Is it possible publishing original work in math research without having an adviser?

I had some thought of matrix multiplication which I posted in this forum which wasn't welcomed that well, I plan to publish it in the arxiv.org but I also want to publish in a journal.

I tried looking for advier for my MSc thesis in PDE but with no success so I am thinking of publishing an article by myself, will that be sufficient with providing me with my Msc degree?

I heard once that Saul Kripke published during his Bsc studies, I am not sure if he were granted his PhD without an adviser, but I hope it's possible.

P.S my case is different than the other case as I don't even have an adviser to discuss my paper.

  • Duplicate? academia.stackexchange.com/q/11094/19607
    – Kimball
    Jun 15 '16 at 11:41
  • 4
    Duplicate, see this and perhaps this
    – Gautier C
    Jun 15 '16 at 11:51
  • 1
    Point of interest: the two papers in which Kripke developed his frame semantics for modal logic were published when Kripke was in high school.
    – user10636
    Jun 15 '16 at 13:35
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    This is going to depend on your university's requirements. At mine, you cannot get the degree without an advisor and a second reader both signing off on your work, whether it's published or not.
    – Kathy
    Jun 15 '16 at 14:27
  • Even if you can, should you? Or that would make your future career even harder? Jun 15 '16 at 15:28

Publishing an article and getting a degree are two different things. One can do either of them without the other.

At least at the Ph.D. level, the thesis should be of "publishable quality" but in some exceptional cases may not be published. And of course many get masters degrees without publishing.

You can publish without an advisor. But it seems unlikely you will get a degree without one. (Some Ph.D. programs may have a masters degree by coursework and examinations that you receive during the course of your Ph.D. work.)

Generally, the work for your degree is done after you have an advisor, in consultation with that advisor. It is rare that you have the work done before you have an advisor.

  • 2
    A masters by coursework exists outside of PhD programs, too (it's common in the US)
    – ff524
    Jun 15 '16 at 14:16
  • @ff524 I finished with the coursework (taken quite a lot of courses); now I am just supposed to write my thesis, I thought it should be original work but I have seen some people that haven't even get their work published beyond arxiv.
    – Alan
    Jun 15 '16 at 15:03
  • @Alan You really, really need an advisor, even if it means picking a different topic for your MSc thesis. An advisor should not only be able to discuss the department's formal requirements, but will know what passes and what fails in practice. Jun 15 '16 at 20:05

Of course you can. Anyone can submit their work to a journal. The editor will make an assessment to determine if it should be sent to peer review. It if is, you will be subject to the perils of your peer's opinions. If they think it is good enough, your work will be published. Be advised though, that some journals will charge a fee for publication, and without an advisor or being part of some organization with budget to cover such expenses, you will have to pay yourself.

One published article is not sufficient to be granted a degree by a university. You will need to fulfill the criteria for a degree, which at the very least means an assessment of a thesis by a committee or examiner. You could possibly come to some agreement with your university about submitting a thesis for assessment without having an advisor. However, having an advisor, if only for the administrative aspects, is probably the simplest way to proceed.

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    It is not the case that "most journals charge a fee for publication". Some do, some don't, and it's not just about "open access"... Jun 15 '16 at 12:22
  • True, the ones I have experience with do though. I'll update the answer.
    – Arnfinn
    Jun 15 '16 at 13:00
  • Some journals have a fee that is to be paid by the grant that supported the research; but if there is no grant then the fee is waived. The thinking is: if the government (or a corporate sponsor) is paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for the research, then they should be willing to pay one or two thousand to support publication of the research results.
    – GEdgar
    Jun 15 '16 at 14:10
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    I hear that virtually all reputable math journals do not charge a fee
    – ff524
    Jun 15 '16 at 14:15
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    I guess this depends on your university's criteria. In my experience and opinion, a MSc thesis should demonstrate mastery of recent theory and methodology. A good thesis would be one in which a problem is solved using existing, preferably recent, methods. Developing new theory or methods is not required...
    – Arnfinn
    Jun 15 '16 at 15:27

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