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So, I'm sitting here, chewing on a couple of novel data structures. I'm thinking of coding them up, but I'ven't got any professional use for them at the moment. Nonetheless, they solve interesting problems, and deserve reference implementations. So, I'd like to publish them, ideally in a peer-reviewed journal, so there's at least an off-chance someone will run into them and get some use out of it.

But I can't for the life of me figure out how I'd even start to go about such a process, and none of my old professors seem to be in a position to help. Can I get a primer on how to go about getting something published in a moderately reputable journal?

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Are you going to call them "Kurzer Beans?" As you probably know, "kurzer" means "shorter" in German. – Mark C Dec 14 '10 at 1:46
I did consider it, actually! Think I ought? – Jake Kurzer Dec 14 '10 at 2:06
Just wondering... if you don't have any use for them, what makes you think that someone else will, and that it will be worth the effort, apart from the satisfaction of going through the process and seeing it through until your stuff is out there with your name? You do mention that they solve interesting problems though, so that clashes a bit with your 2nd sentence. – haylem Dec 14 '10 at 2:24
Fixed that a bit. It would be better to say that they're outside the problem domains which dominate at the shop where I am employed. – Jake Kurzer Dec 14 '10 at 2:39
up vote 7 down vote accepted

In computer science, you generally don't immediately send something to a journal. Instead, you find a conference that is relevant to your problem, and send them a write-up of your findings (usually 2-3 pages, check the papers of the last year's conference for length and style of writing). Ideally, the conference papers are peer-reviewed, so that you get at least 1-2 useful comments on your work. Then you go to the conference, and present your work. This ensures that your ideas are being spread to the people who are most likely to be interested in your work, and who are experts enough that you get a lot more interesting/useful feedback.

Finally, if your ideas are well-received, and if you really want to have a publication in a journal, you can submit your longer and more detailed write-up there, but be patient. You will likely have to wait a while for referee comments, and then you might have to do some additional work - if the paper is not rejected, which means that you'll start over with another journal.

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be prepared to-- – Mark C Dec 14 '10 at 4:56
@Mark C: Oops, thank you. – Jonas Dec 14 '10 at 12:49
  1. research the market; see if it's been done before, and how your ideas are different. Part of this research will help you figure out what journals may be interested in the topic, based on similar things they've published in the past. Citeseerx is an awesome academic journal search tool.

  2. if the project is still a go, write the paper in the style of the journal you've selected to target

  3. send it to them

  4. wait

  5. edit as directed

  6. ???

  7. Profit!

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I can't think of a moderately reputable journal of programming science, the web seems to be the primary communication channel for such stuff. For peer review, you could for instance post your idea on Stack Overflow, you won't find a lot of other places with more qualified peers ready to burn their time.

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I'm not sure what you mean. If nothing else, I would consider the ACM's various publications reputable, and there's a SIG for practically anything. – Jake Kurzer Dec 14 '10 at 3:08
I never heard of that organisation before, but it looks like a dead end for information. Bjarne Stroustrup is a regular writer, and being such a prominent figure, his articles according to the statistics each gets bought around 100 times per year:… You would most likely get more attention posting on your private blog. – aaaaaaaaaaaa Dec 14 '10 at 4:27
Have you read anything by Mr. Stroustrup? – Jake Kurzer Dec 16 '10 at 19:23
Not a lot, my point was merely that if the platform had a reasonable reach then he at least, being a somewhat famous figure, should get a lot of reads. – aaaaaaaaaaaa Dec 16 '10 at 19:29
Not... so much. His work tends to be so dense you could murder someone by reciting it. I just finished reading Appendix D, and I feel like someone drove a train through the right hemisphere of my brain. The ACM, and the associated SIGs, are definitely real and meaningful outlets, even if they are less well-read than they once were. – Jake Kurzer Dec 16 '10 at 21:12

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