This question has been migrated from the MSE.

I am writing a short research article that was inspired by a question posted on the Mathematics Stack Exchange. Is mentioning this in the article viewed as unprofessional/undesirable?

I specifically mention in the introduction that the paper was motivated by an MSE question and provide a citation to the question but am not sure how an editor may view that. Is this a generally acceptable thing to do?


1 Answer 1


Assuming that you weren't the original source of the question, then it is entirely proper that you mention and cite it.

Interesting mathematical questions can come from anywhere and from anyone. But if you are inspired by the thoughts of another person, then hey should get credit for that.

Ideally a citation should point to a real person, though anonymity on SO may make that impossible.

  • The OP has been fairly responsive to questions. Are you suggesting to ask for their actual name to include in the citation? Commented May 7, 2021 at 13:13
  • 1
    It would be best if you could provide their real name and can ask, but, like myself, their anonymity might be more important to them. I don't think the mods have the power to put two people together.
    – Buffy
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 13:15
  • 1
    If the OP is actually constructive, you might even consider collaborating on the topic.
    – user116079
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 13:51
  • 2
    +1 for @Ezze 's comment - work with the OP if that is an option. Commented May 7, 2021 at 14:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .