I'm an undergraduate currently doing summer research with an REU program. I feel that the research we've done this summer is publishable (although what do I know), and I'd like to do that, especially with grad school applications coming up. Is there a polite, yet direct way (or is it uncouth) to ask my advisor if we are going to publish this paper?

  • Just ask him in the next meeting if you think the results are promising?
    – Olorun
    Jul 31, 2015 at 15:30
  • 4
    I would think just asking your advisor if it is worthy of publication, and if so, if there are intentions to actually publish it is the way to go. Jul 31, 2015 at 15:30
  • Thanks, @Olorun and @Cameron! I just wasn't sure if the appropriate thing to do is wait for him to bring it up.
    – naomig
    Jul 31, 2015 at 15:31
  • And don't be discouraged if it isn't publishable. A summer REU isn't very long, and they don't often result in publications (at least not in my field).
    – jme
    Jul 31, 2015 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


Hi, do you think we can get my work so far published as an article?

If the answer is no:

So, what else do you think we would have to do to get it publishable?

Professors and supervisors are human beings. They won't eat you if you make the wrong question, or use a slightly unproper tone. Don't worry specially when you are in a very low risk situation, and you know each other.

(Once you get the go, don't forget to clarify and define authorship).

  • This. The broader lesson here is that communication that is both professional and concise is always a good approach.
    – eykanal
    Jul 31, 2015 at 15:48

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