I finished my PhD in 2012. In 2013 in presented my work at a research conference (conference paper). Since then I have worked on and off to write up the paper to submit to a journal. My paper in on Researchgate where it is still getting a lot of reads - over 2000 reads. I was wondering, if it is still possible for me to get the editing done and submit to a journal, of course with updated references showing recent work. Or its too late after 4 years. The work is in Project Management and there are have been no new studies in this area since my work because of the geography I work in.

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    I know nothing of your particular field, and what publishing norms are, but from what you describe I think the answer is a resounding "yes, you can publish it". Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 11:47
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    You can always try... Most cases research does not expire as fast as most assume, thought the impact maybe bigger when fresh and timely
    – Greg
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 7:57
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    @KhalidAhmadKhan, please explain about the conference paper. From my reading of question, you have published the article in a conference proceedings, which would mean that it could not be published again elsewhere (even if the conference proceedings were not archival).
    – Carol
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Any novel work can be published regardless of what time it was first produced provided the following conditions are met.

  1. The method/concept/matter itself was not published before by anyone.
  2. Inclusion of a survey of recent literature addressing the present significance of your work.

The second point also includes a third: your work should be still of scope and interest at the present time.

If the above factors are considered, it is (technically) never too late to publish. There are papers that are published that span decades of research.

It also depends on the field/domain. For instance, when it comes to computer science, the sooner the better. This is because in fields where the current trend is volatile, you can never tell when your work will become obsolete or already published.

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    For an example: Brian May went back and got his Ph.D. in astrophysics 37 years after he started working on his dissertation. Not much had been done on the topic he was studying during those 37 years -- so to a large extent, the work was still publishable. (One can only surmise that he must have found something outside of academia that was equally important to work on during the 37-year gap period.)
    – tonysdg
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 2:49

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