Questions tagged [publications]

Questions related to academic publications including online and traditional journals, books, and conference proceedings.

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220
votes
8answers
16k views

How to read papers without falling into a rabbit hole?

Often while reading a paper, I will see a citation that that seems more relevant than my current one. I'll switch to the new paper, only to experience a similar feeling. Or maybe I need to look ...
189
votes
14answers
48k views

I believe I have solved a famous open problem. How do I convince people in the field that I am not a crank?

I am interested in the situation where you have a very interesting result. For instance, you have solved a very important open problem. However, you are not known in the field and do not have any ...
183
votes
12answers
40k views

Can I add a baby as a co-author of a scientific paper, to protest against co-authors who haven't made any contribution?

Can I put the name of my baby as one of the co-authors of a scientific paper? I know it sounds disturbing, but it's a way of mine to protest against co-authors that haven't made any contribution (...
175
votes
15answers
30k views

How can I convince graduate students in China to not copy/paste from the Internet into their research papers?

I'm posting from an anonymous account, for reasons that will be obvious. I'm an associate professor in China at one of the top 10 universities in China, and have been working in China for a number of ...
169
votes
13answers
27k views

Religious supervisor wants to thank god in the acknowledgements

My PhD supervisor and I are co-authoring a paper. We have an excellent relation, and he is both a well-regarded scientist in its field and a deeply religious person. In our co-authored paper, he wants ...
163
votes
8answers
10k views

Why don't researchers publish failed experiments?

The following might be a slight generalization for all fields but something I've noticed especially in the field of Scientific Computing: Why don't people publish failures? I mean, if they tried some ...
159
votes
10answers
36k views

In a formal paper, should I censor “brainf**k”, the name of a programming language?

I'm working on a formal paper about programming languages. I am going to talk about two intentionally difficult languages, brainfuck and JSFuck. Should I leave the names as they are, or censor the ...
156
votes
20answers
26k views

How do you judge the quality of a journal?

A colleague and I recently submitted a paper to a journal with an impressive-sounding name, the "International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Research". According to their ...
152
votes
4answers
29k views

Is Obama's JAMA paper OK?

As some of you may have heard, Barack Obama recently published a paper in JAMA describing the US health care reforms (link). First of all, I am not trying to start a discussion on the validity of the ...
150
votes
8answers
17k views

Why are most scientific articles locked behind a paywall?

Can someone give me a legitimate, convincing argument as to why scientific papers should be locked behind subscriptions and paywalls? That unless you happen to be on a campus, you can't get view a ...
149
votes
11answers
38k views

I (independently) solved a fellow student's research problem. I want to publish it. What should I do?

A fellow student and I are part of the same graduate student research group (in applied mathematics), under the same PhD supervisor. The (relatively new) student came to the group with an idea for a ...
145
votes
16answers
50k views

What does first authorship really mean?

In my field (theoretical computer science), authors of any paper are always listed alphabetically; our papers don't have "first authors". (Well... hardly ever.) In most other disciplines, at least ...
140
votes
11answers
13k views

Is it ethical to submit a paper with the name of a co-author who cannot be contacted?

The paper in question is based on research my collaborator X and I did together some months ago. Our respective contributions to the research were around 2/3 for X and 1/3 for me. In terms of the ...
137
votes
4answers
38k views

Rediscovery of calculus in 1994: what should have happened to that paper?

There's a well-known paper in academic circles that features a rediscovery of the trapezoidal rule for numerical integration by a medical researcher: “A Mathematical Model for the Determination of ...
137
votes
3answers
13k views

What to do if a referee plagiarises the result after rejecting a paper?

I find myself in an awkward situation. Nearly two years ago I submitted a paper to a reputable mathematics journal. After 15 months it was rejected with the rationale that there had been papers ...
128
votes
1answer
52k views

What does the typical workflow of a journal look like?

What steps does a manuscript typically go through from submission to publication (or rejection) in a typical journal? How are these steps referred to, in particular by editorial systems, and how long ...
124
votes
12answers
34k views

I am an editor for a lousy paper and I found a better algorithm than theirs. Must I share it with them?

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time ...
124
votes
11answers
66k views

Does one need to be affiliated with a university to publish papers?

Assume you have already completed your undergrad and have been working for a number of years. Does one need to be part of a university or a learning institution to publish papers?
121
votes
7answers
83k views

How do you cite a Github repository?

I am working on a honours thesis and have developed a Fortran library that I would like to cite in it. In some places they suggest to quote the documentation of the project but this is something I ...
114
votes
5answers
11k views

If I request a paper through my university library, must they pay a substantial amount of money?

I was asked to referee a mathematics article, submitted for publication in a reputable journal. To evaluate it, I also wanted to look at a cited article which it claims to extend. Upon searching ...
113
votes
4answers
12k views

What are “fake”, “shady”, and/or “predatory” journals?

This question is in response to this very interesting question. The original post mentioned that they wish to retract their paper from a "fake" journal. I don't know what a fake journal is but better ...
109
votes
10answers
16k views

PhD Student : Publish Paper with Wife?

I am a PhD student, working on Applied Math while my wife is a software engineer. I plan on going to academia after PhD and will start to job hunt soon. A few weeks ago, I thought of an idea that ...
109
votes
6answers
18k views

What is the point of listing 1000 authors for a single scientific paper?

I arrived at the printer room this afternoon to collect my printing and I happened to notice that someone was yet to collect a printout of the gravitational waves paper that has been all over the ...
108
votes
7answers
19k views

Choice of personal pronoun in single-author papers

Which personal pronoun is appropriate in single-author papers - 'I' or 'we'? Could the use of 'I' be considered egotistical? Or will the use of 'we' be considered to be grammatically incorrect?
108
votes
6answers
14k views

With Beall's List gone, how can I tell if a journal is spam?

Jeffrey Beall removed his list of predatory journals from the internet this past Sunday. While the reasons for his doing this are not yet public, this is a real loss of a valuable service. Does anyone ...
107
votes
15answers
27k views

Why are research papers written in language that's difficult for undergraduate students?

As an undergraduate student, I find it hard to understand research papers on any particular subject. Why don't researchers use simple language for their reports, so that everyone would understand? ...
100
votes
3answers
6k views

Submitting paper proving “X” soon after paper proving “X-epsilon”

I am a math postdoc, currently working on some conjecture. To avoid going into details, let's formulate it as follows: "every runcible doohickey is cromulent". A senior colleague told me last year ...
94
votes
11answers
7k views

E-mail address to use in publications

It is customary to use one's academic e-mail address as contact address in publications; I have seen once or twice an @gmail.com address being used instead, but it simply looked unprofessional. ...
93
votes
8answers
17k views

Where do bad papers go to die?

After a paper is rejected several times by several journals it begins to become clear that the research was off the mark no matter how much editing, fixing, and revisions are done. Therefore, What do ...
91
votes
8answers
16k views

When should a supervisor be an author?

I understand that in a lot of big-lab fields it is common for the principal investigator to append their name to a paper even if they did not write the paper, design the experiment, or collect data ...
90
votes
4answers
12k views

How to react when a team of colleagues obviously made up some results?

In a recent paper, a team of colleagues published results that are clearly made up. I am 100 % sure of that because my position at the university involves the management of the animals they used in ...
89
votes
9answers
32k views

Is there an affordable way for non-students to subscribe to multi-journals/archives?

As a student I had free access to thousands of scholarly articles through my universities in databases/archives such as JSTOR, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Econlit, PubMed, etc, etc. With no ...
84
votes
7answers
13k views

Are there good reasons to avoid using color in research papers?

I do scientific research, and I noticed for a lot of plots, the different curves are represented with different styles, but they are all black. For instance, one curve may be a solid line, one may be ...
84
votes
9answers
18k views

How to let a PhD student know that their research is not as good as they think it is

I am a postdoc and I have been talking to a PhD student about his research, as his interests are closer to mine than to his advisor's. He is generally nice, smart, and hard working. However, I think ...
83
votes
11answers
9k views

How to train students to write high-quality research papers?

As someone supervising postgrad students, I wonder what is the best way to train these students to write high-quality research papers? The best way seems to be through coauthorship but ... On the ...
81
votes
9answers
16k views

Is it appropriate (as a PhD student) to email other researchers asking about some details in their papers?

It has happened on several occasion now, that I read a paper, understand 95% of it, but there are some niggling details which I simply don't get. I ask around, I ask my advisor, and nobody is able to ...
81
votes
10answers
35k views

What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications

What are objective advantages or disadvantages of using the markup language LaTeX instead of a WYSIWYG word processor like MS Word or LibreOffice Writer? Please use objective arguments to prevent a ...
81
votes
8answers
12k views

Citing paywalled articles accessed via illegal web sharing

There are a few sites which offer paid articles for free. It’s something unethical, especially for those who upload to that site, but for me, it’s good for expanding knowledge. As a readers, can we ...
79
votes
9answers
6k views

Attitudes towards self-plagiarism

I am planning to write several papers exploring various aspects of the same scientific question. Each of these papers must have an introduction which motivates it and explains the relationship between ...
77
votes
10answers
10k views

Do Asian authors have a different style of academic writing from European authors?

I'm an Asian student working with a European prof. My adviser told me several times that when he read my writings (our papers), he just wanted to rewrite it. He told me that my English was rather OK, ...
76
votes
12answers
23k views

I was pushed to submit a mediocre paper to a conference. To my surprise it was accepted. How to save face?

I wrote a paper under pressure from my supervisor who gives high importance for publishing. I feel that both the conference and my paper are mediocre. What is done is done. How to distance myself from ...
76
votes
12answers
14k views

Why don't I see publications criticising other publications?

This is about technology research specifically. Often when reading a publication I'll be thinking to myself: "Yeah, you've got that thing, but what about this and that limitation you brush off and ...
76
votes
7answers
17k views

What should be included in a disclaimer about the omission of gender-neutral language in a bachelor's thesis?

I'm working on my bachelor's thesis to get my bachelor's degree at a German university. I am not sure about the situation in other countries, but German universities are very sensitive when it comes ...
76
votes
6answers
10k views

Cannot present paper at conference. Instructor wants to move me to second author

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am not able to present my paper at a Computer Science conference. Without the presentation the paper will not be published. My instructor has said that she will ...
76
votes
4answers
44k views

How do I reference the Python programming language in a thesis or a paper?

I'm writing a scientific article and a dissertation in biology, for which I used Python for simulations. Some people in our department, especially the "non-computer-people", don't know what Python is, ...
75
votes
3answers
4k views

A manuscript I refereed gave me an idea for a paper, not sure how to proceed

So, last week I refereed a paper for a journal. The paper in question is a reply to a previous paper by a different author: it points out a serious problem in the original paper and then proposes a ...
74
votes
8answers
15k views

I proved a theorem I heard from another researcher. Can I publish my results?

Some time ago I heard a talk in which the speaker mentioned some theorem. I needed this theorem for another paper I wrote. I looked for this theorem in the relevant literature (which I know quite well)...
73
votes
6answers
15k views

Can I correct a mistake that the reviewers didn't spot in a paper that has not been accepted yet?

Recently my paper was accepted pending major revisions (i.e., not yet accepted), and while following the reviewers' comments and revising my paper, I realized that both reviewers missed a mistake that ...
73
votes
20answers
18k views

Is it acceptable to have a research paper with no references?

I (an undergrad) and 2 other profs from my department have been working on something and we were thinking of submitting our work to a conference (a pretty well known one) this week. The fact is there ...
73
votes
13answers
9k views

Preprint services other than arXiv (for other fields)

While arXiv is great, it covers only topics in physics, mathematics and computer science. Are there any good preprint storage places for other scientific disciplines?