A few days ago, I read an article that I found through Google. I analyzed it and find that article is correct, and then I prepared a paper of my own built on the basis of that article. But when I tried to complete the references section, I realized that the source article had not been published.

Now I do not know what to do. On the one hand, the article is correct, but on the other hand, it has not been formally published.

How to send my article based on another paper that has not been published?

  • You can give credit to another author referencing as "unpublished", but it means you will have to include the statements that you consider correct and use in your paper, with the proofs as an integral part of it, so that the referee can check the correctness of your paper. – anna v Dec 15 '12 at 17:08

Actually, the paper in question has been published, otherwise you sure couldn't read it :)

I admit that may sound stupid and unhelpful, but I think there is more to it that you recognize. The paper you built upon has been published, but not through conventional means. It doesn't mean you can't use it, but a few specific “rules of thumb” have to be observed:

  • Refer to the paper by its URL and, if identifiable, the owner/editor/publisher of the website. Example:

    “Link between al dente cooking time and a change of slope in the pasta fractal length”, A. N. Onym, http://bigpasta.com/paper42.pdf (publisher: Pasta Inc.)

  • Because this content may have a shorter lifetime than academic publications, you should quote directly all necessary claims made into this work in your paper, rather than merely using the reference on a vague claim. Your paper should be standalone, and fully understandable even if the other one disappears.

  • You may also contact the original paper author, if possible, to ask how they would like to be cited. Perhaps they have another related work which you missed, that was published in a more conventional way?

  • 1
    @Md.GolamRashed a “white paper” is usually a committee report or proposal by an authoritative organization. There may be many other types of “not conventionally published papers”, including someone posting it on their personal website, or whatever… – F'x Dec 16 '12 at 20:21
  • @F'x it is not so simple guys that its look. in physics you can not send your article based on air. – Neo Dec 16 '12 at 20:23
  • @Neo why don't you elaborate in an answer? I don't think publishers consider non-commercially published papers as “air”, but I would be interested in where you draw the line… – F'x Dec 16 '12 at 20:27
  • infact, physics reviewers (Title: Prof, Dr...) are Slightly aggressive to these types of papers – Neo Dec 16 '12 at 20:32
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    @Neo: You are making excuses. You found the refernce you want to use somewhere. That "somewhere" is a citation. And yes, if it isn't a peer reviewed paper the reviewer are likely to look twice at it. If is isn't peer reviewed does looks suspicious and your paper relies on it, then your paper might be rejected, but that situation is no worse the if you don't cite it. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Dec 16 '12 at 22:57

It's unclear from your description whether you've just written your own version of the earlier paper, with no new results of your own, or whether you've significantly extended the results in the earlier paper. In the first case, you cannot publish your paper. In the second, you must cite the earlier paper, using whatever information would be necessary for your readers to find it, just as F'x describes.

In either case, I strongly recommend contacting the author of the earlier paper and asking them how they would like to proceed. They may invite you to be a coauthor on their paper. They may invite themselves to be a coauthor on your paper. They may use your email as a kick in the pants to formally publish their paper, but without you as a coauthor, leaving you to publish your new results on your own.

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