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I am a student in various graduate taught programs, but not a research student and I am not receiving any scholarships or grants from my institutions. I have prepared a paper which I wish to publish. The subject is within my field, but far outside of the expertise of any of my instructors, mostly because it deals with a language and other technical details which they are entirely unfamiliar with. As such, I highly doubt they could assist me in writing the paper.

I know that graduate research students should not publish works without their professor's permission. Is this rule relevant to students in taught programs? Can I submit my paper for credit in a course, without giving up ownership of the paper?

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I know that graduate research students should not publish works without their professor's permission.

It's a little more complicated than that. Nobody needs permission to publish anything that they did entirely on their own. If you work collaboratively or as part of a team, then it's not 100% your work and you need your collaborators' permission. If you do not collaborate but work under someone else's supervision, then it's still polite to ask for advice/permission. (They might see it as more of a collaboration than you do, and in any case your submission may reflect on their supervision so it is reasonable to get their feedback first.)

Is this rule relevant to students in taught programs?

If you have no collaborators or supervisors in the research, then you can publish it however you'd like.

Can I submit my paper for credit in a course, without giving up ownership of the paper?

I don't know of any case where you give up rights to a paper by submitting it in a course, so ownership is probably not the relevant issue here. In the universities I'm familiar with, you can certainly submit for publication an essay that was written for a class assignment (most such papers would not be accepted for publication, but a few could be). On the other hand, you cannot get class credit for a paper that you previously wrote for another purpose. The precise rules in your case may differ, but if you plan to use this paper for a class you should investigate your university's rules.

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    Some care may be required about whether one has given up rights to a paper submitted in a course: I've known faculty who explicitly declare (but I don't know the legalities) that papers submitted to them become the property of the university. I have the impression that the motivation is to prevent re-use of essays or projects for other courses... but I have mixed feelings about the latter prohibition. This prohibition does seem typical, however. Yet I don't know how to distinguish a "project" from the idea of the project, which surely ought be legitimately re-usable? – paul garrett Oct 26 '12 at 15:27
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Although a professor's opinion on your paper could prove to be very valuable and save you the trouble of resubmitting your paper again and again to the same journal. I believe, in case your paper is worth a journal's quality and standard, really, there is no need for your professor's permission. Journal editors aren't concerned with your professor's permission, however they would require you to sign a document stating that your research is your own and that you have the authority to publish your data.

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I think you've answered your own question. If you are not a student in the research group of a professor, and you've written the paper on your own, without outside assistance, then you don't need a faculty member's permission to publish the paper.

I would argue that under the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to require the permission of an "advisor"—since you can't even identify who the advisor should be!

As one of the other respondents mentioned, you might have to sign a statement declaring this is your own, independent work, but otherwise, I see no reason why someone else's permission needs to be secured here.

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