Whilst reading a paper I discovered another and I am now building upon the latter. Should I cite the former paper, since that's how I discovered the latter? Or does it suffice to cite only the latter?

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    Even with your example, I do not understand why you would want to cite as you describe and what the difference to a direct citation would be. Please try to read your question from the point of view of somebody who doesn’t already know what’s going on or, ideally, ask a friend to do it for you.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 20:01
  • If you cannot find Source 3, then where did you get "we are not able to go on with gasoline/diesel engines" from? If I read your question right, Source 4 does not cover this sentence.
    – Nobody
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 13:45
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    I really think you need to talk to your advisor. I am not in your field. You should follow his advice. If he thinks it's ok, then I think it's fine.
    – Nobody
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 14:59
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    Am I right in understanding that: You read author X's work, discovered [1], and wrote your work based upon [1], rather than author X's work? If so, then you needn't cite author X.
    – user2768
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


Unless I misunderstand, the question comes down to "Publication A has cited Publication B, which is a primary source. Can I also cite Publication B, or would that be plagiarism?".

The answer is "Yes, it's fine for multiple people to cite the same primary source".

  • As a small remark, make sure to read what you are citing. I once came across a paper that was cited by everyone, but because it was only available in Russian almost no one ever bothered reading it, which resulted in people claiming everything to this paper, which was, in fact, not in there.
    – Dirk
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:07
  • Dear @Dirk, have you read my question? or you answered to Flyto? thank you
    – MscStudent
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:19

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