I have done my own research independently from any academic institution. The theses are mainly biochemical, and aquaculture. I would like to have the work peer reviewed.

I tried to use researchgate.net but they have created a barrier to entry for autodidacts, and non-institutional researchers. The question answer format for stackexchage is also unsuitable.

Are there other web-portals specifically for independent, non-institutional, autodidact researchers?

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    "I would like to have the work peer-reviewed." Why not submit it to a peer-reviewed journal then? That's generally better than finding some random, potentially untrustworthy website to upload your work to. Oct 11, 2017 at 19:56
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    @astronat which journals accept independent work? Oct 11, 2017 at 20:03
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    I've no idea, I'm not a biochemist. A better approach would be to look at the literature you cite most often and see what journals those articles are published in. Then go to the website of those journals and see what their submission criteria are. Oct 11, 2017 at 20:08
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    Virtually all journals will accept submissions from unaffiliated researchers. See Does one need to be affiliated with a university to publish papers. It seems like this was mentioned already in answers to your previous question.
    – ff524
    Oct 11, 2017 at 20:50
  • Do you have any professional associations that might lend credibility? For example, are you in an R&D department or do you do technical work related to the field?
    – Nat
    Oct 12, 2017 at 2:16

2 Answers 2


You need not have any institutional affiliation to submit your work to the usual peer-reviewed journals. The only downside to lack of affiliation is that people might wonder "who you are". But there's no rule against anyone in the world submitting...

The "gotcha" is that if your writing style, formatting, referencing, and so on do not approximately conform to the standards of the milieu, people will almost surely reject your submission out of hand. That is, it is critical that you not communicate any sort of "crackpottery", which is often signalled simply by extreme, random non-conformity to simple professional standards.

So you might want to try to get advice from a seasoned professional, who knows the "parlance/standards/prejudices" of the profession. This may not be easy, especially if you approach them with a snarky or combative attitude, but I'd wager that you really do need this help.

That is, to get any kind of hearing, you "need" to demonstrate that you can comply, to some extent, with the implicit conformity demands of the milieu. Otherwise people won't pay attention to you at all. No, of course, this is not any official statement, but it is obviously the mechanism in almost every human activity.

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    Note that a number of journals are also blinded, which means reviewers won't even know you don't have an affiliation.
    – Fomite
    Oct 12, 2017 at 2:50

Join an organization

Most major fields have at least one major organization for academics, professionals, students, teachers, interested industrial representatives, etc.. For example, if you're in the US or other country where they're active, you might be interested in the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Professional organizations can help you meet others in your research area, publish your work (for example, ACS runs several major journals), and potentially find employment.

Attend the meetings

Once you're in the relevant organization, you can try to attend a conference (and some allow you to attend without membership, but often with a higher entrance fee). Major organizations tend to host at least 1 major annual conference that people come from around the world to attend, plus a bunch of smaller regional conferences and special conferences devoted to particular subtopics.

For example, ACS's next major meeting is the "255th ACS National Meeting & Exposition: Nexus of Food, Energy & Water", coming up in March. From their landing page:

Why Attend?

Discover new research, network, advance your career.

Learn More

  • 16,000 attendees

  • 11,000 papers presented

  • 16% of attendees are International

  • 22% of attendees are from Industry

  • 47% of attendees are from Academia

  • 22% of attendees are Students

They're taking abstracts now. If you want to present, you can go ahead and write up a proposal. In my personal experience, it's not too hard to get a proposal accepted - but whether or not people happen to attend your talk is another matter, so you'll want it to be interesting for that.

Once some of the abstracts have gone through, they'll post a schedule online where you can read about what everyone's doing and plan which talks you want to see. At larger conferences, there'll often be lots of talks going on at the same time in different conference rooms, so you'll want to plan out your schedule in advance.

Then, network!!!. Ask questions after others' talks; meet up with people doing research similar to your own and industrial representatives looking to head-hunt talent. Print off some business cards in advance if you'd like; mostly with your name, contact info (ideally email, possibly LinkedIn/etc.), professional association (if your career is related to the field), and some quick reference to what you're there about, just so they can recall what your topic/area is when they get back home after the conference.

Also, if you do present, you'll often have an opportunity (or obligation, depending on the organization) to post an abstract on their website. If you're looking for exposure, this is a good option. You might even post your other work on a pre-print server and reference it (assuming that it's related).

Once you get home, add people to your professional networking. Put them on your LinkedIn or other professional media. Try to get involved in the organization; talk on its forums, etc..

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