I've done research work entirely at home, it is completely unrelated to my thesis. I am going to publish it in some journal.

Although I am aware that I should not use my affiliation, and it is possible to publish without it, I am unsure about if it would turn into a disadvantage in the following sense: 1) Chances to be accepted for publishing (In real world!). 2) Perceived value of the work (for example, for future opportunities to obtain a post-doc position).

Also, the work could not be done in the same way, if someone close to me has not lent me his personal computer (which is far more powerful than mine, but a regular PC) for few days. Does it look unprofessional to add acknowledgement to "Mr. X" (instead an institution) for providing the computational resources? Considering that, no unusual computational resources are needed (an ~400/500 USD PC in US), in a field where most first world research groups have very high computational power.

I know how it should be in theory, but I am looking for sincere answers about how (in real world) the worldwide scientific community perceive about it, for both, chances of publication and future jobs. Any interesting consideration that I did not notice is welcome.

Edit: Currently I am doing my PhD in a research institute which depends on one of the more recognized universities of my country. I have already published using this affiliation and using it wouldn't be a problem.

  • 1
    Are you a student, postdoc, or staff (faculty or professional research staff)?
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:12
  • @BillBarth , Thanks for reply. I edited the answer for clarification. Jun 4, 2016 at 16:19
  • 7
    "I am aware that I should not use my affiliation" - shouldn't you? I'd have qualms listing, say, a commercial employer unrelated to any research as my affiliation in a paper on research conducted entirely in my spare time. But if your affiliation is a university department, it could well be justifiable to list it, if only because the daily work there gives you the motivation and operational skills to conduct research and write a paper. Or, maybe expressed in a more succinct way: Once your job is being part of the research world, the boundaries between on-duty and off-duty get very blurry ;) Jun 4, 2016 at 16:20
  • 1
    @O.R.Mapper, I'd like to see that comment turned into an answer I could upvote.
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:22
  • 2
    I'm still trying to figure out why one would not use their normal professional affiliation for the work.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 4, 2016 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


No one will know that you are unaffiliated since you are free to put your research institute as an affiliation. Your institute might even be upset if you don't since you did this work while in their employment even if your contract doesn't give them rights to it if done on your own time at home using equipment that does not belong to them. If you put them as your affiliation, someone will eventually notice and may come asking questions. As such, it would probably be best to show this work to your employer through your current line manager/PhD supervisor and ask for their advice. It's likely that with some help you and your advisor will be able to publish this article together. This is how it works in the "real" world.

My favorite publication of my own was mostly done at home and in notebooks I bought myself while a student. I eventually passed it by my PhD advisor, he made some edits and suggested some changes, helped rewrite the introduction and conclusions, checked the math, and we eventually published a paper together. It was a very satisfying way to bring my side-project to a close. The material never even appeared in my dissertation (as I didn't do a so-called stapler thesis).

  • I would add: Do you spend all 40 hours/week at work, never doing unrelated things there, so that you don't consider your work from home as "home office"?
    – yo'
    Jun 4, 2016 at 18:19
  • 1
    @yo', that didn't seem relevant to me. I was doing my job as a GRA and going to classes during my "at work" time, and then I was working on my side project at home and in coffee shops when not "at work". I assume the same from OP.
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 4, 2016 at 18:27
  • Ah ok. Well, it seems relevant to me because I can surely say that I spent less time at work, working from whereever I was at that time, including home, holidays, ...
    – yo'
    Jun 4, 2016 at 18:29
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    @yo', I didn't take this as a "may I do my job from home" question but more as a "may I have side projects and label myself as an independent researcher while a student" question. I think the answer to the former is yes, and the latter is also "yes, but there's no need to do so".
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 4, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    Because of my position I had to accept the changes — [citation needed] Because of your position as coauthor, you had every right to object to changes by your other coauthor(s).
    – JeffE
    Jun 4, 2016 at 19:20

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