I have recently read an interesting article on number theory, published in a well-known mathematics journal. As a keen amateur mathematician, I have tried to develop some of the ideas presented in the paper. Surprisingly, I have come to a remarkable conclusion that might be worth publishing. Naturally, I first wanted to make sure that this has not been published before, so I tried to find papers that referenced the original article.
The issue is that websites that index or catalog scholarly material are off-limits to non-academics. In particular, in order to find references to certain papers or authors, one must first log in with an institution's credentials, which obviously I do not possess. What are my options? Do I:
- write up my research anyway and try to publish it, with the risk of wasting everybody's time if a similar publication has already been made,
- waste the original author's time by asking him to send me a list of references to his article (with a high probability of having my request immediately discarded), or
- pay a high subscription fee to these cataloging websites in order to find what I'm looking for?
Is there another way for me to go about this?