Its a conference paper that broadly says:

"There is X, Y, Z, Biguri et al, articles out there, but here is a table with each of the works and their limitations, and why ours is better"

And then lists a bunch of things on my published article (about a software tool) claiming it does not contain several features. The problem is, the tool has and always had most of the features they say it hasn't. They are published and clearly demoed and showcased in the webpage.

Their paper has some credit, it is still good work and its not invalid because of their mistakes. But it is seriously misrepresenting my work.

What should one do in this case?

I was thinking on politely emailing them to let them know about their mistakes, I assume its not a malicious mistake, but more the fact that they did not take the time to properly do research. Is there anything else I can/should do?


4 Answers 4


We had a mistake concerning the paper in which a certain technique was first developed. The mistake was in a preprint. After being informed of this, we fixed the mistake (so it did not appear in the publised paper) and later updated the preprint, too.

Of course, if the paper is already publised, this is less likely. If the mistake was unintentional, then the authors are unlikely to repeat it, once you let them know of it. If the mistake was malicious, well, I doubt the situation will worsen, as long as you keep the email polite. But who knows.

Hence, it seems that at least a polite email to the authors is a reasonable course of action.

  • Fair, I do not presume at all that the intent is bad, it just seems that they did not do their research properly. Jun 4, 2019 at 12:07
  • What do you expect if the paper is already published - as is the case in the OP's situation?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 4, 2019 at 12:09
  • @SolarMike See the second paragraph in my answer. The mistake is unlikely to be repeated.
    – Tommi
    Jun 4, 2019 at 12:24

While nothing much may come of it, I think you should write them pointing out that they have missed some things about your work. Ask them for a correction, though don't expect one to occur. If you want to smooth the waters, congratulate them, also, for the good things they have done in their own work.

But letting it lie without comment serves no one well and might lead to a repeat in the future.

If you want to be a bit more aggressive, copy the conference chair on your email, but think hard about the consequences of that.

I'll assume that the errors were unintentional, in which case you should expect a good result.

  • Indeed. I also assume the errors are unintentional. But fair point, I should email them. Jun 4, 2019 at 12:08

What should one do in this case?

I think you are right to:

politely emailing them to let them know about their mistakes

Ideally, they will correct their mistakes in future works (e.g., in a journal version of the conference paper) and update any technical reports that they have control over. (The published manuscript cannot be changed.)

Is there anything else I can/should do?

You could contact the publisher, perhaps they will publish a letter or an erratum. (The latter will probably require agreement from the authors.)


What should one do in this case?


Is there anything else I can/should do?

Some journals will publish comments. You could submit a comment pointing out the error. If the paper was published by a conference, this might not be an option. In any case, it is not a good option unless the error is somehow interesting. This sounds like a boring error or misrepresentation.

  • 1
    Not even a polite email to the authors?
    – Tommi
    Jun 4, 2019 at 11:49
  • @TommiBrander I don't see how that would be helpful. It is already published. Jun 4, 2019 at 11:50
  • 3
    Supposing the authors continue working on the same subject, or give talks about it, etc., they might avoid repeating the mistake.
    – Tommi
    Jun 4, 2019 at 11:52
  • I see your point, but I am leaning more into the "polite email" case. Just in case they repeat their mistake Jun 4, 2019 at 12:09

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