I'm not professional scientist. I work a normal job and don't make my living out of science. In fact I have never gained any money by doing science. However, I have my scientific ideas, I browse journals, collect publications and am trying to built a research program on my own. I have been doing it for years and I believe I have reached a point where I can propose something very interesting to the professional communities in several fields of science, as well as philosophy.

The problem is I'm not affiliated with anyone and don't have PhDs. I want to attract attention from professionals and even get some of the experiments I could propose done. I even don't wish to do them themselves and get money for my efforts-I just want to see am I right? I have been making advances to various journals and this site's communities in the last year or so and I think I might got to publish something soon (in a year or so), however it will most likely be in a philosophical or theoretic journal and I will be still pretty far away from experimental verification.

So, my question is, if I don't have access to any funds but want to see am I right or not what are my options to actually get someone to test my predictions and do experiments based on my ideas (or as I would like or call them-blueprints)? How can I reach a community without the needed background?

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    Your title is about getting published as a non-professional, and we already have questions about that. Your question body seems to be about finding someone who would execute the experiments you thought of. This seems to be an entirely different question, and one that might not be a duplicate of an existing one. Please clarify and align title and body. – Arno Oct 10 '17 at 10:56
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    I edited the title to better reflect the body of the question. (The question in the previous title would have been a duplicate; see Does one need to be affiliated with a university to publish papers? and related questions.) – ff524 Oct 10 '17 at 18:28
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    Which field are you in? – Davidmh Oct 10 '17 at 18:31
  • @Davidmh , it's really complicated to explain, but nevertheless I will give it a try. For me all of Nature is 1, so there aren't any fields by the Nature of them. They are only man-made constructions. My primarily field (the one I have the background and degree to work in) is biology and to be more specific-a "strange combination" of theoretical biology, philosophy of biology and origins of life but the idea I want to test has more to do with organic synthesis and nanotechnology than with any of these. I really can't explain it easily but its something "special". – Yordan Yordanov Oct 10 '17 at 22:55
  • I used my experience in theoretical biology and philosophy of viology to devise a (purely theoretical up to now) "limit" or more like a "borderline" between a chemical system and a living organism. This is what I can publish but the paper will be more like a philosophical essay or a theoretical investigation, than an actual research proposal. Based on this "limit" however I can determine if a definite structure can have definite properties on the molecular and nano scales. This is something I think can actually be tested experimentally. Then, if one already knows what s/he is looking for s/he – Yordan Yordanov Oct 10 '17 at 23:05

What you are looking for is research collaboration. If you are not an active researcher, it is unlikely that you have a novel idea that nobody has ever considered. But if assuming that you have a brilliant idea, you can take the following steps:

  1. You have to conduct a thorough literature review to make sure that your idea is worthy of being tested.
  2. You should write a brief description of your ideas, how is the intended research, and what are the expected outcomes?
  3. You should clarify how you can contribute to the research. Merely having an idea is not enough.
  4. Then, you can send your proposal to a research group to consider if they are interested or not. Don't expect a positive response quickly. They all have lots of ideas for the funds they have.
  5. If you are able to attract their attention, the PI can use his/her available fund or write a joint proposal with you.

If you think you are close to publishing a research article (theoretical as you said), you have already done the steps 1-3. Send your published paper to an experimental group with similar interests.

In reply to the original title of your question, building a research collaboration has nothing to do with being a professional researcher. If you were a professional theoretical researcher, you still had to do the same thing for collaborating with an experimentalist to do the research.

As @Arno noted, your question is not about publishing, as your first step is how to conduct the research. The intended journal does not need you to be a professional researcher.

Affiliation is the place in which the research has been carried out. If your research is theoretical (not needing advanced facility), you can publish a research paper with your home address as long as the scientific content is considerable and valid. In many disciplines, the peer-review process is double-blind. Therefore, the referees do not know who you are or what your affiliation is. And no journal, to my knowledge, has an official requirement of being a professional researcher.

  • I have managed to do steps 1 (at least in all the areas I'm familiar with and I have my years-long background working in) and 2 and now I'm somewhat in the middle of step 3, however, what I really need to od to manage this thing work is for somebody well versed in organic synthesis (preferably) or nanotechnology (less preferable) to agree that my ideas in the field of origin of life (where my expertize lie) are applicable to their fields and could be considerate. But this quite huge leap of faith if you consider how far from each other are these fields. – Yordan Yordanov Oct 10 '17 at 23:48
  • If you add the fact that my background is dubious and my paper will be in theoretical/philosophical journal it really makes it all too hard to consider it, too. I'm asking this question here only to see could I make even one researcher believe that there could be a link between origins of life and nanotechnology to see how people will react in general, but managing to "sell it out" to a professional researcher is something entirely different and to be frank I doubt myself every time I try to think of it. I just want to know is it worth dreaming for or should I abandon the effort altogether? – Yordan Yordanov Oct 10 '17 at 23:52

You can write a paper, an opinion paper probably, where you put forward your ideas, theories and hypothesis. You may even make suggestions for research experiments. If you can attract the interest of other researchers, some of them might start testing your ideas, probably without asking for your help. This would get your ideas tested, and it wouldn't cost you anything (except publication costs of your paper).

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