Submitting a paper by myself - Good/bad idea?


Lads, Ladies,
Writing up a paper at the mo and I know I need to get work out there. But there is a problem. The supervisor's comments are at best, vague and too general and at worst, soul destroying and I have to wait for ages. I know I am not Shakespeare or Joyce with the English, but I do feel that it is at a stage where it would be "Accepted with editing". I still have a long ways to go with the research (reckon 18 mths), but I feel that I need to get this paper out. This issue is representative of a very tetchy relationship between myself and the supervisor and while I want to finish my PhD, I don't know if I have the balls to fight over this or bigger issues - I know I am right, but is it me that we are all scared of pi$$ing off one person? I really think he is using this paper as a means of forcing me out (if I don't get it published, out the gap)

Any advice would be appreciated. I am just using this forum to let out the frustration.


Something a bit like this happened with my masters project (same supervisor as PhD). I wrote the paper and it just languished in a draw for a year! Then when I started the PhD he mentioned that he accepted that students needed some publications as sole author and I said - well, how about this one then? I also realised what the problem was - he fundamentally disagrees with the conclusion from that project (and all the others of that type). He agreed that this was indeed the problem and I submitted and published it with light editorial feedback.

So I think you should try it - but better tell your supervisor first and find some way to sell the idea. You could say as I did - that since we clearly can't agree on this issue it would be better if I just published on my own.


Thanks Smilodon,
I was thinking along that lines i.e. to at least make him aware that this paper will be submitted either way, but in a diplomatic way. If he does not agree, I would suggest getting more help, but in a limited capacity so not to extend resources. In a sense, it would then mark an end to a distinct part of the research and allow the head to move onto the next bit. It could be a year before it gets rejected, so I would think that I will deal with that scenario then.
Thanks again. Keep on truckin' and have a good weekend.


It is not a bad idea to take on a partner of sorts - especially someone who has been published prior. Just keep your name first even if they don't contribute much to it - it's a foot in the publishing door. Also - fight for your ground if you think it's worth fighting for - might gain you some respect from your professor. If you have the money handy you could hire a writer to polish your actual writing to make it more acceptable.