So my situation is as follows:

I am writing a paper related to DDoS attacks and part of my paper describes a case study. During my initial background research I looked into other similar work and ran into this paper in particular: Measuring Denial Of Service by J.Mirkovic. The paper proposes a new standard on how to more accurately measure DDoS.

Being inspired by the paper I would like to use the approach described in this paper but am struggling with how to implement it into my own paper without it looking like I am copying large parts of their work.

Can anyone give me an example of how this has been handled before? What would the proper way to deal with this be?

  • 4
    What’s wrong with just citing them?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Dec 1, 2015 at 10:20
  • It would seem that a large part of my case study section would consist of either quotes of rephrasing of the mentioned work in order to explain what I am doing.
    – MSB
    Dec 1, 2015 at 10:26
  • 2
    part of my paper describes a case study What are the other parts? If the case study is a minor portion of your paper, why are you worried?
    – Nobody
    Dec 1, 2015 at 11:54
  • 1
    I think people are too much trained to try to avoid heavily using a source but if the source is good there's nothing wrong with simply quoting the relevant sections, even quoting heavily. There's no shame in clearly acknowledging that you're standing on the shoulders of giants.
    – Murphy
    Dec 1, 2015 at 15:07
  • 5
    "We adopt the DDoS analysis techniques recently proposed by Mirkovic [42]. Here we provide only a brief sketch to keep our paper self-contained; for a detailed description of Mirkovic's techniques, we refer the interested reader to his paper [42]."
    – JeffE
    Dec 1, 2015 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


There is nothing wrong with adopting standards from previous work into your work. In fact it is very common. Research is an iterative process and that's a good thing. You don't want to reinvent the wheel every time you want to test a new car engine.

If you did not measure DDoS attacks using the technique from this paper, you would end up measuring using a technique from another paper. Even if you invented your own measuring technique, you would want to publish a comparison of it with techniques established in the literature.

As the comments have said, you should cite the previous paper and give a brief overview of their technique. If the technique is not well known or complicated, you may want to devote more ink to explaining it, but a small paragraph should really suffice. People won't be reading your work to learn about the other paper, they're reading it to see what you've done. If they're interested in the other paper, they'll go read that.

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