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I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

UPDATE: Well this certainly took off! I would like to add the following:

  • The overwhelming consensus is that it would be unethical for me to "scoop" the other authors, so I will not do that. The advice from all is greatly appreciated.

  • The journal is the top in its field, so we have to be extremely selective. The problem proposed is fairly interesting, but overall the paper does not meet our threshold.

  • When I say that brute force is better than their method, I mean it in a provable, big O sense.

  • The authors' proposed scheme is not only inefficient, it is written in a very confusing way. In fact, I asked them to compare their approach to brute-force as a way of helping them clarify their argument, and they did a bad job of it, which is what led me to look into it in the first place.

  • The fact that brute force performs better than their scheme is not totally trivial because it relies on a combinatorial argument that is not amazing, but not completely obvious either.

  • I will share my proof with the Editor in chief, but I have decided not to give it to the authors; I will consider publishing independently in the future if their work ever appears elsewhere.

  • Their paper is not on arXiv or any other website.

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

UPDATE: Well this certainly took off! I would like to add the following:

  • The overwhelming consensus is that it would be unethical for me to "scoop" the other authors, so I will not do that. The advice from all is greatly appreciated.

  • The journal is the top in its field, so we have to be extremely selective. The problem proposed is fairly interesting, but overall the paper does not meet our threshold.

  • When I say that brute force is better than their method, I mean it in a provable, big O sense.

  • The authors' proposed scheme is not only inefficient, it is written in a very confusing way. In fact, I asked them to compare their approach to brute-force as a way of helping them clarify their argument, and they did a bad job of it, which is what led me to look into it in the first place.

  • The fact that brute force performs better than their scheme is not totally trivial because it relies on a combinatorial argument that is not amazing, but not completely obvious either.

  • I will share my proof with the Editor in chief, but I have decided not to give it to the authors; I will consider publishing independently in the future if their work ever appears elsewhere.

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

UPDATE: Well this certainly took off! I would like to add the following:

  • The overwhelming consensus is that it would be unethical for me to "scoop" the other authors, so I will not do that. The advice from all is greatly appreciated.

  • The journal is the top in its field, so we have to be extremely selective. The problem proposed is fairly interesting, but overall the paper does not meet our threshold.

  • When I say that brute force is better than their method, I mean it in a provable, big O sense.

  • The authors' proposed scheme is not only inefficient, it is written in a very confusing way. In fact, I asked them to compare their approach to brute-force as a way of helping them clarify their argument, and they did a bad job of it, which is what led me to look into it in the first place.

  • The fact that brute force performs better than their scheme is not totally trivial because it relies on a combinatorial argument that is not amazing, but not completely obvious either.

  • I will share my proof with the Editor in chief, but I have decided not to give it to the authors; I will consider publishing independently in the future if their work ever appears elsewhere.

  • Their paper is not on arXiv or any other website.

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I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

UPDATE: Well this certainly took off! I would like to add the following:

  • The overwhelming consensus is that it would be unethical for me to "scoop" the other authors, so I will not do that. The advice from all is greatly appreciated.

  • The journal is the top in its field, so we have to be extremely selective. The problem proposed is fairly interesting, but overall the paper does not meet our threshold.

  • When I say that brute force is better than their method, I mean it in a provable, big O sense.

  • The authors' proposed scheme is not only inefficient, it is written in a very confusing way. In fact, I asked them to compare their approach to brute-force as a way of helping them clarify their argument, and they did a bad job of it, which is what led me to look into it in the first place.

  • The fact that brute force performs better than their scheme is not totally trivial because it relies on a combinatorial argument that is not amazing, but not completely obvious either.

  • I will share my proof with the Editor in chief, but I have decided not to give it to the authors; I will consider publishing independently in the future if their work ever appears elsewhere.

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

UPDATE: Well this certainly took off! I would like to add the following:

  • The overwhelming consensus is that it would be unethical for me to "scoop" the other authors, so I will not do that. The advice from all is greatly appreciated.

  • The journal is the top in its field, so we have to be extremely selective. The problem proposed is fairly interesting, but overall the paper does not meet our threshold.

  • When I say that brute force is better than their method, I mean it in a provable, big O sense.

  • The authors' proposed scheme is not only inefficient, it is written in a very confusing way. In fact, I asked them to compare their approach to brute-force as a way of helping them clarify their argument, and they did a bad job of it, which is what led me to look into it in the first place.

  • The fact that brute force performs better than their scheme is not totally trivial because it relies on a combinatorial argument that is not amazing, but not completely obvious either.

  • I will share my proof with the Editor in chief, but I have decided not to give it to the authors; I will consider publishing independently in the future if their work ever appears elsewhere.

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