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Thread: I'm an independent researcher, how can I get my work published?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by filrabat
    (b) Send one (or is it two?) copies of your work to the Copyrigh Office

    (c) Send a $30 check to them (but check the fee carefully)

    Generally, you have to wait 4 to 6 months to get word on whether your work is approved, but this is just the expected time frame, not a guarantee.

    Assuming the USCO approves your copyright application get a copyright in the mail, this will not only make whomever will help you think twice before ripping off your work, it also provides something extra (and verifiable!!) for your resume.
    I don't think that the copyright office actually does much review of the submitted material. Copyrights are official the moment you set pen to paper--disputes are settled in the courts. That's why it is handy to have a copy registered with the copyright office, they can certify that your version did exist at a certain prior time.

    You cannot copyright ideas per se, though. Someone could express the idea in a different way, without violating copyright. The reason for registering copyright is to establish priority, that you had expressed the idea in a legible and public form before anyone else.

  2. #32
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    I read this thread and it has some good information but it doesn't quite answer the question I had before reading this. I did some research on how the solar system formed itself and came up with an unconventional explanation. I wrote a brief paper complete with bibliography but what do I do with it, where specifically can I send it for peer review?

  3. 2006-Apr-14, 09:00 PM

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by joetommasi
    I read this thread and it has some good information but it doesn't quite answer the question I had before reading this. I did some research on how the solar system formed itself and came up with an unconventional explanation. I wrote a brief paper complete with bibliography but what do I do with it, where specifically can I send it for peer review?
    Possibly, some of the entries in your bibliography are journal articles? Those journals are probably peer-reviewed, meaning it will be subjected to peer review when you submit it to the journal. The journals usually have author submission guidelines in each issue--or you might find them on their website.

  5. #34
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    Well, $30 is better than $5,000 for a patent!

    Would a copyright cover the details of a process?

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens
    Well, $30 is better than $5,000 for a patent!

    Would a copyright cover the details of a process?
    I'm pretty sure that copyright does not protect the details of a process. But IANAL, TG.

  7. 2006-Oct-25, 08:24 AM
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  8. #36
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    I'm something of a writer but one point which hasn't been made here is that, of course, we are all readers too. And we each of us know what we like to read about. my writings are a bit slow at the moment but I would like to insert a pleas for more writings along a certain topic line. I'd like to read some up to date literature.

    What I'd like to read about is the hardware plans for shoertly up and coming space adventures. For example, how is NASA getting on with the design for another lunar lander? I've just seen a drawing in the newspaper of something that looked as if it was out of '50s science fiction. There weren't many details attached to it which seemed a shame to me, but clearly there is nothing much available at grass roots.

    What about the hardware to get us to Mars? We 've talked about it long enough. Ever since the eighties I seem to rember ideas about twin spacecraft on a double mission to the red planet, plus landers which looked like big versions of the existing luner landers. A bit like Capricorn One writ large. I must say I'm baffled and bemused at the thought of a manned landing which incorporated the necessity to make a return trip. Are we all just singing into the wind, chaps, or can we really give it out best shot.

    Whatever, lets not let it end up like the fiasco the lunar landings have turned out at length to be and will continue to be till we establish some permenant lunar bases.

  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhEb09'1 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that copyright does not protect the details of a process. But IANAL, TG.
    I dunno, some firm in the US patented a method of filing taxes. Actually sued a former tax preparer who used them in his own practice.

    A real moment to me.

  10. #38
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    What is being missed here, IMHO, is that there are really 3 parts to saying something is real.

    1. Does it exist?

    2. Can we actually define what it is doing?

    3. Do we know what the mechanism is that makes it?

    So, for the earth sciences we are pretty close to knowing all three, BUT until GR and QFT are Unified, for cosmology, # 2 is many times iffy, and #3 won't be known until it is.

    I think it takes #3 to really make it 'real'.

  11. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    I dunno, some firm in the US patented a method of filing taxes. Actually sued a former tax preparer who used them in his own practice.
    Missed this one before. The discussion was about whether copyright would work in lieu of a patent I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by RussT View Post
    What is being missed here, IMHO, is that there are really 3 parts to saying something is real.
    4. Are you in the right universe?

  12. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussT View Post
    What is being missed here, IMHO, is that there are really 3 parts to saying something is real.

    1. Does it exist?

    2. Can we actually define what it is doing?

    3. Do we know what the mechanism is that makes it?
    I think that you only require "1". If it exists then surely it must be real? (No comments about complex numbers, etc... )

  13. #41
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    Here's a web site that may be of interest to independent researchers:

    http://philica.com/index.php

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    Hopefully this doesn't come off as too 'elitist' sounding............

    There is a reason that people go to universities, get phD's, and learn all the tools essential to doing proper scientific research. If the average person does "independent research" then science as a whole will not benefit, but instead be inundated with bad ideas, bad assumptions, and bad research. Getting your ideas out to the science community is a good idea, but is detrimental if it is masquerading as expert opinion. If it is published in a journal, then its going to be accepted as expert opinion regardless of who wrote it. My advice is to become properly trained in your chosen field, and then work on your research in conjunction with a university, museum, or research institute. Any "journal" that is lax on the peer review process (online or not) is not doing science a service in any way. Science must retain its integrity. Presenting non-peer reviewed work on a website for example could lead to some poor high school student interpreting that work as legitimate.

  15. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobtheEnforcer View Post
    Hopefully this doesn't come off as too 'elitist' sounding............
    It did. What you missed is that to make a discovery one has to think hard about it and he/she must be right. Intelligent amateurs have an avantage over professionals since they think harder and since they don't know how things work they imagine how they work and sometimes they really work this way. Professional on the other hand usually believe in a theory that they learned but it ain't so. But of course for one inelligent amateur there are many ignorant fools which makes an impression that you are 100% right.

  16. #44
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    So you're saying that an amateur scientist "thinks harder" and therefore is more qualified than a professional? I'm afraid that doesn't really make any sense.

  17. #45
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    Think about all the discoveries made by amateurs. E.g. by a certain patent office clerk who turned upside down all what the professionals of his time believed in...

  18. #46
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    One example means nothing. In todays world of technology, an amateur 99% of the times not only does not have access to the proper tools, but lacks the guidance of an expert in using those tools. If you want to do "meaningful" research, my advice is to go get some degrees. Otherwise you're shooting in the dark............

  19. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimJast View Post
    Think about all the discoveries made by amateurs. E.g. by a certain patent office clerk who turned upside down all what the professionals of his time believed in...
    Bad example, at least for the point you're trying to make. This "patent office clerk" already had a degree (or its equivalent) from a university. In today's employment climate he probably would not have been hired on grounds of "overqualification".

  20. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial Mechanic View Post
    Bad example, at least for the point you're trying to make. This "patent office clerk" already had a degree (or its equivalent) from a university. In today's employment climate he probably would not have been hired on grounds of "overqualification".
    Has there ever been a case where someone presented an original idea on bautforum.com that later made its way to a peer reviewed journal, or at least to a poster presentation at some conference somewhere?

  21. #49
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    You can self publish at lulu.com

  22. #50
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    I'm with you on this one. I'm finding that everyone in academia is thinking that I'm either kooky, or they just are too good or busy for me.

    It's kind of disheartening. I even tried the Vatican observatory with no response as of yet.

  23. #51
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    Exclamation Are you sure that you really know "theory" means in science?

    Quote Originally Posted by fcunnane View Post
    I'm finding that everyone in academia is thinking that I'm either kooky, or they just are too good or busy for me.

    It's kind of disheartening. I even tried the Vatican observatory with no response as of yet.
    A likely reason is that you wrote something like what you wrote in your one and only other BAUT post (to date):

    Quote Originally Posted by fcunnane View Post
    Regarding Formation of Black Bodies. I'm looking to co-author with the mathematician. Must have general knowledge of Bose Einstien Statistics. I have the theory down, I just need some mathematics.
    The fact that you seem to believe that mathematics serves as some kind of window-dressing is a strong indication that you probably do not understand the meaning of the word "theory" in physics. Another huge red flag is that by asking for help with "mathematics", you imply that you lack the background to understand what our current gold standard theory of gravitation has to say about "formation of black bodies", which strongly suggests that you not only have no idea what a theory is, you have no idea how and why one theory (sometimes) replaces another as representing the "current standard theory" for modeling a given phenomenon. Yet another red flag is that you mispelled "Einstein", which suggests that you may lack the habitual care required for scholarly work.

    See this ATM thread for an example of what happens to those who try to make claims unsupported by valid mathematical reasoning.
    Last edited by Chris Hillman; 2008-Jun-20 at 10:04 PM.

  24. #52
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    the independant researcher

    I to am a independent researcher and the thought of having my work published has come to mind as well. Having your work published will open it up to peer review, if ! in fact a peer exists.

    If it is a theory it will probably get torn apart or you may loose your focus on what exactly you are trying to accomplish.
    Also if your work varies from mainstream thinking you will suffer even greater disappointment.
    I think it is best to proceed with your research until you have accomplished or proved your goal. Once you have accomplished this, you are not asking people what they think but instead you are asking people to credit your discovery and theory , prove or disprove your findings.

    I have recently found great success in my research But along with the success, formulated from totally non mainstream thinking. I have found that I have so much more to understand based on my results.

    So I look at it this way. I now have a solid fundamental theory> I must now understand the actions and interactions it has and how it fits together with observed fact.

    My research by the way is in the area high frequency resonate electricity and its conversion into usable power

  25. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Here in BAUT, and in many other internet discussion fora, you can easily find posts on the difficulty of getting independent astrophysics, planetary science, cosmology, etc research published. If you read such posts, you will find 1001 reasons why independent researchers can't get anything published in ApJ, MNRAS, etc.

    I thought it might be of interest to some BAUT readers to have a thread on what an independent researcher can do.

    First, there's the internet. For a very modest sum, plus some effort, you can register a domain name, and publish to your heart's content.

    Second, there are dozens of 'alternative' websites that would be only too happy to publish your work (provided they are within their stated domains, and provided that your research meets certain criteria; you need to be careful about copyright, of course).

    However, many independent researchers wish to get their work published in a peer-reviewed, mainstream journal, or at least somewhere where professional astronomers (etc) will read their work.

    Let's make this thread a resource for such people!
    Be careful when trying to get work published, as it's best to always send yourself a copy in the mail just as an extra form of proof (2 copies separately, with tracking numbers if possible, and UNOPENED + SEALED). Afterwards, get your work's copyrights and THEN pursue publishing. This way you have protection against plagiarism and having your work outright stolen.

  26. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinchillables View Post
    [...] as it's best to always send yourself a copy in the mail just as an extra form of proof (2 copies separately, with tracking numbers if possible, and UNOPENED + SEALED).
    Or, do not bother with this sort of "poor man's copyright" (Wikipedia):

    Poor man's copyright refers to the method of using registered dating by the postal service, a notary public or other highly trusted source to date intellectual property, thereby helping to establish that the material has been in one's possession since a particular time.
    [...]
    Use of this method will probably not hold up in a court - as it is simple for individuals to pre-send envelopes which can then be used later by placing the actual IP materials inside.
    Read there of alternate methods that might not raise such doubts -- like actually registering the work with a real copyright office.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...

  27. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Or, do not bother with this sort of "poor man's copyright" (Wikipedia):
    Yeah, the extra cost of postage and tracking numbers is probably not significantly less than the copyright fee. OK, I looked it up, so maybe not: The US Copyright Office FAQ:
    If you file online using eCO eService, the fee is $35 per application. If you file using Form CO, the fee is $45 per application. Generally, each work requires a separate application.

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    posting

    I took a look at your site and recommend it to my visitors. I agree with you on the importance of becoming valuable in many different areas. I believe that it sustains any entrepreneur during challenges that inevitably occur.
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  29. #57
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    Just swirled into this site: Lemelson-MIT Program Inventor's Handbook. Patents, not copyright, but still a neat package.

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  31. #58
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    Greetings,

    I find that one critical element has been overlooked in this discussion. That element is the motivation of the "independent researcher".

    Before continuing, I should acknowledge that I am a professional researcher albeit neither in the field of astronomy nor of astrophysics. I have published only in the most reputable, peer-reviewed journals applicable to the subject matter. While the process of peer-review is often brutal and sometimes fails to achieve its designed objectives, I consider it to be a foundational concept that helps protect and maintain the standards and intellectual integrity of a discipline.

    Returning the question of the motivation of the "independent researcher", I believe it mandatory that any such individual be very introspective and objectively scrutinize his or her personal motivations regarding publishing their work. Is the motivation to make a name for oneself? To engineer entry into the mainstream of some discipline? Or is the motivation to make a positive contribution to some field of knowledge?

    If the motivation is one of personal aggrandizement, I have no advice to offer. If the motivation is to gain entry into the mainstream of a discipline, I can only suggest that be pursued along classical lines. If on the other hand, the motivation is to advance knowledge, then I simply suggest that you share, even donate your ideas to the public domain where others who are in a better position to advance them can do exactly that. If those ideas have merit, the self-knowledge of your contributions should more than suffice.

    Best regards,
    EigenState

  32. #59
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    Reading this thread has reminded me of a point
    that has long seemed lost on people. Peer
    review is not an objective in itself! When a
    publishing company has an established journal
    for whatever scientific subject you can think
    of, they obviously wish to maintain a good,
    reputable standard in whatever they publish
    in it. So the review process came into being.
    Its origins no doubt go way back.

    So Peer review is "only" a quality control
    process! It does not, repeat does not, mean
    all ideas floated by whatever means are to
    be disregarded if not put forward in a peer
    review process. If a subject is of interest
    the real scientist will note and possibly
    discuss it with colleagues.

  33. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    Here in BAUT, and in many other internet discussion fora, you can easily find posts on the difficulty of getting independent astrophysics, planetary science, cosmology, etc research published. If you read such posts, you will find 1001 reasons why independent researchers can't get anything published in ApJ, MNRAS, etc.
    The main reason why independent researchers cannot get published in mainstream journals is their lack of association with a university or a research institute.
    Try the following experiment:
    1. Submit a paper using your university contact. Chances are, provided that the paper is good that the journal will accept it.
    2. Now, change a few things (cosmetic stuff) , remove your university contact and submit what is essentially the same paper to several other journals. (not simultaneously). Chances are that you will get 100% rejection , in many instances without even getting any reviewers assigned.

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