For about 2 months now I have been sitting on a draft of what I think is a very nice research article, the first that I wish to publish. My advisor and some other professors have seen my arguments and agree that everything looks okay.

My advisor believes that we should submit it... at ... some... point... but I am very anxious to submit the paper to a journal already. For one thing I would like to have it published by the time I graduate to help me find a job.

Question 1. Is my advisor employing some strategy by delaying me, hoping that I will revise the article or something? I am still doing a lot of editing, but I'm not sure the paper is improving significantly. This editing may just be a biproduct of my anxiety and compulsiveness. I could probably do it forever, but the article must be sent off eventually!

Question 2. How can I 'light the fire' under my advisor? I'd hate to go around him, so maybe there is some tool I can use to prod him a bit. If his delaying were to cause my ideas to get scooped, I think I would absolutely lose my mind!!!

  • 2
    If your advisor a coauthor? If not, you don't need their permission to submit (although it's best to keep them informed).
    – JeffE
    Jun 26, 2016 at 23:32
  • No he is not. Since I have never tried to publish before, I would feel strange sending it off without him telling me to. Jun 26, 2016 at 23:36
  • Why does your advisor say not to submit it right now? (You have asked him why, right?)
    – ff524
    Jun 26, 2016 at 23:37
  • 1
    I would feel strange — Of course. Adulthood feels strange to everybody at first.
    – JeffE
    Jun 26, 2016 at 23:38
  • 6
    So then my usual advice applies: just talk to your advisor. How is he supposed to know that you would like to submit it now, if you haven't told him? Tell him what you've told us (that you are anxious to submit it right away), ask him if he thinks it's advisable to submit it now in its current state, and if he says no, ask him what further changes he thinks are needed.
    – ff524
    Jun 26, 2016 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


You believe the paper is ready. S/he doesn't, it seems. Ask him what conditions the paper needs to fulfil to make the paper submittable, and, if it is something that you can do, do that.

If it's him/her who needs to read the paper (but you say they approved of the arguments), then ask how you can proceed to make the paper being wrapped up soon, to avoid scooping.

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