I am writing a paper and I needed to cite some fact. I had difficulties finding something that I could cite. I have found a paper that also cites this fact and they cite some other paper without further explanation. I have gone through this paper that they are citing and I cannot find how the fact that I want could follow from it. It seems somewhat relevant but going through all the theorems, none of them seems like they could imply what they claim. I do not have a deep understanding of that paper and it seems it would be rather difficult for me to carefully read the whole thing.
I suspect that this result should be somewhere in the literature but cannot find it.
I have emailed the authors but did not get a response yet. I have contacted the corresponding author who forwarded my email to another co-author so I know they have received my email.
At the same time, it is not too difficult for me to prove the claim myself. Therefore, I need the citation only to give credit to the original author and to make my paper a little shorter (not very important as there is no strict page limit where I intend to submit).
What should I do if the authors do not respond before the conference deadline? I can think of the following:
- Say something along the lines of "paper A cites paper B but it is not clear how the fact follows from B. For completeness, we provide a proof here"
- Ignore that paper, as I was not able to determine whether the citation is correct. Do not claim my proof to be original but rather say I was not able to find any reference but I suspect that it has been proven before.
- Just cite the paper they cite
Of these, (3) is clearly not good. Is it OK to choose (2)? Should I contact the authors once more before the conference deadline and inform them about what I intend to do?