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Hi,

I am a beginning mathematician and I need some publishing advice. I have some results obtained during my PhD research and I was wondering about the best way to publish them.

My initial intuition was to write one long article containing all my results (because for me it is all part of the same research). On the other hand, a more experienced mathematician suggested to publish two medium articles, with the following rationalizations: a short article is more likely to be read/published, the results can be presented independently and as a beginning mathematician it is better that I have a reasonable number of short articles instead of very few long articles (this may sound a bit cynical).

This sounded reasonable enough, but when I wrote the two articles, I found out that a quit large part which I introduce the setting is practically the same in both articles (the results and main theorems are obviously different).

I am looking for advice – how reasonable is it for a mathematician to publish two articles which has a very similar beginning and themes? (I should stress – the results are different – I am not trying to publish the same result twice!)

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I don't think there's generic advice that works for all people in your situation. Why not talk to your dissertation advisor, or some other senior mathematician wherever you acquired your Ph.D? –  Ryan Budney Feb 19 '12 at 8:57
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Please don't use the username "mathoverflow". There is a computer controlled account of almost exactly this name which does housekeeping work-- it's very confusing if now a real person is also using this name... –  Matthew Daws Feb 19 '12 at 9:22
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what about a splitted version, with the same title, into "part I" and "part II", to be submitted possibly (but not necessarily) to the same journal? –  Pietro Majer Feb 19 '12 at 9:50
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It might help to know in which field you work (the average article length and count varies a lot among sub-fields), and how many pages you consider "long" to be. –  Federico Poloni Feb 19 '12 at 9:53
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4 Answers

I think if you have sure-shot audiences/readers then only you should come up with a one long article publication otherwise the best thing is to give your articles in parts(depending upon how long it is). Repitition of a a few results is not always bad. It may help people link and remember the points that you have discussed in your Part 1 and the best thing in coming with two parts is you can assure some pre-available readers for your Article.2

Why I said this is Ramanujam prepared three notebooks with only results and didn't send all of his work at once to the mathematicians of his time. Think if he would have sent his complete set of notebooks along with the solution and derivations then may be he won't have been what he is today.

Only a small piece is enough for people to see the spark in you and keep subscribed to your upcoming works which you can mention (in very brief ) along with your Part 1.

But this is purely a piece of **my personal thinking**. *Do whatever you feel suits you the best for nothing in this world is predictable.* Anyways good luck in advance.
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I would say that writing two articles with the same introductory body is not the problem. Rather, are the results of both articles going in the same direction? If yes, then it should be better writing a single article, or a two-part article.; If, on the other hand the results of the two articles point in different directions then maybe you should split the article.

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It depends! I am not giving any advice but I am only recalling an anti-measure theoretic quote in this context:

              “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” - Aristotle

It may help to think in these lines. All the best!

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I think this a constant question for everyone, e.g. right now my co-authors have been debating about this for months and they are experienced researchers. I would follow the advice given by your experienced friend, as probably he knows better, plus I also agree with what he said in general. You should not feel bad about repeating some definitions twice, people do it all the time.

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