Pardon but I couldn't find a better title for my question.

I am one of the editors of an undergraduate journal, created alongside 2 other undergrads of the same school, in which we publish upper-undergraduate articles related to our school courses(mostly expository, sharing our love about our studies). We publish the journal both online and in print, with printing costs covered by the faculty.

Is it appropriate if I publish an article related to, for instance, fluid mechanics, to pass the journal volume in which my article is featured to the professor teaching fluid mechanics in my school?? Will this be considered as a 'showing off'? I

would like to mention that the professor knows me well from the first year of my studies in which I expressed to him my interest in his field and asked for extra references for self-study.

  • 3
    It isn't inappropriate. He may or may not find time to read it. – keshlam Aug 14 '15 at 14:06
  • 1
    It's an article showing that you are still interested in his area of expertise. You have taken your own time to pursue studies in this field. There is not really any downside from showing him the article (unless it is incorrect or poorly written) and your worst case scenario is that he doesn't read it. – EL_BR_CV Aug 14 '15 at 14:41
  • 8
    I find it interesting that on here, many students seem super (I should say, overly) concerned with wasting their professor's time. My personal interactions with undergrads, on the other hand, have typically rather been painted by their flagrant disregard of my time :) (that is, they seem to assume that all I do is teach the course they are currently in) – xLeitix Aug 14 '15 at 15:27
  • 1
    @xLeitix This is explained by selection bias: Students coming to a site like this are already pre-selected heavily for being considerate people who think about academia in general. – Thomas Kahle Aug 16 '15 at 12:10

What a nice idea! This professor mentored you in the early days of your studies, so he will be pleased and interested to hear that you are continuing to progress in his favorite topic.

Also, consider that your article having been selected to be published is good news for those who work in that area at your institution. So he will be pleased in that regard as well.

It's important to learn to be courageous in this way. You will benefit greatly over the years from 'networking.' Sharing your good news, by giving him a copy of your publication, is an example of networking.

A nice touch would be to write a personal inscription on the copy you plan to give him, thanking him for the mentoring he gave you back in 20xx, and for sparking your first interest in the area. Something like that.

The best gift of all is a sincere thank-you.

  • Thank you for your answer. I would like to clarify that my article has not been "selected", because it's an undergraduate journal in my school and I'm one the founders/editors. I agree with your opinion on 'networking'. I like the idea of pesonal inscription on the copy, but I'm afraid if it will be taken as too formal. – Rrjrjtlokrthjji Aug 18 '15 at 12:41
  • @Nickolas - Between a student and a professor, isn't a bit of formality okay? – aparente001 Aug 18 '15 at 13:09
  • I mean perceiving the inscription as a**-licking. – Rrjrjtlokrthjji Aug 18 '15 at 14:21
  • @Nickolas - Thanks for explaining. Here's my take -- if you fawn in public, that's bad. If you express sincere appreciation for the trouble someone took to mentor you, in a succinct way, without being repetitive, that's good. Imagine that as a sophomore in college, you helped a high school student with his college admission essay. He sends you a copy of his first A+ paper in his freshman year. Won't you be pleased he's doing well? Won't you be pleased he thought of you? – aparente001 Aug 18 '15 at 15:09
  • Yes, I would definitely bee pleased. However your example states that I helped someone and I'm not a professor who grades papers (seriously, if I was a professor I would perceive fawning, in person or in public, as an attempt to get a higher grade). I like the idea of the personal inscription though, but I guess I have to write it in such a way to keep my butt of any misconception. – Rrjrjtlokrthjji Aug 18 '15 at 18:07

Quite the opposite, I think. In mathematics, in the days before the Internet, people did this by mail. The mailed reprints of their published papers to their peers.

It is important to consider the time of people you interact with, especially busy people. Giving your professor a copy of the paper will take only very little time. He or she can then choose to read it or not and it would be polite to accept also the case that he/she does not read it.

In this sense, asking about feedback would be a completely different ballpark already, because that would imply asking him/her to read it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.