Last year a group of authors put online a paper, titled "XYZ". The paper "XYZ" contain part I and part II.

Later the authors deleted the old file. They published a new paper called "ABC" in a good journal. On paper ABC they explicitly state that "ABC" supersedes "XYZ".

In ABC, the old results in part II is completely removed. I checked their part II and their results were mistaken but some calculations and deduction are correct.

Very recently, I find out that one of my submitted paper is closely related to their deleted part II, but is unrelated to their new ABC. Since ABC and my paper deal with different research topics, I did not read either ABC or XYZ until very recently. XYZ is still available to the public in an old repository.

Does their superseded paper established the priority for them or I can still claim the priority? Do I need to talk to that group?

  • 2
    Is Part 2 still available for the general public to access? When you say they state their newer paper "supersedes" the older paper (preprint?), can you be more precise about what the statement they make is? If you're able to read the content and know that it's highly related to whatever's described in your manuscript, you almost surely have a professional obligation to mention it.
    – user137975
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:28
  • @AnonymousM I was unaware of their paper until very recently, since the paper ABC itself is unrelated to my paper. I've submitted my paper for a few months. I'll include more details!
    – dodo
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:32
  • You said they deleted the old paper but it is still available. I don't understand. More important, were you plagiarized?
    – Buffy
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:50
  • @Buffy I don't think anyone is plagiarized in this case. Deleted old paper is still available in one old repository but not available on the authors' website or the journal's webiste.
    – dodo
    Apr 30, 2023 at 22:05
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    @dodo - People miss things all the time and it's not a problem as long as it was a reasonable honest oversight, which this looks like it is. Just cite it in the final version with a sentence giving the facts. "While this paper was under review, the author(s) discovered that X, Y, and Z had stated the results of Section 3 in an old version of paper ABC entitled XYZ that remains unpublished." (and give appropriate citations) (You might want to run the exact wording of the sentence by the X, Y, and Z to make sure they agree - assuming they don't have a bad reputation about this sort of thing.) May 1, 2023 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


You don't mention the field, but in my field there's coming up with the idea, then there's publishing it. They have priority on the idea, you have priority in publishing. Yours counts for more, but you must acknowledge.

  • 2
    How does "yours counts for more" work?
    – Buffy
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:49
  • 1
    You get the citations and others refer to your idea as "originally published by X".
    – Cheery
    Apr 30, 2023 at 21:53

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