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I've written a paper that [still] seems original to me and feedback tells me it needs work. The paper is about Pythagorean triples which has been done for ages but I've yet to find prior art on the [presumably new] Formula I created, the [mostly primitive and including all primitives] subset that it generates, or the ways I've shown that it and/or Euclid's formula can be used to find specific triples.

I did get help on Mathematics Stack Exchange on trigonometry and combinatorics to help prove some things and feedback that gave me an online source that shows one result of my work but not a method of achieving it. (My Formula demonstrates, perhaps, a new way of arriving at some conclusions but that's off topic.)

I'm not asking whether I should cite them. I'm asking how. I've written college papers 40+ years ago with footnotes and bibliographies but I don't know the techniques to be expect in a paper when submitting to a professional publication. I know how to show a link in MSE but I don't know how to show one in TexShop or even on this forum. One commenter suggested a book that I've ordered but I don't know how to cite that either if it is useful.

Can you show me the mechanics of citing these varied sources in a paper?

  • Look at some recent papers published in the journal you are considering. See how the references are handled there. You may also count to see how many references (in particular recent references) are usual for a paper of similar length to your paper. – GEdgar Sep 10 '19 at 23:23
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In BibTex, the following allows you to cite questions and answers respectively:

@MISC {cite_question,
    TITLE = {The name of the question},
    AUTHOR = {the author of the question},
    HOWPUBLISHED = {Mathematics Stack Exchange},
    NOTE = {URL:[url goes here]},
    EPRINT = {[url goes here]},
    URL = {[url goes here]}
}


@MISC {cite_answer,
    TITLE = {The name of the question},
    AUTHOR = {The name of the answerer},
    HOWPUBLISHED = {Mathematics Stack Exchange},
    NOTE = {URL:[url goes here]},
    EPRINT = {[url goes here]},
    URL = {[url goes here]}
}

This is the officially recommended style. It can be seen by clicking the "cite" button under any question or answer on some stack exchanges such as Math Overflow and CS Theory SE.

If you are directed to a book or webpage by an answer, you should cite that book or web page rather than Stack Exchange.

  • Do these go in the middle of the document (as I'm talking to the reader) or at the end? Also, can you explain the difference between the question and answer if they are the same URL and what is the difference between the NOTE and URL parts of the citation? Also (pardon me for being such an amateur) how do I site a reference (online or in print) that I just happened to find? Thanks. – poetasis Sep 9 '19 at 18:18
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    These lines go into the bibtex file for your paper, along with your other formally published references. In the main latex file, include "\cite{cite_questions,cite_answer}" at the point where you want the citations to appear. You can find many tutorials for bibtex on the web. – JeffE Sep 9 '19 at 18:41
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    @poetasis As Jeff says, these lines go in your BibTex file, which is an auxiliary file that holds your references. The url field can be relevant depending on the meta data and style files. I'm not sure what you're looking for about questions vs answers. Sometimes you want to cite one, sometimes the other, sometimes both. They have the same url, but they don't have the same authors. I have no idea what you mean by "Also (pardon me for being such an amateur) how do I site a reference (online or in print) that I just happened to find." How you find a source is (mostly) irrelevant to citing it. – Stella Biderman Sep 9 '19 at 19:27
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    The answer would be improved by editing in info from the comments. – Tommi Sep 10 '19 at 5:55
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    @poetasis If you are directed to a book or webpage by an answer, you should cite that book or web page rather than SE. – Stella Biderman Sep 10 '19 at 17:16

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