Here is what I learned from this site:

If a researcher learned that somebody found a serious mistake in one of their papers, published a counterexample and a corrected version of the result, and did not even bother to tell them about it, then they would be not amused.

In case I am submitting a paper heavily build on a series of previous papers authored by the same team, should I contact the original team or not?

If I publish without notifying, will the original author think that I am stealing apples from their trees?

This situation is related to: Publishing a non-invalidating comment to a recent paper- should I contact the original authors if I know them?.

The difference is, 1) I am publishing a research paper not a comment/opinion, and 2) the original authors are not my colleagues and we don't know each other.

  • 1
    How heavily is your paper built upon the previous paper ? Is it 30%, 50% or 70% ? Jun 28, 2022 at 6:50
  • @Job_September_2020 That will be very subjective. I'd say the result is novel but the assumptions and structures are 70% borrowed.
    – High GPA
    Jun 28, 2022 at 7:24
  • Do you work in a field where preprint repositories (e.g., arXiv) are usually used? I do, and my approach would probably be 1. post on arXiv, 2. contact the other team, 3. wait a reasonable amount of time, 4. submit. But this may not be applicable to you.
    – N.I.
    Jun 28, 2022 at 8:02
  • @N.I. We do use preprints. For some long articles we go through some lengthy discussion with every possible one. For short papers or less novel papers (like this) things become much more flexible. Btw, approximately what amount of time do you believe is "reasonable"?
    – High GPA
    Jun 28, 2022 at 8:09
  • I'd put the statement "you have learned" from this site into a bit of perspective. Publishing a counterexample to correct the scientific record without contacting the original author is entirely within the norms of science. Contacting the original author is also entirely within the norms. Either way can be a sensible/useful way to proceed whether the original authors are amused or not. Jun 28, 2022 at 17:46


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