I am an undergraduate student with an interest in Computer science, so recently i have discovered new concepts and algorithms related to patterns and simulations (i.e biological simulations & computational models simulations), and how they can be related easily, extremely easily to mathematics in a way that it would envolve a single rule of (1+1=2) and it would take forever to fully analyse and understand all the possible outputs (all the biological & computational simulations) based on that simple rule.

So i have read about similar ideas that exist today (suppose we name it X), it took about (3) well-known physicists and mathematicians (20-30) years to introduce (X) and be accepted in the literature, mainly (X) is based on two important topics in computer science (Turing machines & Self-replicating machines) these two topics can be considered as the core idea of computers, so like any other researcher i wrote the ideas explaining every detail neatly and revised it more than (30) times then contacted (3) journals about it and they refused to publish although they said and know that the ideas are novel, new and applicable ...

I went to contact some professional people in the field, they still suggested me to submit it to a journal or present it in a conference, so i went for the second choice, they replied "the proofs and ideas in the research paper are true but you can't present something that is not in your area of expertise and even if it was, you still can't because the different academic level between the presenter and the audience, it would be suitable to publish it in a journal", so here is my problem: As an undergraduate, i have a valid proof of something, how to publish it ? So,

1) I have contacted some related journals and they refused.

2) I have submitted the paper to a conference and they refused.

3) Contacted professional people and refered to option (1) & (2).

What's next to do ? Also, this seems to be on-the-edge situation, but i know there is one more thing i can do.

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    Undergrads do present in conferences. Some of the best presentations I saw were done by well prepared undergrad students... Specifically in CS, this shouldn't be a problem. Funding to pay the costs in the other hand... Do you have an advisor? (Did you try serious conferences, that have double blind revision?) Oct 29, 2015 at 21:00
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    @Henryakpo, I don't think any good journal would reject a paper because of a limited CV. However, not meeting the submission requirements (format, length, style, quality of writing, etc) could lead to rejection. I would suggest showing your draft paper to a friendly academic in your department (even if they don't have the same interest). They should at least be able to help you through the submission process and comment on the suitability of your paper for a particular journal.
    – atom44
    Oct 29, 2015 at 22:36
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    @Henryakpo I work with models in biology and computer science, and both your description of your work and your story are very difficult for me to comprehend. I suspect you are communicating less clearly than you think you are and may be misunderstanding some basic things. I would strongly suggest that you start working closely with a professor or other scientific mentor, who can better help you navigate the publication process.
    – jakebeal
    Oct 31, 2015 at 12:42
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    If your paper is written similarly to your question and comments here, then that would be grounds for rejection. Has your paper been carefully proofread to eliminate misspellings, run-on sentences, etc.? Nov 27, 2015 at 21:51
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    contacted (3) journals about it and they refused to publish — I don't understand what this means. Did you submit the paper to three journals and they rejected the submission? If so, then they would have given you a reason for rejection. Or did you just email three editors and ask them if they'd publish your paper? If that's what you mean, then of course they refused. You have to submit the paper for a thorough technical review before any journal will publish it; that's just how the system works.
    – JeffE
    Nov 28, 2015 at 2:37

2 Answers 2


I will echo @jakebeal's skepticism about your results themselves - I would suggest having a long, serious, and honest discussion with a professional mentor about the novelty and importance of what you've found. This is important both for presenting your ideas, and deciding where they should end up - I certainly have thoughts that I know don't "rate" $TopJournal.

That being said, there's nothing about being an undergraduate student that would present you from publishing in a solid journal. For example, as an undergraduate working in the field you described, I published in several solid journals. There's nothing that would stop a paper from being published just because the author is an undergraduate.

You've said you've contacted several journals and conferences, and they've refused - have they said why? Have you spoken to your mentors to make sure your paper is actually submission ready - the process is non-trivial, and important even if your findings are genuinely important. What you should do next, if you're genuinely interested in moving your finding forward, is to talk to people in the field, make sure the idea is ready to publish and that you've got a solid notion both of its importance and how to "sell" the concept to an editor, and then proceed from there.


Assuming that your findings are modest, there are undergraduate and graduate journals as well as student conferences organized by your peers. I would suggest that you look at those venues.

If you do think that your findings rise up to the level of the professional journals, then I would try to find a better advisor who can guide you through the process of selecting a more appropriate venue.

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