Some authors have published a very long complex research paper (on ArXiv, theoretical computer science, math, category theory) and it contains references to three additional research-technical reports, the references of two of them included the note "available from authors upon request".

I have contacted the authors with kind request to receive those additional reports, but currently I have not received any answer. Three days have gone, I am patiently waiting, but I am loosing my hopes.

There is additional context to this story. I have posted some questions in the forums about this paper. Some threads have grown fairly large and contain valuable content. Some are not. I have been in loose touch with authors before and they indicated to me that they were feeling offended by my public questions. Although I have not seen anything offending in them (except for one post, but it was made by top notch scientist who was just jealous, it can be felt pretty clearly. It is not the usual course of actions, of course, but it happened this time, maybe the vibe of my post was a bit informal) and now I am afraid that they doesn't want to hear from me. Otherwise the authors have been very supportive and very open to the suggestions that can improve their article, but I have made almost none (others have made a lot as one can see from the 3rd version and from the acknowledgments).

It can be hard to decide. From the one side - I should be able to feel when "no answer" is answer too. From the other side - maybe apologize and more explanation can help?

It may be possible that the authors are on the Summer vacation.

There is some personal story as well. I have spent endless hours past year trying to read this article and all the necessary books, referenced articles. I have really postponed many assignments and duties and even incurred some loses due to this. So, it is very sad no to receive any answer. From the other side - I have managed to understand this paper and I can survive and do my research without those technical reports, I have ideas that are superior to any such report as far as I can guess about their content. But ideas are can not be comparable to the real work done and real report written, so I should be humble.

So - should I be ready to accept that no further communication is possible or is it tolerable (after some week) to try another (very small, gentle and final) communication effort?

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    I removed the reference to the publication dates because it could be used to identify the paper given all the information and it is best not to identify individual works here. Also, two out of the last three days was the weekend ... Aug 8, 2022 at 16:51
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    It also seems like you are not a native English speaker. The tone of your post is not exactly "kind," and so I'd like to gently suggest you ask a native English speaker to take a look at your emails, as it may be possible your "kind request" did not come off very well. Aug 8, 2022 at 16:53
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    It seems like there is a lot more going on here, and your life is unusually connected to this project by other people. That could easily become very exhausting for them. Based on "I have really postponed many assignments and duties and even incurred some loses due to this" it sounds like it's having a negative impact on you, too, and I'd recommend getting an opinion from a mental health professional on how to balance different aspects of your life. This is not something that Academia.SE is going to be equipped to handle.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 8, 2022 at 17:46
  • UPDATE: The leading author replied to me that the reports will appear in ArXiv in the next weeks or even days, the format would be improved. Actually, that is great! It is OK to wait a bit. I had the impression from the references, that the reports will remain unpublished and available privately only and that is why I made this request. Of course, it is far more better that everything got published in one way or another, if it is posted in ArXiv, then even better.
    – TomR
    Aug 10, 2022 at 8:38

2 Answers 2


You seem very impatient. If it were three weeks instead of three days it would make sense to ask again. Don't you ever go "offline" for three days?

Patience is suggested. They are possibly on vacation and possibly very busy. There are, perhaps, another hundred explanations for a three day delay. Relax.

To be clear, I suggest you don't contact them again after so short a wait.

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    @TomR: If it were three weeks instead of three days it would make sense to ask again. --- I found myself rereading the first few sentences of the OP's question several times because I thought "three days" was a typo of some kind, or something whose precise context I had misinterpreted or whose precise context had not been correctly indicated by the OP. A couple of years ago power was out where I live for nearly 7 days, and about a year ago my wife and I spent our 30th anniversary (continued) Aug 8, 2022 at 16:00
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    at a hotel close to this park and I was offline for at least 2 days, maybe 3 days. Anyway, in this case there was some additional context by the OP (which I originally missed because being in math, I tend not to go to later sentences until understanding earlier ones), but it doesn't really explain why 3 days would be considered especially unusual, but rather a possible reason why no reply would be forthcoming (e.g. they indicated to me that they were feeling offended by my public questions). Aug 8, 2022 at 16:00
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    @DaveLRenfro, I once spent about 4 days cycling along the Potomac into Washington DC. Very fun except for the serious encounter with a patch of poison ivy. That made me grumpy for about a month.
    – Buffy
    Aug 8, 2022 at 16:06

It currently august, and at least in the northern hemipshere the typical time for someone to take a holiday (especially if they have kids). From personal experience people take holidays in multiples of a week. So three days is not enough to say they are ignoring you, they maybe ignoring everyone equally by not reading their email on holiday.

I would wait a couple of weeks before getting worried.

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