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The specific reason for citing/referencing a publication may accompany an expression signifying that. One broad reason is empirical results (other broad reasons are theoretical ideas, methodological developments, grand conclusions, etc.). More specific reasons are that a result e.g. corroborates, replicates, is consistent with, is in line with, rejects, contrasts, etc.

I ask what accompanying phrase you might recommend when citing a published result in the following case: Paper B addresses a problem in the literature and solves it with a theory and some new data. A result in publication 'A' is relevant to the exact problem addressed in paper 'B'. So publication A should be cited. Again, the question is what phrase to use in the sentence that cites publication A. To provide some comparison between A and B, here are some features of publication A:

  1. the result is found in a unique dataset.
  2. measures/indicators are identical.
  3. the exact result is partly displayed/documented in the publication, in the sense that a substantial part of the evidence for preparing what is displayed is not thoroughly documented statistically.
  4. exactly this result was not interpreted/explained/problematized/reasoned but comes across as exploratory.
  5. this exact result was not the focus or aim. Instead, the focus was, say, on some other aspect of the result, or the purpose was to use that exact result to progress to another analysis; maybe at a different level of analysis, etc., at least some other comparison or inference.
  6. comes from a related but distinct literature (hence the inference is different)
  7. the publication was not using the exact same statistical procedure(s) but one that is related (more basic), yet enabling substantially similar interpretation (although one would take steps to use additional statistical procedures).
  8. it can be assumed in all likeliness and good faith that the result in A was computed later and has been underway shorter (though published earlier) and likely to have been inspired by B. (e.g. imagine a result was presented at a conference some time back - not the case, but imagine).
  9. published in a niche outlet.

For instance, given 8., A might be called a replication of B. But replication is often used according to the order of publication date, right? But necessarily so?

A concern may be to not convey finding a result already published by others, and also not to accuse others of copying. I see some similarities to discussions on these questions:

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  • Not quite following. Are these the same data, or different data? Aren't you the one doing the replication if you're doing it second? What is the plagiarism here?
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 27 at 19:33
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    Really, I know you're trying to be generic here or to conceal your specific result, but I think you've gone too far and it's unclear what the actual situation is or what your actual question is. You mention plagiarism in the title but you don't even know what it is that would be plagiarizing.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 27 at 19:46
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    Couldn't you just say something like "result X in [123] is in line with..."? Jun 28 at 10:03
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    It would also help if your question is about how you should word things in your own publication, or whether you read this is somebody else's work and wonder whether this is appropriate. My personal feeling (under the proviso that I don't know details) is that "replication" seems exaggerated, "corroboration" is debatable but can maybe be defended, and I'd choose some weaker wording, see previous comment. Jun 28 at 10:06
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    I don't think you need any of those phrases. Describe what the other study did and how it relates to your results. Don't make the mistake of thinking that one empirical paper is "scientific proof". Your paper is just one analysis of one set of data, just like theirs is.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 28 at 17:45

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I think that you are overthinking this situation (or I'm not understanding - your scenario is a bit convoluted). It seems like you are saying in a roundabout way that you feel like your work was scooped (unintentionally?) and you're not sure how to address it without weakening your own paper.

First off, A, being published first, would not be called a replication of B. You don't imply that anything was stolen or used without attribution, so I won't address that possibility. Unless there was some preprint or published version of B that should have been cited, it's hard to see this as anything other than bad luck (or good luck on the part of the authors of A).

Unfortunately, A beat B to the punch. There is nothing to do but cite A. I wouldn't make any statement about replication or anything of that nature - that doesn't seem to be what happened anyway. It should be sufficient to just discuss A as you would any other related work. It might weaken B. But it seems (based on your "hypothetical") that there is enough distinguishing the papers that it is a none-issue and, in fact, might strengthen the paper.

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