I am doing theoretical study of a material and in my recent work I have compared my calculated results with experimental results from another published work. During review, the reviewer has mentioned

In any case, the experimental data should certainly be reproduced and presented in the figures together with the calculation results

What does that mean? How should I proceed?


1 Answer 1


The reviewer appears to say that you should plot both experimental data and calculation results, perhaps in the same or a nearby figure, to allow a direct comparison between theory and experiment. In case you haven't already done so and assuming it's feasible, I'd suggest following the referee's advise. It'd make your paper more self-contained, and such plots can better demonstrate that your theoretical model describes the experiment accurately than some extracted numbers (e.g. averages) for which spurious agreement can occur more easily. You may ask the author(s) of the experimental study for data, or extract it yourself from their plots.

  • Thanks. So How should I obtain the original data. Should I email the authors regarding the same?
    – Thomas
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 16:30
  • 2
    @Thomas - try emailing them. In the old days I did things like using a Xerox machine to make a figure much bigger and then extracting data points by hand. There are available tools to extract data points from a pdf plot fairly readily.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 16:32
  • 1
    @Thomas Related: academia.stackexchange.com/q/1401/68109
    – GoodDeeds
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 16:32
  • @Thomas I'd try that first, yes. In my experience people are usually happy to share their published data. If not, as Jon Custer says, there are tools (even online ones now) to extract data points/digitize data. But obviously that approach has some loss of precision compared to using the original data.
    – Anyon
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 16:37
  • Thanks. I will try a data extraction tool first. One question though. Is it OK to reproduce the work using extracted data points without the permission of original authors?
    – Thomas
    Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 16:43

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