Imagine you are minding your own business when you receive an email from someone who claims to have discovered the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. He provides some “details” about his theory, then says he wants to meet you and / or arrange a time for a phone conservation to discuss it. What should you do?

The only thing I’ve seen is this 1983 article by Underwood Dudley about what to do when the trisector comes. Dudley says not to examine the trisector’s proof, and also not to direct the trisector to the proof that trisection is impossible. Instead one should send computer-generated results showing that the trisection is imperfect. Problem with this is that it only works for questions that can be attacked by computers – there was a recent question here on Academia SE challenging conservation of angular momentum which this won’t work for.

What are some general guidelines for dealing with these situations? Re: ignoring the crank – one can ignore emails, but what if he goes calls or visits in person?

The situation maybe a little bit unusual, and I am asking for your opinion.

I have taught an undergraduate course on differential geometry of curves and surfaces last Fall semester. One of the students in my class, whom I think is really bright, told me that he found the proof of a certain well known theorem is a little bit hard to understand. We had some discussion on it, but I was quite busy so I wasn’t paying too much attention on it, so we didn’t get any good conclusion.

Recently I was revising my lecture notes and I was reminded of his question. Then he and I found that no fewer than three books (two textbooks and a research monograph) give wrong proofs of that theorem. We are quite satisfied with what we found, and his question was settled. Then he asked whether we should write a paper on this issue and submit it to some undergraduate research journal, like Involve. At first I didn’t think it was a good idea because finding a mistake of a proof of a theorem in three books isn’t really a big deal, and I told him we could send an email to the authors of those books about the mistakes. But then I think his idea might not be as bad as it seems to be because, essentially, when an undergrad can find some mistakes in well-known textbooks that (it seems to me that) nobody can find, it means something to me. My concern is I don’t know even if we are talking about an undergraduate research journal, do the editors think it’s certainly not worth a try or the opposite?

On the math side of that theorem, those three books use the same techniques but with different assumptions (or you may want to call simplifications). However, the proof in each of those books have different mathematical mistakes (i.e., not just some simple typos). So far we only found one textbook which gives a correct proof. The other books which contain a correct proof of this theorem are either too sketchy/wordy or those books are research monographs.

Since I have no experience on writing a paper based on the “discovery” of this nature, any comment is welcome. On one hand I think it’s something to an undergrad student and on the other hand, I am not sure about what the editors think.

Thank you.

When a new journal (not indexed in Scopus or Clarivate) recommends a major revision to a paper with Comments sufficient to make the paper a First tier journal paper, is it worth it putting in much effort towards resubmitting Or amend the paper and send to a high tier journal? I am thinking the editors may not like that especially if the author has written to them indicating his interest in their journal and seeking that his paper be considered for review after a long “awaiting reviewer selection”.

Side Information: The new Journal can be accessed on a reputable publisher’s database and the editorial board consists of well known personalities in their area.

I am a PhD student working in computer science. I have done some research have found out few result. I am the only author in this research paper. I have two options first one is publishing in a local conference ( National level ) or publish it in a well known tier 3 international conference. I am confused what to do?

I will be looking for a Post-doc at foreign university in the future.

Question : Publishing in local conference vs publishing in a well known tier 3 international conference

I discovered (or maybe rediscovered) some objects related to mathematical logic.

I feel that possibly (note that I am not sure) these objects are exactly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as these words are used in traditional Christianity.

Is there any way to publish it for wider dissemination in academy?

I could submit it into a theology journal, but it is pure mathematics, not what theological journals publish.

I could try to publish the objects which I discovered in a math logic journal, but:

  • the theory is not enough advanced for modern logic research
  • I am not a logic expert and cannot provide relevant references
  • I am not sure if these three objects were already known to math community under different names
  • the claim that these objects are possibly God’s persons is not a reason to be published in a math journal

So is there any hope to publish this “result” anywhere except of my own site and Google Documents? Can you propose me any way to publish it?

I wrote this article with a radically new idea what is the function of the sense of humor.

I sent my article to one journal. They said they won’t publish because they publish only experimentally verifiable results.

In my article I propose several brain experiments, but they may provide only circumstantial evidence for my theory.

Also my cites list may be outdated.

I am not a psychology professional. Can this article nevertheless be published in a reputable psychology journal?

I wrote this article with a radically new idea what is the function of the sense of humor.

I sent my article to one journal. They said they won’t publish because they publish only experimentally verifiable results.

In my article I propose several brain experiments, but they may provide only circumstantial evidence for my theory.

Also my cites list may be outdated.

I am not a psychology professional. Can this article nevertheless be published in a reputable psychology journal?

From my understanding of the reviewers’ comments, it means our proposed solution adds nothing new to the body of knowledge even if we get better results than the state-of-the-art work.

The reviewers believe our work is just an application of existing literature. While many published works do integration + per-existence method to enhance the result, we use pre-processing + per-existence method to do the same. We were rejected, while others were accepted.

Any advice is appreciated.

I am an undergraduate mathematics major. I have made a draft of a paper on group theory. My paper is not a breakthrough. After scanning through a lot of journals I have come down to Journal of Group Theory and Journal of Algebra. Both are prestigious math journals. And the recent history of both journals doesn’t support undergraduate authors.

I do have the support of my advisor so editing will not be a big problem for me.

Do undergraduates have a decent shot of publishing in these journals?