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Recently, I saw an online presentation by a researcher and professor regarding a series of recently published papers. At the end, she mentioned she was working on a follow-up paper, regarding such and such... I have checked for it, and it has still not been published.

Perhaps it was a dead-end, and abandoned. Would it be appropriate to ask the professor about the progess made, and whether it has been abandoned, or when it will be published?

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up vote 28 down vote accepted

Certainly this is appropriate, especially if you indicate who you are and why you are interested. Researchers are interested in spreading their results far and wide to get citations.

The worst that can happen is that the research is not yet quite publication-ready, and the author prefers not to share it yet, to avoid academic claim-jumping. If so, you may get exactly this explanation, or no answer at all.

The best, conversely, would be that this could actually lead to a fruitful discussion and/or even collaboration.

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Another distinct possibility is that the paper is finished but is still in the pipeline for publication. In that case, the author might very well be willing to share a preprint with you. (I assume you have already checked her website, as well as arXiv or a similar preprint server if your discipline uses one.) – Nate Eldredge May 28 '14 at 14:58
@NateEldredge: I doubt in this case it's in the pipeline, the talk is 2 years old. Nevertheless, I'd be interest to hear about any results. – JamalS May 28 '14 at 16:44
@user1997744: In my field (mathematics), 2 years would not be an unusual amount for the pipeline. Especially if it took her some time to finish the project, and then it was rejected from the first journal where she submitted it, etc... – Nate Eldredge May 28 '14 at 16:49
@user1997744 It might also be that she changed her plan and did not pursue it. – adipro May 28 '14 at 22:00

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