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Any suggestions on how to find these two papers? They were cited in 1993:

[11] Morazavian, H. and M. Boutiller, On a theorem of Kuratoski, Working Report, INRIA, Rocquencourt, France (1981).

[12] Mortazavian H., Patterns arising from a theorem of Kuratowski in topology with appications, Working Report, INRIA, Rocquencourt, France (1981).

I emailed them two years ago. Their reply was:

"We don't have this references. Absolutely no traces....sorry."

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    Another place you can try to contact is the Biblioteque Nationale de France. Check, however, that the original references were really in English and not in French (I find it improbable that in 1981 a French institute would publish an internal report in English). – Massimo Ortolano Dec 31 '19 at 1:52
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This is a common problem with working reports from any institution. I also have written up research in a "Working Report" series in the past. Often that report was only written for others within the research team, group or project in order to disseminate the information generated or gathered so far, or to capture the thinking done so far. Sometimes there are only a few copies produced.

Sometimes, when a more formal system is in place, copies of the report are lodged in the institute library and added to their catalogue, but sometimes not. Sometimes the reports are just added to the local library of the group. Capturing copies of such working reports was difficult even for a contemporaneous researcher and one would have to get the author to make you a copy and send it. Some of these rare copies of important reports have been cherished in the research libraries of other groups as liberated treasures. For a researcher coming many years after the event obtaining a copy is an exercise in forensics.

Today, with the advent of digital publishing, dissemination and archiving these old and obscure paper pools are being disposed of and becoming less and less accessible. The librarians see them as trash. They can see no value to an internal document that has not been consulted in 30 years and want to recover the space, often not for storage, but to "open the library for social purposes". I have witnessed huge skips of books and documents at the rear of institution libraries.

Some archivists have been aware of the problem, and I was part of a consortium that bid for funding (at national level) to attempt to recover and digitally archive works similar to this, but the accountants could see no value in it; but I digress.

It will be very difficult to locate this. Only the author would know, and they may have lost their copy. I tried to retrieve copies of some of my old reports (going back to 1974) in full text and found my own personal archives had holes in them caused by system, institution, office and continent moves.

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You could try to contact the author of the 1993 publication citing them.

And as Massimo Ortolano mentions, those titles are probably not the original translations. Maybe you can get the institute to send you a list of the 1981 publications and look for anything contributed by H. Mortazavian?

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  • When I first attempted to obtain these papers in 2012 I found a Los Angeles address for a person who is surely the same Mortazavian. I mailed him a request that included a self-addressed, stamped envelope, but he didn't reply (he probably didn't have the papers and didn't see a need to write back). One of the two citing authors wrote a 1968 paper, so he almost surely can't be contacted, and the other's most recent publication was in 2008, after which time there is no trace. I found a 2008 email address for her, but it gets returned undeliverable. – mathematrucker Dec 31 '19 at 15:23

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