I have submitted a paper to a conference with a scientific error in it.

Essentially I have a concept and I have claimed it works in two conditions. Actually it only works in one of them. Technically, my experimental results are correct, but its only a small test and when extrapolated to full scale the error can be found and also actually predicted theoretically. The overall concept is still correct however for the other condition and I am still working on it in future research.

Should I ask for the paper to be changed? The conference isn't until 25th August but the submission deadline has passed.

I don't want a public document where people will repeat my experiments and find that some of what I have claimed is incorrect.

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    To me the answer seems to be "of course". What, if anything, is giving you doubt? Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 19:46
  • That its not allowed. Although the conference is in 2 months (almost) so I suppose its a reasonable request. And I also changed it once before the deadline because of confidentiality for a patent.
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 19:58
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    Your question was should you ask if you can change the paper. That they might not allow you to change it does not seem like a good reason not to ask. (In a little more detail: the submission deadline has passed, but you met that deadline by submitting your paper. Now it's a matter of making an important change to improve/rescue the paper. Isn't it in the best interests of both the conference organizers and you that your paper be correct? So you should certainly ask. If it's too late, they'll tell you that.) Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 20:26
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2 Answers 2



Better to get it corrected than to be questioned/rejected later.


In my opinion you have enough days, to change your paper.

But, before contacting read about the policy the conference have on erratum. If not, available, you should just write directly ask the organizing committee about it.

International conferences are very respected (and mostly filled with critics), this kind of error can hamper your credibility in future endeavors. It's better left unsaid.

Best of Luck.

  • 3
    It's better left unsaid. — I draw the exact opposite conclusion.
    – Mad Jack
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 20:30
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    @MadJack: I wasn't sure, but I read "better left unsaid" as "Better not to say the thing which is wrong" -- in other words, yes, fix the mistake. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 22:54
  • @PeteL.Clark Ah, interesting take!
    – Mad Jack
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 1:38

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