Is it possible to publish a paper based on a "proposed idea"? - Help


I'm planning to write (actually 30% completion) this particular paper where I would like to discuss a new idea I've invented. This idea will have some experiments conducted in future to show some of its behaviors.

But, would it be possible if I discuss the idea, my future plans for the experiments, some literature, future works on paper and then proceed to send it to a conference (proceeding) before doing the experiments?

I will write another paper for the experiments of course.


In theory, yes you can. However, I see two main problems with this:

1) A conference is less likely to accept a paper that has no actual data in it, i.e. you are basically just reviewing the literature
2) If you do get to present, someone might steal your ideas and do the experiments before you do!

To be honest, I would advise against doing this. You are basically giving your ideas away, and you still don't know if they would actually work. You would be better waiting until you have at least some new data to present, so that even if someone else takes your idea you will be a few steps ahead of them. Alternatively, you could write a review style paper (for publication in a journal) that would neatly show where the gap in the field lies, and then you could go ahead and conduct your experiments, and write another paper that neatly fills that gap.

This feels to me more like the sort of thing you would present internally at your uni, rather than at an external conference.


A fantastic reply by Smoobles!! I was going to write something very similar but I recommend you follow the great advice given here!


Thanks for the reply.

I've done some of smaller parts of the experiments, which I think could be finished early on; after putting this bit, do you think it's still not a good idea to proceed?


Hi tt_dan,

Personally I would first gather enough data to warrant a publication, be it a short communication or article. The review process takes some time (often several moths from the original manuscript to publication), so in the meantime you can work on the next part of your investigation.

If things work out you may get 2 -3 papers for example on the back of your idea or alternatively you can wait and try to publish something in a higher impact factor journal consisting of a culmination of the independent studies you have performed. Unfortunately this always carries the risk of someone beating you to it and publishing first.

If you think it's likely that others may be hot on your heals with similar ideas I would try and publish something first to get your foot in the door and then continue your studies after submitting.