You don’t need to be a scientist, you don’t even need to have a college education. Anyone can do it. Just follow these 10 simple rules:
1) Select the Social Sciences discipline of your choice: History, Anthropology, or Linguistics, whatever makes you tick.
2) Make up an outrageous hypothesis. Whatever crosses your mind – no matter how stupid it sounds – will be fine. For instance, you can argue that Man never set foot on the moon, that Eskimos have millions of words for snow, or that the real author of special relativity is Einstein’s wife. These are the kind of hip ideas that could later become a PBS series and make you a pop science star.
3) Design an unintelligible title. Don’t be cheap with words, and avoid making any sense. Write something like “Towards A Complete And Comprehensive Hermeneutics Of The Historical Origins Of General Relativity: Einstein’s Thought-Processes Revised”.
4) Start writing the paper in the same incoherent way but following a standard structure that includes the following sections in order: Abstract, Introduction, Study, Methodology, Results, Conclusions and References. Editors have very strict rules for making no sense.
5) In order to “validate” whatever you’re saying, produce some evidence and use real scientific terminology. Choose from a field that is currently fashionable like genetics or information technology. For example, say you used “genetic algorithms” to make a computer model of Einstein’s brain which proves he could never have came up with such a brilliant idea.
6) Feel free to use statistics or algebraic notations. The fact that you know nothing about mathematics shouldn’t be a problem. Numbers rule in the academic world. Here’s an example:
x= number of love letters Einstein sent to his wife
y= frequency of bad hair days
7) Include as many references as you can and choose preferably French postmodern authors such as Foucault or Derrida. Social scientists love them and their theories are so obscure that you can twist them to support almost anything.
8) Add in expressions in French or German like enfant terrible or unheimlich, arguing that they communicate better the “meaning you want to convey.” Editors will be very impressed with your sophistication. Of course, remember to put them in italics.
9) Don’t forget the acknowledgments (as many as you need to complete the number of words required by the editors) and a small paragraph accepting that your study is “just a little step towards discovering the whole truth.” Natural scientists have a bad reputation for being arrogant, so a bit of humility could buy you more points with the editorial committee of any Humanities publication.
10) Finally, choose the right magazine and submit your work. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you say as long as you flatter the editor’s ideological preconceptions. For example, the Einstein’s wife paper should be sent to the Journal of Feminist Studies or The Deconstructivist Historian.
Now enjoy seeing your work published and if you come across any typos don’t worry. You’ll probably be your only reader.