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I have a friend who for various reasons does not have access to the Internet. We communicate by snail mail.

He has written a paper about a scientific topic. His paper claims that the mainstream view on this topic is incorrect. He also introduces some concepts of his own, which he feels elucidate the mechanisms behind certain known scientific laws.

I disagreed with his conclusions that the mainstream view is incorrect, but I found the concepts he introduced to be genuinely interesting. I enjoyed reading the paper and I think that others might also enjoy it for similar reasons. But I want to stress that the paper is obviously wrong, even to a beginning student of the subject.

My friend wants to publish in some kind of free online scientific journal. I explained to him that I was happy to help him with publication. At the same time, I offered to share my opinions with him about why his paper is wrong in some of its criticisms of the status quo. He wanted to hear my thoughts. So, for a couple of years, my off-and-on letters included attempts to make him understand that the contradiction he had found had actually arisen from his own misinterpretation of the accepted theory.

Finally I realized that my pedagogical efforts weren't producing results. I reflected that nothing is 100% true, particularly in science, and I decided to give it a rest. I thought about how other parts of the paper had inspired me. I remembered my original offer and reiterated it; he said that yes, he still wants to publish.

So now I am wondering where I can send the paper.

  • Do you want to get it peer-reviewed, or just put it somewhere where many people can read it? – Alexander Jun 8 '18 at 23:49
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    I'm not sure what is meant by "peer-reviewed". I don't think the paper would be accepted by a traditional panel of volunteer reviewers from its field. Obviously it would be better to publish the paper in a journal which is edited by someone who can read it and evaluate its merits. If that means prefacing the paper with a disclaimer from the editor, I imagine that would be OK. – Metamorphic Jun 9 '18 at 0:07
  • I'm putting this on hold for the moment. In general, Stack Exchange deals poorly with questions seeking service recommendations. However, I suspect this could be a very good question if you Edit it to ask "what should my friend do next in order to have this paper published?". Is such an edit sufficiently in line with what you want to know that you think it would be useful? In general, it's better to ask about process ("how do I do X?") than about end results ("please show me an X") because the former ages much more gracefully than the latter. – user Jun 9 '18 at 5:27
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    I also want to point out that while it is true as you say that "nothing is 100% true, particularly in science", it is also the case that in science, any newly proposed explanation must fit the existing data at least as well as the established theory, and typically add something beyond the established theory. Take Newtonian and relativistic mechanics, for example; Newtonian mechanics didn't become invalid when Einstein published his theories of relativity, but special and general relativity explained cases that Newtonian mechanics didn't. Newtonian is still a decent approximation in many cases. – user Jun 9 '18 at 5:30
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    As a professional research scientist that publishes academically: Let this go. No reputable journal will publish this. There are several irreputable journals that will publish literally any garbage for a few thousand dollars, and nobody reads them, and real scientists laugh at them. Bad science just won't make it into anything real scientists read. If you keep looking, you will find some slick con-men promising international exposure to top minds in the field, for the low low price of $5000, or whatever they think he can pay. Guaranteed thousands of PhD readers, sure thing! 100% lies. – Amadeus Jun 9 '18 at 9:51