157

Is this sound and appropriate? No. Your job as a reviewer is not to choose which manuscripts are accepted or rejected. Your job is to advise the editor as to the merits and the flaws of the manuscript, and then let the editor decide the fate of the manuscript. Thus, you should give the manuscript the ratings that most accurately reflect your perception of ...


94

If your intention is to "kill" the manuscript, you should give a reject recommendation. Rejecting does not mean there are no merits to the manuscript. In fact, I would guess that most manuscripts are rejected because the journal is not a good fit, or the results are not strong enough for the journal, but might be appropriate for a lower tier or more ...


92

Certainly the fact that there is a contradiction with previous literature must be prominently advertised; to do otherwise would be scientific misconduct. I would not be confident in publishing such a paper unless I found the mistake in the other paper, or could give a counterexample showing they are wrong. After having carefully worked out the other paper ...


85

If you want to get technical, in general no learning algorithm performs any better than any other. The question then, is what can be learned from your algorithm. In your question, you speak of it as a fond intellectual child that you wish to grow and nurture, and you speak of your personal concerns about acceptance and rejection. Here is the thing, though:...


75

Yes, this is fine. Math papers very often contain results just because they are interesting or instructive, even if they do not seem to be "useful". You could mention this when introducing the result, with something like "The following theorem may help to illustrate the connection between blah blah blah..." Authors also sometimes signal this sort of ...


72

Novelty is a basic requirement in research because without novel results, the work is of at best limited usefulness. It's not useless - review papers are useful - but it's less interesting to the people at the frontier. In the case of a PhD, it is supposed to signify a student is now capable of doing research. Research (as opposed to literature review) ...


71

(I switched the order of a couple of your questions to give the answer a more logical flow.) On the other hand, the results are definitely new, and interesting (for whatever reason N = 20 is the point where interesting effects are predicted). If the results are new, and interesting, then they are by definition publishable. The key point is they add ...


69

What is wrong with proving some never existing idea is not a good idea? Ideas are easy to produce, but unfortunately only a tiny fraction of them are really useful. If you pick an idea at random, it's likely to be not a good idea, and in most cases it would be relatively easy to check it and see it. So, your referees and your editor may wonder why is it so ...


65

Sure this is publishable, but the real question is where? The applied mathematical community, especially the one in which the state of the art methods are developed will probably not see the improvement of the simple algorithm as worth publishing in their venues. Why should they? They know that there is something better which they understand well. In fact, ...


48

Interdisciplinary papers have this problem a lot. A - now - very influential paper in my field, I was told by the first author, was in limbo for 4 years before it was published, despite the senior author being world-famous. Persistence is the key. Try to find someone influential who is knowledgeable and you can convince to help you expanding/adapting/...


47

If I understand the question correctly, the dilemma is whether to just distribute the code or whether to also make a scientific publication out of it. The way that I typically think about this type of problem is to see whether it passes any of the following tests: Does the improvement enable a significant scientific or technical work that was not ...


47

There is more to mathematics than theorems. Sometimes the best part is the methodology of the proof, especially if it can be used to also solve important problems in the field. If everybody has been thinking in a certain way about a class of problems for a hundred years and you give them a new way to think about it, you have made an important contribution. ...


45

It would be very rare for such a thing to happen. However, it might depend on the circumstances behind it. If it was nothing more than a misjudgment by the candidate and the committee or some missed (but relatively obscure) information that wasn't included, probably nothing would happen. People would just say "oh well..." and let it go. However, if some ...


45

Is this valuable to science? If so, why? Because it leads us to understand if tool T works on problem B. How big the "insight" that we gain from this is depends a lot on how different T is to other tools that have already been used on B, or, conversely, how different B is from other problems that T has been applied to. The range here goes from "it is mind-...


43

There is no "kill the manuscript" in a reviewer's job description. If the reviewer thinks the manuscript is unoriginal or flawed (e.g. technically), that's what they should say in their review. They can recommend it to be rejected for the given journal. However, the way the question is put sounds as if the reviewer may want to try to manipulate the ...


43

Ask people Doing literature research on your own is necessary, and you should spend some time on this to make sure that the result is not already available. But there is only so much you can find, and it often happens that the result has previously been published with a different name or title, which you could not have known about. More experienced people ...


41

Forgetting the issue of publication, when two mathematicians find contradictory results, I think they have the collective intellectual duty to try to figure out what is going on. Generally this should mean that one of the purported proofs is wrong; however, it could also be that an even earlier result (used by one or the other contradictory proofs) was ...


38

You can publish anything interesting. There are instance where a new proof of a new theorem is not interesting. There are also cases where a better exposition of the existing proof is interesting.


35

After a journal has accepted an article, they're ethically bound to publish it unless there's an egregious error or abuse on the author's part. Some examples could be: They discover that you actually submitted your paper without acknowledging a critical person who contributed so much to the work that she should have been a co-author; They discover that you ...


35

This answer will be a bit different and not limited to the sciences as the other current answers seem to be. It will also apply to many similar degrees not designated PhD. I'll use the term "doctorate" as an abbreviation for "research doctorate" to distinguish it from other degrees such as those that are clinically focused, for example. Study for a ...


34

First of all, you are absolutely right that you need to cite the paper. Citations should not be to "previous work you based your work on" but to "the state of the art" - whether or not you explicitly based your work on a previous article. The reader should be able to place your work in the context of what is already known on a topic. Second, giving any ...


33

What are the necessary conditions, if any, that allow X and Y to be published as a journal paper? That the method or equipment is new and interesting. It is really as simple as that. It is completely ok if the improvement or motivation of your technique mostly lies in cost savings - that is common in many research communities. If the way how you achieved ...


33

The big question here is whether what you've done is new to the world - whether it's a genuine new advance that nobody in the world has done before, or whether it's something known to the world that you, and perhaps your teacher, have not seen before. Without meaning any disrespect to you and your friend, the second option here is more likely - but the first ...


32

Your impulse to try to find out whether your "mathematical side results" are new and/or publishable is a great one, but I think you need to go about it in a different way. If you are not a mathematician and working without the guidance / mentorship of an experienced mathematician, trying to get your results published in math journals will be somewhere ...


31

Coming especially from a biomedical sciences perspective, I mean proving something works without explaining how it works. (from a comment describing what is meant by 'explainability') this would be an absolute disaster for science. Many results are not explainable according to that criteria; many treatments are known to be successful without being ...


29

Yes, if you've only been asked to make minor changes, the paper stands a very good job of being published. Now you've got to work methodically, and be meticulous with the detail. Go through each required change one by one. If it's not an unacceptable change, make it; and in a new, separate document - a log of the changes = write one or two sentences to ...


29

Here are some suggestions to get your work published, that may or may not apply to your case – you have to judge for yourself. Ask the journals When submitting a rejected paper to another journal, it is often recommendable (and some journals even require it) that you detail to which journals you submitted your papers before and why they rejected it. In ...


28

To add to Nate Eldredge's correct (and useful!) answer and to Alexander Woo's sarcastic quip highlighting the same point, one should keep in mind that pure mathematics is, by its very definition, the part of mathematics that seeks to study mathematical structures for the sake of the pure intellectual and aesthetic value of the mathematical ideas one is ...


27

Papers like this can be published, and can be extremely important There is no inherent reason why a paper of this nature would not be publishable, and indeed, there are some examples where papers of this nature have been published in high-ranking journals and have been extremely important papers. Whether a paper of this nature is publishable largely ...


26

I think that you miss a point in the word original: You have to present original research, not necessarily original results. If you found a cheaper method than anyone before, the research is obviously original, even if you didn't find out anything new. Example from other sciences: In maths, a new proof of an old theorem is original. In CS, a new algorithm ...


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