This question is similar to this one: Publishing a comment or contacting the authors privately? but has a few differences.
A colleague of mine has recently published a letter responding to another author's paper. The letter agrees with the general points of the original paper (paper A), but offers specific additions that would improve the general idea from paper A. After reading this letter (let's call it paper B), I think the additions have merit but should also take into account some new ideas which will build on both paper A and B. My comment would not invalidate paper B but it would argue that their suggestions should also take into account my own. I know the authors of paper B personally and am in good relations with them. I am acquaintances with the authors of paper A.
My goal is to provide comments that improve this general idea (by introducing new ideas) and reference both papers A and B directly. I have two questions. Question 1 is, should I:
- I) Write my idea without contacting the authors of the other papers and submit it to the journal
- II) Contact the authors of paper B,which my comment would most directly address, discuss my ideas, and suggest a collaborative paper on which I am first author
- III) Contact the authors of paper B, discuss my ideas and let them know I intend to publish a comment (not to bring them in on the paper but to let them know a comment will be submitted)
- IV) Take another course of action
Question 2 is, if I bring the authors from paper B on my letter, will it hurt the chance of it getting published as a comment to paper B if the authors of paper B are also on my letter?
I think the authors will probably agree with my suggestions. At the moment I am leaning towards option II as I think option I is unprofessional, but I have never been in this situation before so I do not know what is professionally appropriate.