I'm currently working in a project that is funded by me and the supervisor doesn't contribute much to my work (he is just directing me slightly if I asked him) and he told me that he doesn't need to publish and I can publish as a sole author if I want. I only have a Master degree, can I publish as a sole author? can some journals accept that? Should I contact a journal to ask? if the journal agrees, so this is will be fine? (By the way my field is Biochemistry)

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    I'd ask him if he would be willing to revise the manuscript if he was a coauthor. Having at least one experienced coauthor has some benefits. Your first publication is usually a challenge and doing it all alone is even harder.
    – user9482
    Jul 17, 2017 at 5:37
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    I only have a Master degree, can I publish as a sole author? -- Sure, why not? I did. My advisor did. Some of my former students did. But you might want to ask your advisor (or another more experienced colleague) to give you some feedback on your manuscript before you submit it.
    – JeffE
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:11
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    @Roland I would consider helping learn to publish to be part of the role of supervisor, irrespective of authorship.
    – Jessica B
    Jul 19, 2017 at 6:19
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    @Roland I can. I do not consider the advice that I give my students about writing (aka "soaking their papers in red ink") a sufficient contribution for coauthorship. It's just part of my job as an advisor.
    – JeffE
    Jul 19, 2017 at 20:16
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    @JeffE Your field might be different. In my field, no advisor would only help with the writing. I know of maybe two or three one-author reviews (published in reputable journals) and all of these have been written by researchers close to the end of their career.
    – user9482
    Jul 20, 2017 at 4:56

2 Answers 2


Everyone can submit articles to journals, there is no degree requirement. There is nothing negative about single author manuscripts.

Manuscripts should (ideally) be evaluated by its content not by its author list.

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    An answer that kind of acknowledges independent researchers without formal degrees. You make me happy, sir :)
    – Weckar E.
    Jul 17, 2017 at 7:14
  • I had a singe-author manuscript desk-rejected when I was a PhD student. The apparent reason, according to editor, was that they did not like to accept work of student done without supervision.
    – kfx
    Jul 18, 2017 at 17:44
  • Just to add: in this specific situation, the supervisor needs an acknowledgement.
    – Jessica B
    Jul 19, 2017 at 6:17

I am a PhD student in Aerospace engineering and my research is computational mechanics. The first 4 papers of mine are publicized all by myself (IF: 1.9-2.8). It's simply because the work is done only by me and I am a self-motivated researcher. Now, I also have papers with my advisor. You need to talk with your advisor and ask his opinion. My advisor just told me that since he did not contribute to the work, he did need to list his name on my paper. I believe this is the answer for most professors.
However, I have to admit that most grad students' first paper is publicized with their advisors. That is the main reason that you have this question. But journals never care about it. When I publicized my first paper, the journal editor called me prof. Li. At that time, I was just a MS student.

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