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Best Way To Publish an "Indie" Research Paper?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the don-your-suit-of-thick-skin dept.

Math 279

alexmipego writes "I'm a developer, and a few months ago while working on a common geodesic problem (distance between two GPS points) I started to research a new algorithm that greatly improves the performance over existing algorithms. After relearning a lot of math I'm now fairly close to the final algorithm, after which I'll run extensive benchmarks comparing my algorithm with the most commonly used ones. After spending so much time on this, and if the final results are positive, I feel that simply posting this type of work on a blog might not be the best option, so I'm looking into something more formal, like a research paper. I've no experience on those, have not even read a complete one, so my first question is what resources do you recommend to learn how to write one? And even after I write it, I can't expect to be published by Science or other high-profile publications. So where should I send it to make it known by people in the respective fields and be taken seriously?"

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archive.org (0)

psihodelia (1796396) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680912)

Try archive.org

arxiv.org (5, Informative)

hyperquantization (804651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681344)

I'm pretty sure you mean arxiv.org (the 'x' is the greek letter "chi", hence why it's procounced like "archive")

Re:archive.org (5, Informative)

jameson (54982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681612)

As for writing the paper, here's my favourite set of slides on this topic:

SPJ's `How to write a research paper' [microsoft.com]

Yes, SPJ works at Microsoft Research these days, since they sponsor his primary pet project (the Glasgow Haskell Compiler), but he has been extremely successful before and after going there. I've done enough writing to basically agree with him-- there are variations here and there when it comes to structuring the paper, but his main points are very sensible and good.

It's actually really simple (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32680914)

You can either submit it to a conference (look on google for them) or to a journal (also google them). They usually have an electronic form to upload your paper and after that it's simply wether the reviewers think it's worthwhile to publish. There really isn't anything complicated in publishing a paper other than having a good paper.

Wait a sec (2, Informative)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681140)

I'm not sure about this -- it's been a long time since I was in academia, but don't the most prestigious journals (and most journals, really) have as one of their criteria that the paper not have been published elsewhere, and wouldn't a conference presentation count as such?

Someone who knows this stuff for sure, please answer on this -- what constitutes a previous exposure/publishing such that a prestigious journal won't publish the paper?

Or are those old rules which people no longer follow?

Re:Wait a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681244)

Maybe that is why he said "or".

Re:Wait a sec (3, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681258)

I've never heard of a paper presentation at a conference being considered as previous publication, but I'm not in the same field. Lots and lots of papers that are published start out by being presented at conferences, and then the authors rework them after that. Now if the conference is publishing proceedings, that's a different story.

But as some other commenters are suggesting, your best bet would likely be to find a professor who works in this area and maybe co-write a paper with them. You can provide the substance, but they can connect it with what's going on in the field, references to appropriate literature, etc. They'll also be up to speed with what the best publishing venue will be. No, it won't be Science, but there are plenty of other well-regarded journals as well as specialty journals that might accept it.

Re:Wait a sec (5, Informative)

Matrix14 (135171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681550)

If he is publishing in computer science, a conference counts as a publication exactly as much as a journal does. CS conferences are peer reviewed and the top tier ones are as prestigious as top tier journals in other fields. In CS, journals are used more as a record of a large body of work than as a venue for first publication.

Re:Wait a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681276)

I'm not sure about this -- it's been a long time since I was in academia, but don't the most prestigious journals (and most journals, really) have as one of their criteria that the paper not have been published elsewhere, and wouldn't a conference presentation count as such?

Someone who knows this stuff for sure, please answer on this -- what constitutes a previous exposure/publishing such that a prestigious journal won't publish the paper?

Or are those old rules which people no longer follow?

In CS, at least, top conference papers are often republished in extended form as journal papers. Conferences have page limits, while journals do not. The journal version may have more detailed experiments, complete and detailed formal proofs, etc.

Re:Wait a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681302)

You can't submit the same paper to more than one place. However, you will commonly find papers that are closely-related to another (by the same authors). They put an emphasis on a different aspect of the research or present some follow-up results. It's different, so it passes. A little weak, perhaps, but the reality is that everyone does it, so others do it as well, in order to keep up. Two closely-related journal pubs are more unusual. You'll typically see a journal pub + one or two conference respins.

Re:Wait a sec (4, Informative)

infalliable (1239578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681334)

You can't publish it verbatim from a conference to a journal, but there are quite a few people who publish essentially the same thing in a conference and a journal. You just have to rewrite it with a different spin or maybe a little more work/discussion/etc. Say in one, you focus on the accuracy of your model/method and the other focuses on speed vs. other methods.

Re:Wait a sec (4, Informative)

omris (1211900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681410)

I'm coming from the medical science field, but generally at a conference you are presenting an abstract, which is not the same as the full manuscript that you're sending to a journal. That being said, sometimes you need to just tell the journal that an abstract of the work was presented at such and such conference. I've never heard of it being turned down because of that.

Other than that, finding the right journal is usually the hard part. Read up on impact ratings (how "prestigious" a publication is, if you will) and read what else is getting published in there. Often there are multiple fields where the work might be relevant (my work applies to neurosurgical, spinal, and pain related publications for example).

Once you have the journal, they give very explicit instructions on how they want it presented. Follow them exactly, and you're 9/10ths of the way there.

Re:Wait a sec (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681850)

I'm coming from the medical science field, but generally at a conference you are presenting an abstract, which is not the same as the full manuscript that you're sending to a journal.

Computer science has a culture where conference publications are full-length, peer reviewed manuscripts that're considered "equivalent" to journal publications in other fields.

To answer the grandparent's question: in CS, it's considered self plagiarism to submit to multiple conferences/journals simultaneously, but it's fine to publish an expanded version of a conference publication in a journal later. The rules for submitting expanded conference papers vary from journal to journal; you typically need to acknowledge that it's an expanded conference paper when you submit, and usually at least a third to a half of the expanded paper needs to be new content.

Re:It's actually really simple (1)

Typoboy (61087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681548)

Or you could randomly generate a paper and submit it to WMSCI.

Conference vs. journal: another distinction (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681690)

Another important difference between journals and conferences is that conferences usually require that you physically travel there and present your paper. This means you have to pay out of pocket for the trip and conference registration, which can be a hefty $500-$1k for a non-student. So pay attention where it's held :)

LaTeX, Arxiv and Why the Hell Not? (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680916)

I'm a developer ... I'm looking into something more formal like a research paper.

LaTeX. Here's a template (you wanted article.ltx) [dsl.org] . Some distributions of LaTeX come with templates as well. Here's a quick guide (PDF) [cc.ca.us] .

I've no experience on those, not even read a complete one, so my first question is what resources do you recommend to learn how to write one?

The template will make you get the basics right [statpac.com] . The most basic I've seen are Title, Abstract, Sections, Conclusion, References. It's easy (I taught myself in college) and the production value of LaTeX gives you an instant artificially inflated level of credibility [mit.edu] .

And even after I write it I can't expect to be published by Science or other high-profile publications.

Why the hell not? Just do it up and see what happens [submit2science.org] !

So where should I send it to make it known by people on the respective fields and be taken seriously?

Sounds like you should do some research on arxiv [arxiv.org] , a prepublication center where you can find some of the best stuff as well as absolute drivel. I would need to hear more about your method to ensure it's indeed an algorithm worthy of publication but I guess you would put that [arxiv.org] in Data Structures and Algorithms [arxiv.org] ? But why stop there? Why don't you put it on arxiv and blog about it? Why don't you send out e-mails with the arxiv link to open source projects and commercial entities suggesting the use of your algorithm? I'd imagine the USGS [usgs.gov] would be interested in hearing from you. Sure that's all very wishful thinking but if you've got what you say you've got, why not? At the very least you'll learn why your idea isn't good enough to catch eyeballs.

I will caveat all this with the brutish reality of capital and give you a very unpopular option. Software algorithms are currently considered intellectual property by the United States government and several other countries. You could apply for a patent and then attempt to license your algorithm to companies like ESRI and Google or the USGS. You're on your own if this is what you're aiming for.

Re:LaTeX, Arxiv and Why the Hell Not? (5, Informative)

john83 (923470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681132)

The above amounts to good advice, but I have one thing to add. If you're still interested in publishing in an academic journal, use something like Google Scholar to find recent articles about algorithms like yours. That will give you (a) an idea of what journals publish on that subject and hence what researchers in that area read, (b) examples of published articles in that field to use as a stylistic template and (c) some idea of which academics are active in the area, which could be useful if you'd like to either recommend reviewers (as many journals ask you to when submitting) and possibly contact one of them for advise. (Though if the advise is that your idea is rubbish, ignore them - they may be right or they may just be dismissing you without giving your idea due consideration, or have another angle).

Finally, if you'd like some help from a postdoc in a completely different field, send me a message, and I'll proof read whatever you've got and advise you on dealing with reviewers and the like.

Re:LaTeX, Arxiv and Why the Hell Not? (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681356)

(a) an idea of what journals publish on that subject and hence what researchers in that area read, (b) examples of published articles in that field to use as a stylistic template and (c) some idea of which academics are active in the area, which could be useful if you'd like to either recommend reviewers

This is really good advice as well. I would like to add one more thing to that list about researching your field before publishing. I used to troll the Computer Vision papers when I had more time on my hands in college. One annoying thing I found was that people would talk about the same concepts and methods but would call them their own little nickname. It can get annoying when I read one paper about Kernel Machines and then another about Support Vector Machines. The least you can do is put all the aliases you found at the beginning of your paper to get that out of the way. When sections tie into related work it creates a more coherent field for readers and -- at least by myself -- is much appreciated. Some people will opine that this is fluff and unnecessary and that you should stick to your message but I personally think it lends credence to your work. It also shows the reader that even though you're not tied to a big bucks research institution, you've done due diligence and you should be taken seriously instead of some confused quack.

Of course, research papers are not always page turners and the above is asking you to go through a lot of technical crap that, while ameliorating, is not everyone's idea of a fun weekend. Simply put, communication amounts to some work here. And it's that communication which furthers almost all scientific fields -- usually more than any single individual could.* If you're up to the challenge and want to see this thing through, this is heavily recommended. When all is said and done, you might find you're actually a part of the community.

* Yes, there are some people like Einstein that probably could have built a field by themselves but most of us are collaborators like Paul Erdos. No wonder the Chinese scholars said that losing Google groups and Google scholar would set back science in China.

Warning on arxiv with Science/Nature (4, Insightful)

forand (530402) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681622)

If you want to publish in a high profile journal do not shoot yourself in the foot by posting it to any abstract service before submitting and being published in said journal. Generally speaking the high impact journals want their journal to be the breaking news source not arxiv nor do they want old news.

Re:LaTeX, Arxiv and Why the Hell Not? (2, Informative)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681680)

I'm a developer ... I'm looking into something more formal like a research paper.

LaTeX. Here's a template (you wanted article.ltx) [dsl.org] . Some distributions of LaTeX come with templates as well. Here's a quick guide (PDF) [cc.ca.us] .

LyX [lyx.org] is the best TeX document processor I've used. This is the 21st century, no need to program and compile your technical documents from the command line using vi and multiple compile steps.

Re:LaTeX, Arxiv and Why the Hell Not? (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681900)

no real knowledge, but I was a member of acm for 40 years and I would poke around there they have a lot of sigs, with publications and conferences and I would expect there are local knowledgable people that you can actually meet face to face. Also, the format stuff for their big journal is all on the web.

A little plug for acm. they have some real nice online library stuff if you are a member. Perhaps most of the people on slashdot are eligible for membership. they certainly have some prestige For instance, if you were looking for some equivalent to a CS nobel prize, you would be looking for their Turing Award.

One Word: (1)

SaXisT4LiF (120908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680942)

arXiv [arxiv.org]

Academics control publication (5, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680948)

Your best bet to get it published is:
  • patent it
  • get Garmin and TomTom into a bidding war
  • Profit!
  • Buy Science
  • Force them to publish your paper

Standards Organization (1)

birukun (145245) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680958)

Maybe the standards organization that has authority over the system you are working on? Like IEEE for electronics... not sure who does GPS but you may also consider putting a patent on that there algorithm. There's gold in them numbers! (Like CDMA, etc.)

New Faster GPS Algorithm (5, Insightful)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680964)

You've taken out the patent already right?

Re:New Faster GPS Algorithm (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681256)

As much as I believe software/math patents to be irredeemably evil and hope regularly that they are abolished, that may be a good idea unless the company you work for has a "We own all your patents" clause.

Re:New Faster GPS Algorithm (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681576)

In that case, maybe you want to file a Statutory Invention Registration instead.

It's not a "patent", but it's a defensive publication that will prevent anyone else patenting it...

If the USPTO does their job, that is.

In reality, there's a (small) chance some troll might be able to quote your entire patent and add the phrase "on a computer", to the claims, and get a shiny new patent.

And again a few years later by replacing "on a computer" with "using the internet"

5 years later, someone else might be able to change "with a computer" to "with a mobile phone on the internet", and get a second brand new shiny patent.

And 2 years later, yet another company can change the "with a mobile phone" to "with a handheld tablet". And maybe get yet another brand new shiny patent.

etc... etc.... millions will thank you, the gift that keeps on giving (new patents, that is)

Research twice, submit once (5, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681468)

if this is really just a math algorithm, you can't really patent it. If it is a software 'process', then you are good. Hire an attorney and get some pro advice before you go any further.

Also, you might do some research before submission to see if you haven't just discovered something that people have know about for the last 200 years, but you haven't talked to the right math professor to know about.

Slashdot (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680966)

Even a question about 'Best Way To Publish an "Indie" Research Paper?' draws much attention.

What would happen is the research paper is really published?

Re:Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681290)

What would happen is the research paper is really published?

You'll post another dumb comment?

Re:Slashdot (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681636)

Well, nothing, for a while. But about a month later, we'd get three /. stories over the course of a week linking to a blog that links to a blog that links to a general news (= gets tech stories wrong, always) site talking about, but not linking to, the research paper over 5 2-paragraph ad-laden pages. (The summaries, naturally, will be misleading, as a result of a you-fail-third-grade level misunderstanding of the story.)

Then none of us will read any of the articles, but the blog's server will melt down anyway. As far as /. comments go:

  • 1/3 of us will he hating on the multi-page adtrap format on the news site we didn't see (or telling them to use autopager, adblock, noscript, and/or w3m).
  • 1/2 of us will be whinging about the MAFIAA and/or software patents, mostly unable to distinguish between one or more of:
    • copyright/patents
    • copyright infringement/theft
    • an automotive analogy/a good analogy
    • their ass [goatse.fr] /a hole in the ground
  • 2/3 of us will be blaming Google.
  • 2/3 of us will be blaming Apple.

(Yes, most of us post multiple times, usually with different identities.)
Oh, and the GNAA... well, I'd rather not say what they'll be posting.

If you can't beat em... (4, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32680972)

I know I'm going to catch some hell for this, but if you have the money to do it why not look into patenting it if it's really something that's groundbreaking?

Re:If you can't beat em... (4, Insightful)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681078)

I agree with you, but it sure is funny to see how quickly the Slashdot community embraces patents when the "imaginary property" belongs to one of us.

Re:If you can't beat em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681378)

I think there is a key difference here. In this example there is an individual who is in the process of doing a lot of work to come up with a new approach to an old problem. A patent protects his work. Any corporations wanting to profit from his work should compensate him for it. The usual patent case is a corporation trying to screw over the competition whether or not they actually have something new, novel, or useful. Even if it is a half baked abortion of thought, they want to patent it so no one else can try to make money off of it.

Re:If you can't beat em... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681816)

Registering a patent does not imply how you will license it. You can patent an invention and then grant everyone a non-exclusive right to use it.

It is also the safest, most convenient way to keep a patent troll from stealing it - if the troll applies for a patent and your invention is not on file, they might get it and challenging a patent is expensive litigation. Having patented it first should prevent that sort of thing.

(Not a lawyer, but have gleaned legal knowledge by reading a lot of Slashdot comments by people who are also not lawyers. :P )

Re:If you can't beat em... (2, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681884)

As RIM famously discovered, the patent system may be broken, but you can get really seriously screwed if you don't play the game right now.

Re:If you can't beat em... (5, Funny)

bieber (998013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681130)

Perhaps because he/she recognizes the idiocy of software patents, and cares more about doing what's right than their own bank account? I know it's a novel concept, but some people do live for more than just money...

Re:If you can't beat em... (5, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681158)

That's pretty silly, so someone else is simply going to profit off of his hard work rather than himself.

If that's what floats your boat.

Re:If you can't beat em... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681528)

1) File for a patent
2) Get the idea stolen by $LARGE_CORP
4) Get dragged in court for years
5) ???
6) Drop the suit due to lack of funds

Re:If you can't beat em... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681748)

As opposed to:

1) Don't file for a patent
2) Get the idea stolen by $LARGE_CORP
3) Try to sue $LARGE_CORP
4) Get dragged in court for years
5) ???
6) Drop the suit due to lack of patent

Re:If you can't beat em... (1)

smartr (1035324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681904)

He's got a job - does he need more money for his findings? By sharing his good work, others will benefit freely from it. There is also reward in merit. Ever hear anyone talk about the Apache Way? http://theapacheway.com/ [theapacheway.com]

Re:If you can't beat em... (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681644)

If we take as a premise that the material in qustion can be patented - which is not the same as if it should be patented, or even if it should be possible to patent it:

Deciding on principle not to file for a patent is ok, but either way you need a strategy to make sure someone else doesn't end up owning the patent. Even if you've not told anyone else about your work, you still might be racing the clock (as someone else could be doing similar work and reaching similar conclusions).

Assuming the submitter is free to acquire a patent (i.e. said patent wouldn't automatically become someone else's property), one strategy is to file it and, if it is granted, license it to everyone for free. The idea of allowing certain things to be patented may be stupid (but when I say "may be", I mean exactly that; I'm not convinced exactly where the lines should be or why), but even in such cases it isn't the patent itself that's evil; its a question of what is done with said patent.

Of course, filing a patent costs money. It's one thing to say "I put quite a bit of time into this idea, but based on my values and ideals I want it to be free"; it's another to say "Moreoever I'm willing to spend my own money on top of it all, for artificial fees to keep the idea free". The latter probably isn't for everyone.

Another option - if your employer automatically usurps your patents, then possibly your only option - is to make as much noise about the material as possible without patenting it, to try to create conditions in which the PTO would not grant anyone the patent. You're then relying on a lot of uncertain circumstances to work out favorably - that you can make enough noise and be noticed, that having been noticed you will be taken seriously, that the conditions you create by making noise really do render the idea unpatentable, that the PTO (and/or the courts after-the-fact) get this right...

Re:If you can't beat em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681908)

because you cant patent algorithm

conference paper (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32680990)

Submit it to a relevant conference for publication; the peer review process for conferences is less intimidating than journals. You'll likely have to pay to attend & give a brief talk, but it helps get your foot in the door.

Then if/when you want to do a follow-up, you can reference the conference proceedings, which gives you more credentials to submit the follow-up article to a journal.

IEEE style guide; arxiv (4, Informative)

jfb2252 (1172123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681004)

http://standards.ieee.org/guides/style/ [ieee.org] is the page with the IEEE style guides.

http://standards.ieee.org/guides/style/2009_Style_Manual.pdf [ieee.org] is the guide itself.

If your paper agrees with this it shouldn't be too hard to change it later to fit into the particular style requirement of the final journal.

You can also go to http://arxiv.org/ [arxiv.org] and read some of the papers in the Math or Computing Science sections closest to your topic to see the styles in the field.

Software Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681048)

Software patents are cool as long as they're made by one of us.

Getting published is difficult (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681056)

Any peer reviewed journal normally involves about 40 back and forth reviews.

As to open source ... the only ones I know about are for my line of work, things like open source BioMed, or Cell Communication and Signaling.

My guess is your particular field has similar open source, but peer-reviewed, journals.

Just put in on your blog (1)

chriswaco (37809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681062)

Don't post it to IEEE. That will guarantee that 90% of people interested in your paper won't ever be able to read it. Just put in on your blog with a note here in SlashDot.

Are you trying to monetize it? If so, you need to file for a patent instead. Naturally everyone here would prefer you publish it for free on the internet instead.

academic skepticism (5, Informative)

vossman77 (300689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681066)

I would say your best bet would be to contact your favorite comp. sci. college professor and ask him to sponsor your paper, before submission. First, it is good to publish with other people and second it more likely to be reviewed and get published. I am a biologist, but my understanding is that computer science publications are mainly submissions to large conferences. So, you may want to submit your paper to a conference.

No offense, but your paper won't get into science unless to at least 10-fold improvement or something really earth shattering. My guess is that most algorithms would go to a specific journal like the Journal of GPS Algorithms.

Re:academic skepticism (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681208)

Said professor also has navigated precisely the same waters you're asking complete strangers for advice on, and presumably is somebody you trust. They will likely appreciate your work, teach you how to turn it into proper research, and critique it so you fix any glaring flaws.

Oh, and be prepared for that professor, or the conference or journal you submit to, to promptly inform you that your idea is nothing new and that very smart people have either worked out this idea before you or have demonstrated conclusively why it doesn't work.

Re:academic skepticism (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681582)

Yeah, well, be as well prepared for editors of respected journals, even editors with vast academic background, to reject your paper before even passing it to peer review, for the silliest reasons. Some of the most innovative, creative papers have been rejected before peer review. Papers with some of the dumbest, most glaring mistakes, have been accepted after peer review, by respected journals.

IOW: it's actually a lottery. I've read a book on how to get your paper published. On the cover of that book there is an illustration of two dies. Now what does that tell you?

Re:academic skepticism (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681804)

On the cover of that book there is an illustration of two dies. Now what does that tell you?

That you don't know the proper plural of die?

atan2 approximation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681486)

from a quick search of activity on the internet, it appears you've just found a way to approximate atan2(). There is nothing novel here - it can be done with a few arithmetic math operations.

Re:academic skepticism (2, Informative)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681530)

This is my sentiment exactly. The hard part, if you are not part of the academic community, is to know if there are any nearby professors who are expert in your area. Professors always want to get their names on papers so they are more than happy to assist you. Even if you talk to someone whose research interest isn't what you are working on, they likely know who the right people to talk to are.

Another advantage to dealing with a professor is that they may have additional resources that can be brought to bear on the problem. They have grad students they are looking to give interesting problems to and access to computing resources that you don't have.

Keep in mind that the review committee for all conferences and journals are made up of academics. You will definitely want the help of a professor to figure out just how to present your results in a way that is likely to get your paper accepted. The last thing that you want is to spend a lot of time on a paper that gets rejected because you didn't present what they want or because you were unfamiliar with the existing literature on the topic.

Re:academic skepticism (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681544)

A professor could also add a lot of improvements on your writing, like changing the structure, pointing about missing parts, checking references. But the more likely outcome is that after you get to a professor, he answers "hey, like this paper somebody already published here?", what will save you a lot of time if it really is, or will show you the need to explain how your algorithm is different from what everybody else is researching.

Also, there are quite a few journals about comp-sci. Again, a professor will help you know what they are. And the bar for publications is surprizing low.

Re:academic skepticism (4, Informative)

mean pun (717227) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681750)

I would say your best bet would be to contact your favorite comp. sci. college professor and ask him to sponsor your paper, before submission. First, it is good to publish with other people and second it more likely to be reviewed and get published. I am a biologist, but my understanding is that computer science publications are mainly submissions to large conferences. So, you may want to submit your paper to a conference.

No offense, but your paper won't get into science unless to at least 10-fold improvement or something really earth shattering. My guess is that most algorithms would go to a specific journal like the Journal of GPS Algorithms.

As an academic in computer science, and having both written and reviewed a quite a number of papers, I have to agree here. There are definitely venues to publish a truly novel algorithm. However:

(1) Frankly, I would be surprised if you have been able to come up with something radically different from existing algorithms. I am sure that any reviewer of your paper will be equally suspicious, so you better back up that claim thoroughly. Do not assume that the reviewers know what is and isn't out there as related work, but show that you know what you are talking about, and in particular that YOU know what is out there as related work. Clearly explain why your work is different and superior. This is the hardest part of the paper to write. Doubly so in your case, since this is not a field where reviewers will expect that new things can be discovered.

(2) Keep in mind that if you submit your paper to a conference, you are expected to present it there. You'll have to travel there, and pay the conference fee and living costs. Yes, the conference fee applies even if you present a paper there. A university group might be willing to pay all this for you in return for a co-authorship and the right to claim it as 'output' of that group. Journals are cheaper to publish in, although some ask for money per page. Also, their turnaround time can be maddening.

(3) Picking the right venue for your paper can be tricky. Simply looking at the call for papers for the conference or journal may give you the impression that your subject fits well, but in reality they all have their own culture, and tend to concentrate on more specific subjects. The good news is that there are so many small and good-but-obscure journals out there, in particular in the more algorithmic side of computer science, that there surely will be a journal that is willing to publish good novel research. Try to find one where your paper is as on-topic as possible, because you'll have the greatest chances of getting reviewers who can properly evaluate your paper.

(4) Write clearly. Reviewers nowadays don't have time to wrestle with muddled thinking, incoherent explanations, and glaring omissions of information, even if an obvious genius has written the paper. Not every reviewer will know what is novel in your approach if you don't point it out, and many will only bother to read the entire paper if you have motivated them enough in your abstract and summary (yes, many skip to the summary at first read.)

Since there is more to learn, I have to repeat that hooking up with a research group is a very, very good idea.

Getting a paper accepted is a lot of fun, though, and at least for me it compensates for all the grief that is part of the peer-review process.

GPS navigation (5, Funny)

kackle (910159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681082)

"So where should I send it to make it known by people on the respective fields and be taken seriously?"

Why don't you use your fancy schmancy algorithm and locate that yourself!

OK, here it is (2, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681088)

1 - Patent. I don't know if US grants 'first publishing' rights or not, still. You don't need to wait for the application to go through though. Send it and the check to USPTO and it should be ok.

2.1 - Know how to make your case in the article. Research similar stuff, references, etc, etc

2.2 - Check for respectable publishers in the area concerned. I'm not sure Arxiv is a good idea, I'd try for IEEE, ACM or something more specific (and not as 'famous'). Easier to publish as well than Science, Nature, etc. Just avoid some journals that publish anything you throw at them.

2.3 - Yay! You have a paper with your name on it. yay... sorry, no profit.

Re:OK, here it is (2, Interesting)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681456)

3. Someone at another company reads your paper and offers you a job.

4. Profit!

Re:OK, here it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681824)

Since it is dealing with GPS, I would guess the the AMS (American Meteorological Society) Journal would be the appropriate place to publish.

Identify an appropriate venue (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681152)

I don't know what an appropriate journal/conference for this would be, but your best bet is to hunt down some well-regarded papers in a similar area and see where they're published. Google Scholar's a good place to look for research articles. Once you've found somewhere to submit to, I wouldn't worry about being taken seriously - mostly these things are blind reviewed, so they don't know if you're working from your garage or an MIT lab.

What kind of distance? (2, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681156)

What kind of distance are you talking about? Straight line distance (straight through the earth)? Distance on a great circle? In that case, just assuming some idealised shape of the earth or actual shape?

Re:What kind of distance? (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681408)

Didn't GPS coordinates are defined to be on a specific ellipsoid? Been a long time since I looked into it. He may have a novel implementation of the Vicenty formulae. A computational geometry paper may publish it, but probably it is easier (and less burocratic) to do so on a smaller conference.

Pffft... peer review (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681198)

I'm not submitting my secret perpetual motion machine to any bunch of "boffins" with pre-conceived notions. my invention uses magnets... and ..and ... mirrors.. both are firmly scientific.

If you're serious about it... (2, Informative)

heavyion (883530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681202)

you might want to start with a guide like "How to Write & Publish A Scientific Paper" by Robert Day (ISBN-13: 978-1573561655).

Then search for the appropriate journal. One suggestion is: GPS Solutions (published by Springer),

http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/geophysics/journal/10291 [springer.com]

Manuscript submission instructions and forms at: http://www.springer.com/journal/10291/submission [springer.com]

Hope it works out for you!

Publish in a journal (2, Informative)

zunger (17731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681212)

"Indie" status doesn't actually matter that much in the publishing pipeline; you can submit your paper to a journal in the same way that anybody else does, and it will get the same consideration. (The place where organization status matters a bit more is at the reverse end -- if one of the authors is particularly well-known, that tends to make the review process easier)

If your project has practical applications and you wish to patent, make sure to file that first. In that case, consult with a patent attorney on the right things to do next.

Otherwise, pick the appropriate journal and submit following the guidelines on their web page. You'll definitely want to format your paper in LaTeX, since pretty much everyone requires that; some journals have standard LaTeX style packages they want you to use, but these are easy to plug in. (e.g., the Physical Review uses revtex.sty, and many other journals now use it too)

As far as which journal you want, it depends on the particular field, but I'm guessing that Science isn't it -- that's a very high-profile journal which is intended to be things of interest to the scientific community at large, but in practice it has a fairly strong bio/chemistry/some physics focus. Someone else on this thread may have particular journal suggestions, or you may want to search on-line for similar (recent) papers and see where they were published. ACM transactions are often good "default" places in CS. Also, CS tends to prefer conference talks to straight-up journal publications; you may consider submitting your algorithm as a talk to some appropriate CS conference, in which case the article is published as part of the proceedings. Again, the conference depends on your particular subject.

Don't worry about your lack of organizational affiliation. That's rarely a big issue.

Re:Publish in a journal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681394)

This is the worst professional advice that i have ever heard!

The publication world is intensely political and puts a lot of weight on pedigree.

Yes, I've published in peer reviewed journals and work as an ad hoc editor. AND it's like screenplays; your style has to conform to expected styles depending on publisher: ANS, APS, ACS, IEEE, etc.

Thems the breaks, bro.

Submit it for publication (1)

kelk1 (660671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681224)

I am sure that at least in the US, reviews like Point Of Beginning , Inside GNSS, Professional Surveyor Magazine or GPS World will be interested if the work is valid.

Patent first.. (1)

watanabe (27967) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681226)

Before you publish, absolutely file a provisional patent. It's cheap to do, and if you have created something valuable, as soon as you publish it, it will become public domain in Europe and the UK.

Re:Patent first.. (1)

trashbird1240 (1149197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681702)

Did he say his goal was to share his knowledge or to stifle others' creativity and go into a litigation career?

Mail Steve (1)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681228)

Just do

incorporate and/or collaborate (4, Informative)

obiquity (658885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681234)

Note, I am a career academic scientist.

Obviously, it should not matter if you are an individual or an institutional scientist and the science should stand on its own merits. Unfortunately, the signal to noise ratio of quality papers coming from non affiliated individual submitters is probably bad enough that most journal editors would rather not take the time or risk to send your work out for peer review. (Think of all the perpetual motion machine crackpots out there still). In most fields, peer review is a voluntary system of review for which reviewers are not compensated and requires substantial effort, so editors are loathe to ask volunteers to review a suspect manuscript fearing it will poison reviewers to subsequent inquires.

Practically though, one way to look more credible is to incorporate (this is inexpensive in most states) and submit it corresponding from the corporation. Another strategy is to find a co-author at a research institution. This may be difficult because academics in my department get a surprising number of calls like this from people who are usually either disturbed or obviously idiotic. But most academics I know will take these calls, especially the younger ones. They might be able to check your work from a different perspective and can certainly help with the arcane apects of manuscript preparation, tone and format.

University (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681246)

If you're uncertain, consider talking to a university. Specifically, talk to someone in the Comp. Sci. (or equivalent) department. They might not know where to go, but they can probably start pointing you in the right direction. Most people in academics have to publish, so talking to them might give you an idea of where to look.

Start Reading (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681262)

Go figure out which journals are most relevant to the work you are doing, and start reading some papers from those journals. After all, if you haven't read current research in your field how can you know that nobody else has already done what you are doing? You can start by searching for your topic through something like Google Scholar or [google.com] Pubmed. You may need to pay a visit to a university to access some of the articles... [pubmed.gov]

But either way, it is important to be knowledgeable in the research before attempting to publish a paper. You'll need to be able to cite previous works from other relevant authors to show why your own work is worthwhile; that is hard to do without reading those works.

visit the library, read papers (1)

Imabug (2259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681266)

Pay a visit to the library of a nearby university with a CS department (sometimes the departments have their own libraries) and look at the computer science related journals they have (a list of ACM associated journals can be found at http://www.acm.org/publications/panel/journals [acm.org] ). Most of what I know about writing papers comes from reading them. The first thing you'll want to do is a literature search on related algorithms, and dig up some of those papers. Read through a bunch of them to see how they're organized, the types of subject material covered (to help you decide which journal to submit to) and the Information for Authors section. The Info for Authors section will tell you everything you need to know about formatting and submitting to that particular journal.

One of the staff librarians can probably help you find material to help you learn about the mechanics of paper writing.

The process from submission to publication (assuming your paper is accepted) will likely take several months to a year and involve one or more revisions.

I would send it to PLoS One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681270)

Its gently peer reviewed (technical correctness only) and anyone can download the paper. http://www.plosone.org/home.action

How I'd do it... (2, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681282)

1. Identify the IEEE "Transactions" journals and/or ACM journals that your work is most closely related to. If you don't have access to IEEE or ACM libraries online, you can either buy membership to those organizations (expect to pay $100-$300 per year, I believe) to get access; or you may have luck at a university library.

2. Study the structure of the papers in those journals. Take note of what sections their papers have, and what fraction of column space is dedicated to each. You may want to be guided by this.

3. In those same journals, look up their rules for submission. Also, look for advertisements by the editors regarding topics they'd especially like submissions for. If you find a call that's right up your topic's alley, you may want that to be the journal to which you submit the paper.

4. Submit your idea to exactly one journal. I believe submitting the same paper to multiple journals get can get your paper thrown out.

5. Some (most?) journals conduct "blind" reviews of submissions, in which the reviewers don't know your name or affiliation. So for those journals you probably don't need to worry about a lack of credibility coming from your lack of affiliation.

6. Accept that your paper is unlikely to get accepted in its original submission. However, you should get comments back from the people who review it. Those comments are likely to be extremely valuable in making you aware of other related work, and/or in showing you what needs to change to get published.

7. Oh, and use LaTeX.

How do you know it's original enough to publish? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681284)

You said you have never read a research paper, so how do you know you've not discovered an algorithm that has already been discovered?

Even if your algorithm is original, then you would be expected to cite relevant work in the field and know where your algorithm fits in.

In either case you probably need to start reading before you start writing.

Re:How do you know it's original enough to publish (3, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681864)

Came here to say precisely this. No one here wants to say anything discouraging, even though it's the elephant in the room. My advice would be to survey the literature before you go to the trouble of writing an academic paper, which is 100% certain to be rejected by everybody if you don't show a good grasp of existing work in the field. Also, remember that peer review is an essential step in getting a paper accepted, so do a little of that yourself before submitting it (if you trust anyone not to steal your idea, that is).

Realistically, it's about 99.9% certain that your algorithm isn't the big advance that you think it is. But one in a thousand is worth the effort, for sure.

You've got lots of reading ahead of you (4, Informative)

Krahar (1655029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681300)

If you haven't read research papers, you can't possibly know that someone hasn't already discovered the algorithm you are working on, or perhaps has made one that is even better. You need to read the papers on the subject before you can know that, so that is step one. Also, to get published you need to cite other people's work when you use their results, even if you don't know you are using their results because you came up with that part on your own. Doesn't matter - if they did something you are using before, then it's their work and you need to cite them. To do that you need to know enough about the literature of the field to be able to know what to cite. An upside to that is that once you've done all this reading, you will know what journal you can submit your own article to.


Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681318)

My advice is to publish in PLOS ONE: http://www.plosone.org/.

It's an open access peer-reviewed journal, and their policy is to not
reject any articles unless they are factually incorrect. The journal
has a very good reputation, and is a great place to publish
interdisciplinary work that doesn't fit into more traditional channels.
The decision process is very quick compared to most journals.
There are formatting guidelines on the site. The author keeps
the copyrights.

By the way, if your article is accepted for publication you will have to
pay a publication fee, which is fairly steep if you're paying out of pocket,
but is a fair price to pay for open access and peer review imho.

Some places to look... (1)

PrecambrianRabbit (1834412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681320)

First of all, I'd probably suggest looking for where the current best-known algorithms for this problem have been published, and look into similar channels. You say you know what's currently done; where did those appear?

If you're interested in an academic publication I have a few broad suggestions for you, although you may face an uphill battle if you're starting from "never having read a research paper." I say this not because academics control the publication process with an iron fist and won't let anything else in, but simply because you have less knowledge of how to write an academic paper.

I'd start by looking at related academic publications. I can't point you to anything specific, but try searching Google Scholar with related terms and seeing what comes up. Note where the paper was published (which journal or conference -- note that unlike many sciences, computer science publishes primarily in conferences, although for theoretical computer science journals are fairly well regarded also). You might also want to look through the ACM's portal or Digital Library to see if you can quickly find any conferences or journals that might publish such research.

Also note the style of the related articles - there is an overall form that is common to most research papers in the area (Abstract, Intro, Related Work, The Techical Parts, Results, Conclusion).

Make sure you do your background research and see what other work has been done in this area; if you've really got a new algorithm, then definitely publish it! But do be prepared for disappointment -- there are lots of smart people out there and frequently one of them has already had your idea :-). But don't think I'm trying to discourage you! Definitely check things out and try to get your work published

Start reading other's people papers in the area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681332)

First of all, read other papers in the area, especially those with similar research topics. That's the way you learn how to write good research papers.

A few tips:

- Do not try writing EVERYTHING. You have to make the experimental environment clear, describe your algorithm to the point of reproducibility (beyond that point is unnecessary and could make the paper harder to read), present your results as clear and understandable as possible and "sell" your conclusions.
- Take special care with your abstract, it's sad, but your paper can get a bad review just because your abstract is not appealing enough.
- Writing tips on future research might help (if you have any ideas, other researchers will appreciate it).
- It is of extreme importance that people who is not working in exactly the same topic can understand the paper. Reviewers most probably will work with GPS stuff but not in the same stuff you do, they have to be able to perfectly understand what you did and ***how important it is***.

Once you have your paper, find the best magazine you can find in which your topic fits. Probably Science is not that magazine, as it is specialized in basic research, but there will be others. Find one in which you think you can publish and send it there. You cannot send it to another magazine at the same time, you have to wait to be rejected before you can resend the paper to another magazine, congress or workshop, take it into account. Also, publishing in a magazine is expensive, they will charge you for that. BTW: You might have to change your paper to make it fit in a certain number of pages (usually 15 in a magazine, some others have an extension limit of 10 and others up to 30).

A lot of work (4, Informative)

Pigeon451 (958201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681352)

To be published, your paper need references. Since you mention you've never read a research paper, you'll need to do an extensive publication search and review, introduce yours and other analysis methods, discuss why yours is an improvement, all complete with proper citations.

If it sounds like a lot of work, IT IS, especially for your first one. It has to pass peer review, meaning, specialists in the field will read it and comment on whether it is suitable for publication. How you present your results is very important so the reader understands the idea.

It may also be EXPENSIVE: Many journals charge you for publishing your article, and this can be hundreds of dollars. It also takes a lot of TIME, and be a few months before the first comments from reviews get back to you. You'll make revisions, then send it back, and wait awhile longer.

The format of the paper is not too important, it will be formatted once accepted. The key is to efficiently and accurately disseminate your paper, which may include equations, graphs and tables. Many journals have templates in both LateX and Word -- Microsoft Word is perfectly fine for this.

To determine which journal you should submit to, look up keywords common to your topic on Google Scholar. Perhaps some IEEE journal would be a good choice (just a guess, I have no idea what you're doing).

If your idea is truly novel, patent it (writing a patent can be easy, might be expensive if you get a patent expert/lawyer involved, and you might also cite/review other similar patents). If you still want to write a research paper, try going to a local university and find a sympathetic professor who will aid you in your mission. Some profs won't bother helping, but some will be very pleased you've taken the initiative to do this and help you.

try reading some research papers (1)

fair use (948368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681376)

You state that haven't even read a complete research paper. The best way to learn to write one is to read a bunch and emulate the ones that you like. This is also the best way to find a journal to which you should try to publish your paper.

Note that in reading research papers you just might find that someone else has already done what you yourself discovered. There are a lot of smart people out there.

Literature search (4, Insightful)

Alotau (714890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681388)

If this is true:

I've no experience on [research papers], not even read a complete one

Then you will likely have a hard time writing a legitimate paper. A key aspect of most papers is a comparison of your work to work previously published. You need to establish how yours is novel. Without ever reading any other articles, I doubt you'll be able to do that successfully. Of course you'd need to do this to get a patent as well if you go the route others seem to be suggesting.

Practitioner Reports Track (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681396)

That's exactly the reason why some conferences have a track for "Practitioner Reports", e.g. OOPSLA Practitioner Reports are exactly what you call an "Indie Paper", it has to be less formal than an academic paper yet reveal an interesting practical problem. I've seen some of these at OOPSLA and they are good. Plus, you'll get a very good crowd of listeners at such a forum: a mix of practitioners and academics. Talking to a college professor is also a good idea (though might be confusing). Best of Luck!

Is it any sort of bottleneck? (1)

baxissimo (135512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681452)

Is computing geodesic distances any sort of bottleneck for anyone? I find it hard to believe that it would be. If that's the case, then you may have a hard time getting it published. Amdahl's law and all, a 10x speedup in something that represents only 1% of the total time of an algorithm gives you less than a 1% speedup of the overall system. The other point I haven't seen anyone make, is that if it's a common problem, then chances are the math for the proper solution is already known (especially if you really are just talking about finding the shortest distance between two points on a sphere). It's very unlikely that you've invented a new way of doing something as common as computing distance between two points on a sphere. You should talk with some people who do geology or geostatistics or oceanography or the like to check if what you've done is really novel.

research paper tips (4, Informative)

lordcorusa (591938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681482)

0) By "greatly improves the performance" do you mean by some order of magnitude, or merely by a constant factor? For example, are you going from O(n^2) to O(n log n), or is it only O(10n) to O(5n). Don't get me wrong, the latter can be useful, but the former would draw more attention from the research community. I assume you know Big-O notation and formal analysis of algorithms, otherwise you will need to learn about it before submitting a research paper in algorithms.

1) If you have never even read a full research paper, then how do you know your approach is new or better than existing approaches? First, I would recommend getting a data structures and algorithms book and a computational geometry book. Read through those looking not only for things similar to your technique, but also just to make sure you have the vocabulary correct. Then move on to Google Scholar and start looking into the more recent scholarly journals and conference proceedings on the topic. You will need subscriptions (probably via a university) to see a lot of that content, but you can try the "All X versions" link beneath most articles to see if the author published a PDF on a public web site. Books are usually years behind the state of the art, and a lot of newer research and algorithms only fully appears in papers. Also, a lot of research (most?) is not published on blogs, so your algorithm may not be as new or groundbreaking as you think. Or if it is, you still may find more inspiration to improve it from related techniques.

2) Ditto what others have said about learning LaTeX for page layout. However, if you might want to publish in a specific journal or conference, then you might have to use their specific format, so you might just want to type your first draft as plain text and a collection of images, for import into a specific LaTeX template later.

3) Writing style: You must be *very* *formal* in your writing style to be considered credible in academic circles. Have an English teacher (or similarly-minded person) go over the paper with a fine-toothed comb looking for any spelling, grammar, or word-use errors. Absolutely no slang or colloquialisms whatsoever are acceptable in a research paper. Do not use contractions. Try not to use any analogies unless they are truly apt and likely to be universally understood. Try not to use first or second person in the paper. Remember, people from all over the world from different cultures, many of whom do not speak English as their primary language, will hopefully be reading your paper, and you don't want them to get confused by any culture-specific concepts or words.

4) If your algorithm really is new or groundbreaking, then I would strongly recommend trying to publish in a proper academic workshop or conference first (try ACM or IEEE conferences on computational geometry, location-driven computing, etc.), rather than a free online archive. You will get far more credibility and exposure in academia, and you just might get your employer to pay for a junket to a conference! Workshops are more for newer, less developed research, so you may have an easier time publishing there. Conferences are for more established research, so it's harder to get in them, but they carry much more respect. Also, most workshops and conferences have industrial tracks, if your paper focuses less on formal algorithmic analysis and more on real-world uses.

5) Be warned though, that although conferences are supposed to be submitter-blind, often it's much easier to get a publication when you have a known academic co-author on the paper. You might want to look up authors of papers related to yours, find the Ph.D.s on the paper, and approach them about a collaboration. This might take a bit more time, and you would have to share credit (just make sure you are first-author), but it may be worthwhile to get more exposure and credibility. They might also be able to help point you toward making further improvements to your algorithm.

6) Please, please, do not patent your algorithm! There is more than enough patented math already; the world does not need yet another algorithm that can't be used by anyone for 20 years.

Trade magazines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681518)

Trade mags are always looking for new and interesting things to publish. Simple format, short, light on references and they'll typically pay you (EDN gives you $150 for a design idea). Forget the academic paper route, it will only benefit you in your doctoral research. As a PhD and a PE I submit that this route is taken seriously by people who make things.

It's not hard (1)

infalliable (1239578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681540)

Overall, it's not too hard. Affiliations aren't all that important to the process and professorship/etc doesn't matter. Most of the time, the reviews and such are done blind.

1. The first thing you need to do is research the current state of the field and have a good idea how yours relates.

2. Next, pick a journal that is in your field and is appropriate. IEEE may be a good place to start, but with your research you'll find what similar papers are published in. You won't be published in Science.

3. Write it up and submit it. Follow the style given by the journal, they're sticklers for it. It'll either be in Word or LaTeX format. You should have someone (somewhat) knowledgeable read through it first to make the process easier. It doesn't need to be an expert, but has to be someone who understands what you're talking about.

4. Get reviews back from the journal. Every paper that is submitted gets reviewed by 2 people in the field. Some conferences use only 1. You'll get comments back that will need to be addressed.

Expect the submission process to take 6-12 months or so before it will be published, depending on the journal and comments received.

Patent and Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681560)

Unless you want to be posting your scientific discoveries on your blog for the foreseeable future....

Are you sure it's new? (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681592)

Having had to write just such code for a DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle, I'd question whether a new algorithm developed without looking at the literature is likely to be new. There were high-precision GPS systems with 15cm accuracy seven years ago, and the new ones are even better. [novatel.com] Novatel is now offering 1cm repeatability. [novatel.com]

Besides, distance between two GPS points is straightforward. The high-precision receivers give you ECEF (earth-centered, earth fixed,; 3 axes centered at the center of the earth) coordinates, which are Cartesian. There, it's trivial. If all you have is latitude and longitude, the GPS device has already converted from ECEF to latitude and longitude using some standard geoid (a standard formula for the pair-shaped earth correction, like WGS-84). You use the appropriate geoid for the GPS device to convert back to ECEF, then compute the distance.

use references (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681604)

As said before, latex. And check your references for their journals. A journal which has published articles on the same problem before is more likely to do it again.

Talk to an academic (2, Informative)

trashbird1240 (1149197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681646)

I would suggest you go to someone who you know in an academic or technical field that has published papers of this sort, and ask that person to help you publish it. If there's no university nearby, ask local friends if they know anybody --- if you're not in a similar situation, someone will remember a computer science or applied math professor from college.

You will probably need to improve your material with their help, too and that may mean sharing credit. As long as you establish up front that you mean to be the lead author, things should go well.

mod @Up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32681766)

unless you can work variations on the Theo de Raadt, one get how people can the same operation need your help! own agenda - give standards should Fact: *BSD IS A Future. The hand fueling internal be a lot slower the party in street Morning. Now I have have somebody just asshole to others bloc in order to but now they're lube or we sell Influence, the Open platform, of playing your The last night of Fact: *BSD IS A members all over another charnel on slashdot.org Come on baby...and obsessives and the Problems with TTo many rules and be fun. It used influence, the outreach are the resignation never heeded Similarly grisly Being GAY NIGGERS. things I still significantly IF YOU MOVE A TABLE Obligated to care Area. It is the the latest Netcraft SINCE WE MADE THE poor priorities,

Easy. (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681790)

Publish it on Slashdot. Our world-renowned peer-review process will include:

1) Claims that it's vaporware
2) Claims that it's obviously patentable
3) Claims that it's patently obvious
4) Claims that it's identical to a completely different algorithm
5) Claims that it won't work from people who either didn't read or didn't understand your paper
6) Claims that it's an amazing breakthrough from people who either didn't read or didn't understand your paper
7) Two separate Microsoft/Apple fanboi wars.
8) One guy saying how awesome it would be if somebody made an implementation of your algorithm in their favorite programming language.
9) One useful response that you'll never read because the poster accidentally replied to the wrong thread and got modded -1, Flamebait

Re:Easy. (0)

EricWright (16803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681914)

You forgot about

* Hot grits
* Natalie Portman
* Naked and Petrified
* Beowulf Clusters

Wait ... is that y2k calling me?

As a PhD researcher... (2, Informative)

AndOne (815855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681858)

Most IEEE type journals require a submission in PDF format. They don't care how you get it to that form so as long as you use the right fonts and can express the math clearly. Use whatever PDF authoring tool you're comfortable with. As others have stated Latex is a great choice but it has a definite learning curve.

Here is a not so short intro(but shorter than most) to Latex. Intro [slashdot.org]

Furthermore, you'll want to have a number of references. It depends on the conference/journal in question but around 15 to 20 is pretty standard. Make sure to reference any and all algorithms you'll compare it to and any foundational work you used. Text books are fine if they're standard books to the field.

That's another decision you have to make as well. Do you want to publish to a Journal or to a Conference. A conference will have a higher acceptance rate usually and you can go network with other people in the field. A journal will be more prestigious, but will take much longer to get published(a year or more as you go through the review cycle). To decide I would start looking at IEEE(or ACM or whatever else you think might be of interest) to find a conference/journal you think might be appropriate and then read several papers in that area. Also go to your local university and browse through books on your subject as there may have been work done several years ago that just isn't used due to processing power issues. This can effect the tone of your paper.

On the topic of tone, you need to decide how you wish to frame the contribution of your paper. Is it a systems type paper that focuses mainly on implementation and comparison? Is it a proper new algorithm? Is it a mix of the two? Why do I as another researcher in the field care? This choice of tone will greatly affect both the place you submit the paper and the likelihood of where it will be accepted. You can try submitting to major journals like Science if you'd like, but it's very likely you will not get accepted as those types of journals focus very heavily on major cutting edge work.

Someone else mentioned looking through ArVix, but that is usually more of a pre-publication forum for math and physics type papers more than what I think you're working on. I'm not sure that will be particularly helpful to your situation.

I don't work in your field particularly, but I do have a fair bit of background in geodesic calculations and math so if you'd like to discuss things feel free to message me.

Good luck!

Curious (1)

BHS_Turf (8387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32681862)

As I have written several distance calculators I am curious about your "new algorithm that greatly improves the performance over existing algorithms" I have frequently traded-off accuracy for speed, and have even re-invented a few that turned out to be hybrids of existing algorithms. I would be curious as to what kind of performance gains you are getting, and whether or not accuracy suffers. Also for sufficiently distant points, do you use the great-circle or rhumb-line calculations i.e. do you allow for bearing to change over the course between the two points?

http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html [movable-type.co.uk]

I have found however that for most purposes that require a moderately high degree of accuracy the vincenty algorithm is fast enough:

http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong-vincenty.html [movable-type.co.uk]

Where accuracy is not important at all using an average 1 minute = 1 nm or an approximation based on distance from the equator

good luck

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