I anticipate a lot of scepticism about my question, but I've written a short paper which identifies and corrects what I believe to be a flaw in the way an age old Newtonian problem is taught in physics. I'm not a student nor an academic, so can't use the services of an established University. So how do lay people like me get a technical paper taken seriously and reviewed by my peers ?.

  • 2
    Technically, if you identify yourself as a layperson, the people you want to review this are probably not your peers (in the professional sense). Which is exactly what makes this difficult.
    – skymningen
    May 24 '17 at 12:21
  • If you want to get it "peer-reviewed", you'll need to submit it to a journal. While rare, it's not unheard of for people to lack affiliations when submitting manuscripts. May 24 '17 at 12:30
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    An additional challenge you will face is that most papers in academia don't deal with how a subject is taught. Some fields have specialized journals, or journals that have sections specializing in such notes. Finding the right venue will be your first challenge. May 24 '17 at 12:38
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    So is it a flaw in the answer to an 'age-old' problem, or you don't think it is being taught well? One is physics, one is pedagogy. Further, the second is likely highly individualistic - different people attack the same physics problem differently, but should arrive at the same answer.
    – Jon Custer
    May 24 '17 at 12:54
  • How short? Is it short enough to post it as a question on physics SE? And how "wrong" is the way it is taught. Remember that many things are simplified to make them more understandable, even if they are not entirely technically correct anymore afterwards. The next question would be "who teaches it wrong?" There is most likely more than one way to teach something. Was it a famous book, a certain teacher, one of the "I explain science" guys on youtube,...?
    – Dirk
    May 24 '17 at 13:58

The fact that you're not in academia is not proibitive for publication, but it sure makes things more difficult. If you think your paper is well written in the sense that it looks like an usual physics paper, you can simply find a proper journal and just submit your work.

But I'd recommend first making your work available online to get opinion from people in the field, as they can point you to the proper journal to submit, they can help you with your writting and, more importantly, they can check if what you claim makes sense or not. I'd recommend posting a question to Physics.SE about the issue you found with a link to your paper.

  • Thank you to everyone who replied to my dilemma. You all made pertinent comments and criticisms. With hindsight I should have said I disagreed with the way a particular Newtonian calculation is performed and believe it's wrong from first principles. The error depends upon the application, by root 2 in one and by x2 in another. My paper (x5 A4 sheets of txt algebra & physics) offers a correction and naturally I've convinced myself I'm right. If there's anyone prepared to critique my paper I would be happy to email a copy for peer review. All I need is your email address. Thanks in anticipation. May 25 '17 at 17:32

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