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When did Solar Cycle 25 Start?

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We developed a new theory (A Formula For the Start of a New Sunspot Cycle) to calculate the start of a new sunspot cycle: the paper was published in Astrophysics and Space Science. Determining the start of a solar cycle is one of the most followed questions in astrophysics because it may be important to professionals like astronauts, astrophysicists, engineers responsible for  protecting the power grid, etcetera.

The latest NASA prediction panel considers April 2020 as likely to become the starting month of the new cycle. We disagree and point to October 2019 as a central point to calculate the start. Why? Since 1947 a radio telescope in Canada has been measuring solar flux.  We found something peculiar: in most of the previous 6 cycle transitions, the lowest daily solar flux values were near 64. The new solar cycle started a few months before or after these clusters of minimum values. In October 2019 there was another cluster of measurements below 66.  A preliminary conclusion was that Cycle 25 was going to start between August 2019 and January 2020.

Co-author Jan Alvestad has a widely followed website Solar Terrestrial Activity Report and maintains high resolution sunspot counts based on images from the SDO NASA spacecraft. If you look (indirectly) at the Sun with telescopes, most days will be spotless near solar minimum, and those spots that can be observed are small and usually disappear quickly. However, there are plenty of tiny spots in high resolution images. For instance when other observers using traditional resolution telescopes see 1 sunspot at minimum, Jan Alvestad observes and documents 4-6 times more at the highest image resolution. This gives a new perspective on the 300 year old method of counting sunspots.

Meanwhile we found more markers (under review) and their latest calculations point to November-December 2019, and especially December 2019 as the likely start of  Solar Cycle 25.

Shortly after we found that Solar Cycle 25 started in November or December 2019, we discovered something that at first seemed hard to believe. Using 365 days smoothing, 4 out of 5 of the data series available all had the solar minimum on the same day. The NOAA sunspot number, solar flux at 1 AU as well as both the STAR 1K and 2K high resolution sunspot numbers all had their lowest value on November 17, 2019. We sent a paper on this discovery for peer review knowing it would not be published before the official announcement of the start of Solar Cycle 25. Anyway, co-author Jan Alvestad added this important information to the STAR web site in June 2020. The pre-print was published on ResearchGate as the last in a trilogy of papers that could change how we determine when a new solar cycle begins.

 More can be found on the website of Jan Alvestad: http://solarresearch.info/

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Posted (edited)

Interesting - I had just noticed on solen.info/solar that it was nailed down as November of 2019 as the actual solar minimum based on this new method. I don't know about a $40 paywall for reading the published article, though... 🤮

I have found the PDF file, my mistake. All should read!

Edited by Christopher S.

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23 hours ago, Patrick Geryl said:

We developed a new theory (A Formula For the Start of a New Sunspot Cycle) to calculate the start of a new sunspot cycle

I have a copy of your article "The Adjusted Solar flux & the Start of Solar Cycle 25" uploaded to ResearchGate on December, 9 2018. It is interesting. The abstract says:

"Many solar cycle researchers think that cycle 25 will start late 2019 or even in 2020-2021. However, after analyzing the lowest adjusted 10.7cm solar flux values, we find that the adjusted flux for November 2018 is low enough to give the start of solar cycle 25 between October 2018 and February 2019, November 2018 being most likely."

The formula given is: ((SMMAF/SMMSN *100-100)/10)+100

The latest copy of your article now gives a date one year later "Further findings point to November-December 2019 as the starting date for Solar Cycle 25."

And the formula has changed to: (SMMAF/SMMSN -1)*10+100

If your method accommodates to the changes in solar activity afterwards, how exactly does it constitute an improvement over counting sunspots?

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You need to read the peer reviewed article. You can read it for free if you click on the PDF. The key is the 2K high resolution sunspot calculation. It 'bounces up' a few months before the turning point. We didn't know that before. Also the 365 days smoothing average is a recent finding. Therefore you need to combine the info in our 3 articles.

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Posted (edited)

Regardless of the solar flux, it is - for historical reasons - always correct to roughly schedule the beginning of SC 25 for December 2019. 

The archives give this as a reasonable date.

In this respect I can agree with Patrick's statements without exception.

Edited by JoeLudwig
Data corrr.

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1 hour ago, Mckinnon said:

Why are the pics of the sun just black ? On the main page ? 

This is unrelated to this discussion entirely, but it appears the SDO is currently experiencing downtime. The GOES page has images you can view in the meantime.

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Posted (edited)

Sunspots are useless ... if you want to study the actual effect of the Sun on the Earth 

                                                                                                                                             

The Sunspots unit ..only exist because its obviously an easy way to determine (long term) activity 

But sunspots itself dont have effect on earth ... its the (solar) radiation that has the effect on earth.

 

Sunspots are now used as a proxy (longterm-indication of activity) ... but its sucks ..                                                                                                                                                   

i have for 6 months observed that sunspots-counting    and mostly i see NO SUNSPOTS

...while at the same moment there is lots of radiation coming (showing) from the sun                                                                                             

in other words the number of sunspots is useless because it does not represent the current situation     

sunspots are only good to see (averaged) variations over a long period. 

So for a meaningfull discussion or research you have to observe the solar-radiation ... not the sunspots.  

In addition if you want to know the effect on earth ... you have to observe where and when this solar-radiation hits the surface of the earth.                                                   

This is called the "path-of-the-sun"  over the earths surface ...you could call it the sun's FOOTPRINT.   

  I have studied this ...and the conclusion is that you can even predict virus-outbreaks , earthquakes ...etc, 

 by observing the sun's (moving) footpint on the Earth's surface ... its a varying pattern that repeats for years/centuries/forever)  

You can even find these patterns by looking at the "tectonic" plates  and the lines where earth-quakes take place. 

 

 

 

Edited by Ron NL

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ron NL said:

I have studied this ...and the conclusion is that you can even predict virus-outbreaks , earthquakes

Can you give a provable theory, or at least a hypothesis from your studies? If you can predict earthquakes based on solar radiation, can you point out one such earthquake preceded by some spike in solar radiation? What type of solar radiation are you referring to, exactly - as the only radiation that successfully makes it to Earth's surface(at other than the extremely high latitudes) is UV and EUV? Isn't this type of solar radiation always reaching the surface of the Earth when unobstructed by cloud cover?

Please, if you know something we don't, share! That is the essence of scientific literature. It serves nobody but yourself to say that you have studied this, but have nothing to show for it.

Also, this discussion is on determining the beginnings and ends of solar cycles with a new method by Jan Alvestad, not about sunspot effects on Earth. You seem to have completely misinterpreted Patrick's post.

Edited by Christopher S.

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I would highly appreciate it if talk about alternative science like earthquakes etc. stays in the 'dedicated 'Other'' forum and doesn't spill over in topics like this one. Thanks for understanding! Also welcome Patrick on the SpaceWeatherLive.com forums. As I said in our mail exchange, congratulations on the release of your paper and great to see you on this forum.

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On 7/28/2020 at 5:25 AM, Patrick Geryl said:

Determining the start of a solar cycle is one of the most followed questions in astrophysics because it may be important to professionals like astronauts, astrophysicists, engineers responsible for  protecting the power grid, etcetera.

 

I submit that determining/predicting the time and intensity of the *maximum* of a solar cycle is far more important than predicting the *start* of a solar cycle.  The sun is at its most active during its maximum in the solar cycle when adverse solar effects impacting astronauts, power grid, communications, etc. are more likely to occur.

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Posted (edited)

Agreed, Marcel.

Jan and Patrick, I enjoyed reading these articles. As far as my understanding of Solar Cycles goes, I feel confident in the prediction of Nov-Dec '19 as the start of SC25. Moving forward, your discovery of this formula should be recognized by the community at large and made an integral part of Solar Cycle predictions.

Thank you for posting this here!

Edited by Christopher S.
I recognized my place and gave a more proper thanks

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Posted (edited)

 

Cycle 25 began on 21 December 2019  ... @  approx 06:15                                         

Location of its 1st effects (radiation-footprint) on Earth was near @ crossing of  " International Date Line "  with   "Equator" 

.

Lets see if you can figure that one out ... its a question of (my) interpretation ... and verified with different types of science (sources)                                                                                                               

PS) 

Someone somewhere in this forum (or spaceweatherlive.com) ...  mentioned that something

happened in the Sun on mentioned date (21 dec 2019) ... cant find it back .. anyone ?

 

 

@Marcel de Bont    From studying earthquakes ...and how they are lined up over the earth (Seismic-lines , Tectonic-plates , Erosion)

you can see the history of the Sun's path over earth ... detailed enough to calculate the various Movements and Cycles of the Sun 

This is called a "proxy" method  ... if you cant find out about the behaviour of a subject ..then you study an other object that follows the same behaviour

So .. it is on topic and very related ... it must have been that you had not heard of this yet  ... thats ok ... i did not neither 1 year ago ;) 

Edited by Ron NL

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Posted (edited)

  Just found this ...see here the date that NASA thinks the new Cycle-25 started.     

 and conclude yourself how they picked that date               

Ha ha they are only max 4 days earlier from the date i mentioned above 

but i have my own date-calculation not from sunspots  ;)  ;)  ;) 

To me this nasa info ... is proof nr 4 that my date is right 

  https://solen.info/solar/cycle25_spots.html    

Edited by Ron NL

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28 minutes ago, Ron NL said:

To me this nasa info ... is proof nr 4 that my date is right 

  https://solen.info/solar/cycle25_spots.html    

Jan Alvestad and Patrick Geryl's work is done independently, and is their own - not NASA's. That website belongs to, and is run solely by Jan. You are free to make your own predictions and publish a paper, and I would love to read it.

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5 uren geleden, Drax Spacex zei:

I submit that determining/predicting the time and intensity of the *maximum* of a solar cycle is far more important than predicting the *start* of a solar cycle.  The sun is at its most active during its maximum in the solar cycle when adverse solar effects impacting astronauts, power grid, communications, etc. are more likely to occur.

I also have that. A part from that is published on ResearchGate. My hope is that the scientific community will research it after our prediction. I submitted it several times - no faults could be found - but it was probably too early. This is the theoretical sunspot theory:

 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329023855_A_New_Mathematical_and_Physical_Principle_to_Combine_Gravitation_with_Rotating_Oscillating_Magnetic_Fields_A_unifying_algorithm_that_solves_the_Sun's_differential_rotation_problem

With that I found the strength of cycles:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333445984_2_Solutions_for_the_Axial_Dipole_Field_In_Phase_and_in_Anti-Phase

So I know that the strength of Solar Cycle 25 is currently as strong as Solar Cycle 24. If the axial dipole field is stronger in the future, then the strength of Cycle 25 will also go up...

And I also found that the strength of the polar fields is in fact the solar flux. This proofs the finding of Jan Alvestad with his high resolution sunspot calculations:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patrick_Geryl/project/Research-Polar-Fields/attachment/5e9149edf155db0001f42cee/AS:878994169790464@1586579949042/download/Research+polar+fields.pdf?context=ProjectUpdatesLog

 

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3 hours ago, Patrick Geryl said:

I also have that. A part from that is published on ResearchGate. My hope is that the scientific community will research it after our prediction. I submitted it several times - no faults could be found - but it was probably too early. This is the theoretical sunspot theory:

 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329023855_A_New_Mathematical_and_Physical_Principle_to_Combine_Gravitation_with_Rotating_Oscillating_Magnetic_Fields_A_unifying_algorithm_that_solves_the_Sun's_differential_rotation_problem

With that I found the strength of cycles:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333445984_2_Solutions_for_the_Axial_Dipole_Field_In_Phase_and_in_Anti-Phase

So I know that the strength of Solar Cycle 25 is currently as strong as Solar Cycle 24. If the axial dipole field is stronger in the future, then the strength of Cycle 25 will also go up...

And I also found that the strength of the polar fields is in fact the solar flux. This proofs the finding of Jan Alvestad with his high resolution sunspot calculations:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patrick_Geryl/project/Research-Polar-Fields/attachment/5e9149edf155db0001f42cee/AS:878994169790464@1586579949042/download/Research+polar+fields.pdf?context=ProjectUpdatesLog

 

NASA could certainly use the help.  The solar dynamo does not have a good model to describe in detail the mechanisms of the Sun's changing magnetic fields.  https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/dynamo.shtml
 

I read your paper, and if I understand it, like the currently accepted methods, you cannot declare a solar minimum until many months after it has occurred, given the need to use ahead-looking data to provide smoothed fitted data for solar flux index and sunspot number.  It would be a significant discovery to find specific precursor data or features that can detect earlier and definitively the start of a new solar cycle.


Solar flux index and sunspot number convey generally the same information.  Its like comparing apples to apples.  Linear formula coefficients relating the two can be obtained using least-mean-squares fitting from empirical data.  e.g. https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/antennas-propagation/ionospheric/solar-indices-flux-a-ap-k-kp.php
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333533478_A_Study_of_the_correlation_between_Sunspot_Number_and_Solar_Flux_during_Solar_Cycle_24

Your derived statistic "Strength" uses solar flux index as the numerator and sunspot number as the denominator.  It should come as no surprise that the maximum value for Strength occurs when sunspot number is lowest.  (e.g. if sunspot number drops from 4 to 2 while SFI drops from 74 to 68, "Strength" almost doubles.)

If you review your results, would you not find that the month of your predicted solar minimum simply occurs in the month with the lowest smoothed fitted sunspot number, irrespective of solar flux index?

Please consider this a constructive criticism.  We live in a world of too much data and too little thinking.  As you have applied much thought to this, applaud your efforts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle_25

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10 uren geleden, Ron NL zei:

From studying earthquakes ...and how they are lined up over the earth (Seismic-lines , Tectonic-plates , Erosion)

you can see the history of the Sun's path over earth ... detailed enough to calculate the various Movements and Cycles of the Sun 

This is called a "proxy" method  ... if you cant find out about the behaviour of a subject ..then you study an other object that follows the same behaviour

So .. it is on topic and very related ... it must have been that you had not heard of this yet  ... thats ok ... i did not neither 1 year ago ;) 

I respect you're and many other people's interest in finding connections between the Sun and seismic activity on Earth the but as long as it isn't main stream science it has nothing do in this topic or forum. The paper provided by Jan is using a new theory yes, but that theory doesn't involve plate tectonics on Earth or anything of that sorts.

Again, we made SpaceWeatherLive for people to learn about space weather and access all the available data in the easiest way possible but we are not a platform that promotes alternative space weather science. However we also understand there is a significant audience who are interested in alternative space weather scientific topics and we respect that. That is why we have the ''Other'' forum where these topics can be discussed as long as the discussions remain civilized. Everybody is welcome and so are their opinions and views but there is a time and place for everything... but this topic isn't the place right now. Thanks and have a great day! :)👍

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Posted (edited)

I have not been able to read that paper ...because it is behind a paywall. 

Please dont post links to papers that cant be read without paying for them.

 

I dont know what you want from  me @Marcel de Bont   

Im simply responding to the question on top !

which was : When did Cycle-25 start ?

I replied to it ...and have explained about alternative ways that might allow you to calculate this. 

Dont come tell me that i am not allowed to suggest other ways to calculate Solar-Cycli   

I told you the start was 21 Dec 2019 

I showed you that Nasa agrees with that

I showed you that my other sources also agree with that date. 

So to me the question is solved.  

Edited by Ron NL
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Posted (edited)

@Patrick Geryl  , @Drax Spacex 

 

What part of a solar-cycle is important (Min,Max,Curve...etc)  

is determined by which part of it does impact life on earth.  

That is my definition of it. 

 

If you would study the planet Mars ...then the effect of the Sun on Mars

would be important for you ... but i assume most of us are interested in the effects of the Sun on Earth

 

And it is not that simple that only the Max's do have an influence

The Min's also do. 

The length of these Min's & Max's also matter. 

The inclination of the Curves (up & down) also matter.  

The WHOLE CURVE matters ! 

 

The problem in this discussion on this forum is that you want to discuss solar-activity & cycles

without mentioning the purpose of it ... what you want to establish with it ..  Alvestad et al 

dont mention any purpose ... its mainly research for the sake of research ... to stay busy.

Dont want to be totally negative ...so i should say ...any research will help.

 

1)

If it is for protecting the power-grid or satcoms ...then you look at certain aspects 

that go with that ... that will be mostly Solar-max ...and electromagnetic/fields aspects 

2)

If it is for life on Earth (biology) ...then you look mostly at radiation-aspects (ie: Visible-light & UV)  

in particular the CURVE of the cycle would be of interest ...cause that determines evolution.

3)

If its for aurora /polarlight ...you look at the solar-winds or cosmic-radiation effects 

and relate those with certain parts of the curve

4)

if its for radioamateur aspects ...you look at atmospheric influences 

and relate those to the curve

...etc 

 

So it all depends ... just calculating for the sake of calculating is USELESS

you have to have a goal ... a purpose ... that purpose will lead you to what part of the Solar-cycle

are of most interest to you ... in other words ...dont think its only the max (peaks) that influences anything 

its ALL OF THE CURVE  

 

The thought that only Max do influence anything is outdated by centuries 

any report stating they have calculated the beginning of a cycle ... is nice to know

but without a purpose (context) it is useless.

 

So ..yes indeed ... the Alvestad et al report ... is useless ..because it misses a purpose 

in addition the mentioned date that is supposed to be the start of Cycle-25 is wrong by 1 month 

 

You can not find a start of a Solar-Cycle ... without 1st defining what a Solar-Cycle is

so start defining the Solar-cycle first ..its a redicioulous scientific concept to try and find the beginning

of a phenomena without first having defined what that phenomena is. 

 

Using the "Number of Solar-spots" as an indicator of solar-activity ... is nothing more then a easy and lazy way

of observing it ...solar-spots are not representing the realtime events ...they lag behind .. sunspots are

the result of building up activity ...they only show-up after a certain level was reached (trigger/treshold/dose/exponential) 

All variations in activity that goes on below that trigger-point will not be shown as variations in NR-of-Sunspots.

It stays below the radar ... you are missing the details. ... Sunspots are a slow and bad proxy for Solar-activity. 

As a result calculating the start of a cycle by using Nr-of-Sunspots ..is doomed to fail cause the basics are not good.

 

Edited by Ron NL
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9 hours ago, Ron NL said:

I have not been able to read that paper ...because it is behind a paywall. 

Please dont post links to papers that cant be read without paying for them.

This was explained earlier in the discussion that the PDF of the article is free. Your lack of critical reading skills, and propensity to become disrespectful and seemingly upset due to failure to interpret, is absolutely shocking! I don't feel like hand-holding you through this because you're acting like a troll.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 

The troll is you

I do my best to explain something ... i write long pieces

and all you have to say is complaining that i did not see that the paper was downloadable 

Well i dont have time to read everything ... if you want to make clear that its free downloadable then you

have to put that on top ...the first words of you post should mention it .. i did not see it right away. 

but i did later ... so  my later comments were based on the contents of that pdf.

And i say again ..its a useless paper ... by someone who likes to play with mathematics without a real purpose for it

and in addition they are off by at least a month anyway.

 

But im out of here ...  you all have a to limited understanding of science 

you are a bunch of radioamateurs and aurora-campers that dont give a damn about the crisis. 

You attack me for being off-topic ... while it is on topic ... but you didn't know that ...etc

So im out of here ... im not going to the level of insulting ...but i should.

so hand-holding wont be neccesary  ... you know where you can put your hands.

 

 

Edited by Ron NL

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Op 29/7/2020 om 23:47, Drax Spacex zei:

I submit that determining/predicting the time and intensity of the *maximum* of a solar cycle is far more important than predicting the *start* of a solar cycle.  The sun is at its most active during its maximum in the solar cycle when adverse solar effects impacting astronauts, power grid, communications, etc. are more likely to occur.

 

22 uren geleden, Drax Spacex zei:

NASA could certainly use the help.  The solar dynamo does not have a good model to describe in detail the mechanisms of the Sun's changing magnetic fields.  https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/dynamo.shtml
 

I read your paper, and if I understand it, like the currently accepted methods, you cannot declare a solar minimum until many months after it has occurred, given the need to use ahead-looking data to provide smoothed fitted data for solar flux index and sunspot number.  It would be a significant discovery to find specific precursor data or features that can detect earlier and definitively the start of a new solar cycle.


Solar flux index and sunspot number convey generally the same information.  Its like comparing apples to apples.  Linear formula coefficients relating the two can be obtained using least-mean-squares fitting from empirical data.  e.g. https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/antennas-propagation/ionospheric/solar-indices-flux-a-ap-k-kp.php
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333533478_A_Study_of_the_correlation_between_Sunspot_Number_and_Solar_Flux_during_Solar_Cycle_24

Your derived statistic "Strength" uses solar flux index as the numerator and sunspot number as the denominator.  It should come as no surprise that the maximum value for Strength occurs when sunspot number is lowest.  (e.g. if sunspot number drops from 4 to 2 while SFI drops from 74 to 68, "Strength" almost doubles.)

If you review your results, would you not find that the month of your predicted solar minimum simply occurs in the month with the lowest smoothed fitted sunspot number, irrespective of solar flux index?

Please consider this a constructive criticism.  We live in a world of too much data and too little thinking.  As you have applied much thought to this, applaud your efforts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle_25

 

As stated before, I hope that our findings can help in the publication of my other findings. An important one is that the solar flux is in fact the same as the axial dipole field = sunspot number. Jan Alvestad currently found a strong proof for that. We added that to our article for peer review (not on ResearchGate because it is a recent finding)

 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342548883_Solar_Cycle_25_Started_on_November_17_2019_with_365_Days_Smoothing

In short the correlation for solar max between SSN and Solar flux:  ISN 0.817    High resolution 1K: 0.987

So the ISN is 'not so good', while the high resolution is 'wow', meaning that we speak about the same phenomenon!

The publication of our article was possible because I got help from Jan Alvestad. Is there any other astronomer or scientist interested in co-authoring my above listed articles on ResearchGate? 

 

How to compare different data sets

Up until now no valid method was proposed to compare the different sunspot methods. However, if we fit all the data sets with the 10.7cm adjusted flux and fit the adjusted flux with the sunspot methods, we find a workable approach.

 

Percentage difference between average fitted and average adjusted solar 10.7 flux strength after corrections. The calculation started in January 2012 and ended with an adjusted flux above 100 on February 2016.

 

Cycle 24

 

Duration

 

2012/01 -  2015/12

Average difference in % between fitted and adjusted solar flux

STAR

Highest difference

 

 

 

Date         % diff.

Second

highest difference

 

 

Date         % diff.

Fitted 2K

-0.1

  2014/10     -12.7

2012/01    -11.4

Fitted 1K

-0.2

  2014/03     12.3

  2014/05      11.9

Fitted mean 1K+2K

-0.1

2016/02     16.0

2014/10    -12.7

Fitted NOAA

-0.2

2014/10    -17.5

2015/03    -15.2

Fitted ISN

-3.8

2015/03    -20.9

2014/10    -20.8

Fitted Wolf

-5.1

2014/10    -20.9

2015/03    -19.9

Fitted formula Tapping

-6.6

2015/03    -24.5

2014/10    -23.5

 

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4 hours ago, Patrick Geryl said:

The publication of our article was possible because I got help from Jan Alvestad. Is there any other astronomer or scientist interested in co-authoring my above listed articles on ResearchGate?

Publishing without the right academic credentials in the highly competitive "publish or perish" current environment has become very difficult. You have my sympathy. Do not fall for the trap of predatory journals that would publish anything for a price.

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