The previous days i begun with a research project on economic impact of physical disasters, and in the mean time , I found a paper with the same topic published 10 years ago (Sample period 1980-2003). My question is whether i should continue my research ( Which has similar methology) or change direction. Are there copyright issues even if I mention the previous work in the abstract? My sample period, on the other hand will be a 2005-2017.

  • What does your advisor say? Can you extend the previous work? – aparente001 Jun 3 '18 at 4:13

You can cite the previous paper. You should consider whether your work contributes to the literature in addition to the previous paper. If you proceed, you can explicitly explain how your paper provides a novel contribution during your introduction.

Some possible places you could extend the previous work might be:

  • Making changes to the methodology
  • Updating the paper for more recent results
  • Extending the previous results
  • Further validating the previous results
  • Examining the question historically

You may also want to consider contacting the author of the previous paper; he may be willing to work with you.

In short, you might want to revise your research question and paper slightly, but you can continue with your research if you give credit to previous paper and can convince journals that your paper is important.

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  • 1
    Agree -- wil also add that there are no copyright issues for citing previous work, and that adding 12 more years of more recent data seems like a significant extension of the previous work, particularly if you can benefit from their methodology and improve it further – cag51 Jun 2 '18 at 19:31

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