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Note: this question was already asked at MathOverflow but deemed off-topic. I think this is a better place to post it.


The purpose of a research paper is to present new results in a given field. But how far should an author go in developing his results? Since the discovery of a single new theorem could affect a variety of other fields/subfields, should the author go a step further by dedicating one or more sections of the paper to discussing several implications of the paper's main result?

Or should the paper "draw the line" once the main results have been established, and let other authors derive its implications in further publications?

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    The paper should go far enough to be accepted at the submitted venue... If substantially more work is likely to follow, then defer that work to a second paper (possibly at a different venue), otherwise (more work, but not substantially more), include all the results in a single paper. – user2768 Dec 8 '17 at 13:44
  • The "line" I'm trying to establish is this "substantially more" – Klangen Dec 8 '17 at 13:46
  • Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. – user2768 Dec 8 '17 at 14:17
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    It's really hard to give general guidelines about this, as it depends on the results, their context, the level of journal you're aiming for, the story that you're trying to tell, etc. Talk to your advisor about it! – Noah Snyder Dec 8 '17 at 15:16
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One idea per paper, from my experience on AI and related formal work. Implications are typically left for the last part of the conclusions. Look at a typical paper in the area you want to publish in and see how far they go with those implications.

You can write a separate (mathematical) paper on implications across areas. It is not unusual to publish concerning the same idea in multiple fields. This - could be - salami slicing but it can also be extremely useful to practitioners in those fields.

For example, the seminal paper "On the acceptability of arguments and its fundamental role in nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming and n-person games" by Dung took formal argumentation, gave it an abstract graph-theoretic conceptualisation and semantics, and then showed morphisms between previously separate areas.

If the implications you look into would change the title of your paper or the introduction to include words such as "role" or "link" or "morphism" then that may be a different paper.

  • "If the implications you look into would change the title of your paper or the introduction to include words such as "role" or "link" or "morphism" then that may be a different paper." -> That is perfectly put. Thank you! – Klangen Dec 8 '17 at 15:09
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    Unfortunately “one idea per paper” is no longer always sufficient for biology papers. It’s often necessary to combine several related findings in one manuscript to make it “interesting” enough. – Konrad Rudolph Dec 8 '17 at 16:48

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