To solve a long-unknown crystal structure, we were scooped by another group using the same state-of-the-art technique. A peer-reviewed top journal article was published online in the past few days.
Besides finding another view, doing other experiments and reorganizing for publishing which we are actually doing, is it appropriate to volunteer to quickly write a highlight (or some other types of paper) to show a more comprehensive background and significance of their work which they somehow didn't cover much?
We find it's the first work of that group on this material system. We think maybe it's a coincidence that they happened to acquire this crystal in experiments, and they make great efforts in structure analysis to finally come to a solution. We don't find any misconduct, - they made a giant leap for this problem.
We have been long devoted to this material system, and have tried many other methods for over 4 years, and finally came to the same state-of-the-art method 2 months ago, but it was too late to acquire good enough data to publish.
We know highlights are usually written by invited senior exports (some may further needing contacting editors in advance), while our group don't have much impacts on this field. But for this certain material which is little known to all before, we have already published articles and we are confident that we are one of the groups who know it most.