I have written a research monograph.

I think that the work on the first volume is finished except that it is not yet checked for errors. Well, I am not 100% sure that I won't make any changes, however now no changes (except of hunting errors) are planned.

I am going to send the monograph to a competition of such works and have the hope to win the prize. The deadline of the competition is Dec 3 (now it's Aug 8).

My question: Should I wait to Novermber (probably using this time to check for errors) or should I send the book to the competition right now?

Will the editors of book sent to the competition help me to find errors? If yes, will submission earlier make their help me to find errors more effective, as in this case we have more time which can be used to hunt errors?

I realize that this may be considered as an opinion-based question, but I ask for detailed arguments in either direction.

  • 2
    I'm a little bit confused: why do you think that we will know the rules of some random competition out there?
    – jakebeal
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:20
  • @jakebeal Because I have told you the only relevant rule: "submissions must be before 3 Dec". All other rules (such as size of the book, language in which it is written, topic, etc.) are irrelevant for my question
    – porton
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:23
  • 3
    But you asked "Will the editors of book sent to the competition help me to find errors? If yes, will submission earlier make their help me to find errors more effective?" How would we know?
    – mhwombat
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:27
  • @mhwombat I thought that partakers of this site know typical workflow of typical competitions. By the way, the competition is for math monographs presenting new research in accessible way
    – porton
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:31
  • 7
    @porton, I've never heard of such a competition, and you didn't link to its rules. I don't think academic book competitions are very common. Your best bet is to ask the people running the competition what they want. You'll have a better chance of them telling you then us.
    – Bill Barth
    Aug 8, 2015 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


I assume you are talking about the Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer Prize, since the number of competitions for mathematics monographs is tiny and I bet this is the only one with a December 3 deadline. If so, then:

  1. There is no chance that the prize committee will help search for errors. If they think the manuscript might contain important errors, then they will immediately eliminate it from the competition. Typos or other minor errors probably wouldn't disqualify the submission, but they make a bad impression, and it's not the committee's job to help you proofread.

  2. This competition is aimed at exposition of important results that are already well established, not proving new results. If you submission contains lots of previously unpublished theorems, then I doubt the committee will consider it. Preparing a submission is not worth a lot of time and effort unless you are confident that the committee will consider it suitable.

  • How have you concluded that they don't accept books with novel research? Do you have any other source of information than their Web site? It seems for me that they do not say anything like this at their Web site. And yes, my book consists mostly of new definitions and theorems. I will try to submit anyway: The cost of 350 sheets of paper and sending post package isn't that high not to try anyway
    – porton
    Aug 8, 2015 at 17:35
  • If Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer foundation won't publish my research, then I may go this route: I am going to put my research online in LaTeX form under a copyleft license. If the World does not accept my research as "academic" and use it in formal academic work, this is a World's problem, not mine. I just want to make it available for free. Too cheap to be academic?
    – porton
    Aug 8, 2015 at 17:40
  • 4
    @porton: Anonymous Mathematician is correct in his assessment. You have not accurately conveyed the terms of the prize. It is for a"mathematical monograph of an expository nature presenting the latest developments in an active area of research in Mathematics, in wich the applicant has made important contributions." In other words, it is not a monograph presenting new research, but rather describing an area of active research to which the author has already made important (published) contributions. As another source of information: please read the prize-winning monographs themselves. Aug 8, 2015 at 18:34
  • 5
    My understanding of your situation is this: you have not published any papers in reputable mathematical journals (I have just checked that you have no publications on MathSciNet) but have a lot of pages of mathematics that you would like to publish through whatever channel you can. If that is a correct assessment, then submitting your manuscript for this prize would be a waste of your time and the money it takes to send a hard copy to Barcelona. I write these comments because I've watched you spend a lot of time on this kind of thing over the years and am concerned for you. Aug 8, 2015 at 18:41

I can't contribute anything useful to most of the things you asked. However, I can give you a couple of guesses that I hope will be somewhat helpful:

  • I would imagine that the more error-free your submission is, the better your chances of winning, or at least of making a good impression on people who possibly could be helpful for your career in the future.

  • I doubt that the judges of a competition would help you proofread or fact-check.

  • I doubt that submitting early would raise your chances (but do ask).

Aside from all of that, it seems to me that you need to do something special to mark having finished a big project. Some people go to a fancy restaurant, some people go for a walk in the woods, some people go on a trip to the beach, some people go bowling.... The sky's the limit, have fun!

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