The title probably comes off wrong, I tried to keep it short. I do not necessarily want to make an absolute statement like "that is wrong". But I do need to address the problems I am facing with a study that is important for my thesis.
There is a relatively influential paper which I have used again and again in my studies, and it shows many very interesting experimental results. I could successfully recreate most of those results, and my research is based on them. However, there is one result where I have to conclude that it is basically nonsense. I have repeated the exact measurement again and again and could never recreate their result. With my new theoretical knowledge I can also safely say that the result shown in the paper makes no sense and has to be wrong, while the one I get from my own measurements makes perfect sense.
So my research means that a result that was described as useful and interesting in this paper is wrong, and therefore not useful. My plan was previously to do multiple studies based on it, and now I want to make clear why that is not possible. So I need to show that their results are wrong, and mine are correct, and I need to explain why that is so.
I have the facts on my side, but I just cannot think of a way to do this in a professional manner. I do not want to sound like I'm reveling in a "gotcha" moment, and I do not want to step on anyone's toes. I just want to make clear that this particular topic is a dead end.
I want to address this in my "Discussion" section of this chapter. I would be grateful for ideas how to approach this. Should I give them the benefit of doubt? I worry that this will water down my own results, which are directly opposed to theirs. Should I think of other potential explanations, like "maybe what they show is a measurement artifact", or will that come off as condescending?