Questions tagged [publications]

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

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239 votes
8 answers
19k 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 ...
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215 votes
15 answers
59k 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 ...
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205 votes
8 answers
230k 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 ...
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193 votes
13 answers
44k 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 (...
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185 votes
15 answers
35k 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 ...
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173 votes
11 answers
28k views

My research paper filed as a patent in China by my Chinese supervisor without me as inventor

I completed my PhD 3 years ago from a university in the UK. Today I was looking for some papers in google scholar. I found a patent in China. The patent was written in Chinese however, all diagrams/...
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  • 901
173 votes
1 answer
89k views

What does the typical workflow of a journal look like? How should I interpret a particular submission status?

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 ...
172 votes
13 answers
30k 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 ...
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  • 4,135
166 votes
8 answers
12k 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 ...
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166 votes
4 answers
73k 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 ...
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161 votes
10 answers
39k 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 ...
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161 votes
20 answers
31k 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 ...
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159 votes
18 answers
59k views

What does first authorship really mean in field X?

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, ...
159 votes
7 answers
16k views

My paper is being cited in vaccine misinformation. What do I do?

I have recently discovered that anti-vaxxers have been citing one of my papers on Twitter and elsewhere as evidence of a specific 5G-related conspiracy theory surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Of ...
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153 votes
11 answers
41k 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 ...
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  • 1,143
153 votes
8 answers
20k 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 ...
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152 votes
4 answers
31k 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 ...
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149 votes
11 answers
89k 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?
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148 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
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146 votes
11 answers
16k 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 ...
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130 votes
12 answers
36k 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 ...
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130 votes
8 answers
19k views

How do I identify predatory and low quality journals? 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 ...
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128 votes
13 answers
19k views

Is publishing runnable code instead of pseudo code shunned?

In Computer Science is it preferable to describe algorithms using pseudo code rather than real code? If so, why? I've talked to a few academics who think so but I can't understand why. Some of the ...
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126 votes
7 answers
29k 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?
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116 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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113 votes
15 answers
31k 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? ...
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113 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
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  • 1,816
112 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
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  • 1,496
109 votes
10 answers
17k 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 ...
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  • 929
106 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
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  • 1,327
103 votes
4 answers
21k views

A famous scholar sent me an unpublished draft of hers. Then she died. I think her work should be published. What should I do?

A famous scholar sent me an unpublished draft of hers. It was to convince me that a certain philosophical position is wrong (the paper debunks that position). Then she died. I think her work should be ...
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101 votes
11 answers
10k 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. ...
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97 votes
9 answers
55k 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 ...
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95 votes
9 answers
20k 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 ...
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94 votes
8 answers
18k 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 ...
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92 votes
7 answers
19k 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 ...
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  • 4,563
91 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 873
90 votes
12 answers
15k views

Why are many obviously pointless papers published, or worse studied?

In the field I specialize in (I'm currently a moderator of crypto-SE), I see many obviously pointless papers published, often in publications where that costs money. I imagine that's the same in many ...
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  • 1,020
89 votes
4 answers
90k 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, ...
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  • 2,134
88 votes
9 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 1,470
88 votes
11 answers
10k 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 ...
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87 votes
8 answers
14k 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 ...
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85 votes
9 answers
16k views

First author doesn't want a co-author to read the whole paper

First author is a PhD student, as am I. All of the other co-authors are our supervisors. The first author doesn't want me to read the paper, because we are both PhD students and I might plagiarize (?!)...
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85 votes
10 answers
49k 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 ...
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85 votes
5 answers
34k views

Why upload to academic preprint sites like arXiv?

The recent question about the legality of uploading to arXiv made me realize that I don't have any understanding of why one would upload to a preprint site. (I don't work in a field where they seem ...
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  • 3,580
85 votes
9 answers
19k 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 ...
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  • 721
83 votes
9 answers
17k 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 ...
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82 votes
10 answers
11k 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, ...
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  • 17.2k
81 votes
13 answers
16k views

Why is it bad to judge a paper by citation count?

I hear a lot from the experts that citation count is a bad idea as a measure of judging a paper. This seems simply counter-intuitive to me. I would like to know if any study has been done in this ...
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80 votes
15 answers
13k 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?

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