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I recently read a paper with a research direction similar to mine. The paper builds an extension for a class of models that is very similar to the one I've been developing, but the paper doesn't mention my work, which is understandable, as my work is new.

Would it be considered rude or arrogant to email the authors and point them toward my work as potential future avenues to explore for them? I don't want it to come across as if I'm trying to sell my work for citations, but I do think their extension would be interesting to apply to the class of models I work on, but I can't explore it myself.

This is in the statistics/mathematics field.

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3 Answers 3

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You never know the outcome of sending an email as every professor is different and they might view such emails proposing modifications/extensions/improvements in their work from different angles and viewpoints. It also depends on how you draft your email and the tone/impression it gives to the reader. I think sending an email does not hurt, but you should also make the intention behind sending the email clear.

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Most of the time, researchers are open to collaborating with people working on similar subjects. The reason is quite understandable; very few people specialize in a specific problem, so it's often beneficial to have different points of view on the same subject.

Of course, everything depends on the intention. If you want to contact the person in question, it is important to express your motivation. Having genuine curiosity, the desire to create something new, and sharing this motivation with a researcher should not normally be a problem.

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Some people are extremely open to criticism and suggestion while others are arrogant and may take offense, it completely depends on the person. As others have said, your tone is the deciding factor. If you know nothing about them, choose your tone and narrative of the email to be the most flattering toward their work it can be.

If they might tend toward inflated ego or they are a bigger name in the field: make it clear that their work is great and amazing and that you want to know if they think your work could be of use or interesting to their work. This makes absolutely no suggestion as to any (perhaps perceived) lack in their work or that it needs improving.

Just don't go over the top with the flattery.

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