As second-year bachelor students, we “validated” a scientific paper from our university. We took the raw data, evaluated it independently of the original paper, and then compared it back to see if there was a difference. It had recently been presented at a conference but has yet to be published in a journal. The task was assigned as part of our course project work. We were more successful then we imagined: We found rather large errors in some of the calculations. This was very satisfying for us, although probably less so for the people who wrote it.
It was a fair bit of effort and we worked more than the other groups. Each group were assigned different papers or projects, i.e. nobody else was working on the same stuff. It was not compensated or anything being university coursework. We hinted at the problem to the authors weeks ago but only submitted our work the other day.
Disclaimer: I am completely inexperienced/unknowledgeable in this academia thing. I might be completely off here.
This has lead me to wonder however:
- What will happen to the conference proceedings in questions? The paper with mistakes can still be found online.
- Can (or should) we expect any credit for our work when they correct their paper? I know people acknowledge help with, say, a novel or computer program, but does the same principle apply to finding a problem in a scientific paper? Our would this have been caught in peer review later?
- Certainly not saying we are going to do this, but do people publish counter-articles to papers with corrections?
The field is aerospace engineering.