Along my studies as an undergraduate I have written a short paper with some very neat results in. So I sent the paper to one of my professors to get some feedback. He replied saying that although some of the formulae I'd come up with are very pretty, it would be hard to get the paper published. He said I could try and send it to some journals but didn't really give me anything more to go on. Where do I go from here?

For some context on the paper, I have found numerous closed form expressions for infinite products similar to Wallis products and some more general formulae similar to Catalan-type infinite products.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Look around for journals that publish papers that look similar in depth to yours. If the paper is (somewhat) expository and elementary you could think about Mathematics Magazine. $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2018 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ It is not expository and not really elementary $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2018 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Would it be too much work to turn some of these results into puzzles for (say) the Monthly? $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2018 at 16:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To put an accepted timestamp on the work, you can send it to arxiv. This is standard and mathematicians and other researchers use it all the time. It (typically) does not limit your ability to publish it in another form later. arxiv.org $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Jan 20, 2018 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Let me be honest: as an undergraduate, it seems very unlikely that you found any new and signicant enough result that can be published.

It sounds to me like that is what your professor was hinting at, although he may not have wanted to commit either way.

If you are intent on getting your paper published, you should first make sure that your results are new. That means reading books/articles dealing with similar topics, and asking experts if they are aware of such formulas. If the results are not new, they are not publishable.

Even if they are not written anywhere, it is also possible that experts are familiar with it and that people have just not bothered to publish them. Again, not publishable.

Finally, if the results are new you can try to send them to a journal. In that case you should try to find a journal which has published in the past papers similar to yours in content, topic and length. Again, if you cannot find such a journal then probably your results are not publishable.

If you do find a suitable journal, then you should type your paper in latex, in a format similar to their articles (abstract, introduction, statement of main results, proofs) and follow the guidelines for submission on their webpage.

PS: If it turns out your paper is not publishable, don't take it personnally. Most people get their first publishable results halfway through grad school.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh I know it is very unlikely to get published, I am not deluded. Also, the email from my professor wasn't as negative as I think I implied. I have since sent it to an 'expert' on the subject and he seemed very willing to help me publish. $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2018 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshuaFarrell well those are definitely good signs. then the easiest would probably be for either of them to give you suggestions about the journal. $\endgroup$
    – Albert
    Jan 21, 2018 at 10:12

First out, math.SE is probably not the best forum for this question.

It's definitely publishable, the main problem is to figure out an audience - where would it be welcome?

As you grow older you will slowly learn where stuff fits better. Until then you just have to try and try everywhere you get a chance and you will slowly work out what pieces of your work you think will be popular where. Just try to not be discouraged if people don't understand where your work will fit. Because that is likely to happen a lot. It is kind of part of the training or something like that.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .