Jul 2, 2015 at 15:36

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