Given a published paper, as a Computer Scientist, I see an opportunity to extend the work and methodology of previous authors.

By modifying the presented work, introducing some concepts and a different approach for input parameters (for example) my "new" work can achieve better results than the results presented by the original authors.

In some cases, the modifications I suggest are not extensive or radically divergent, but even this way the results are better than the current state of the art.

Is there considered to be a minimum change from the methodology in the original paper, to publish an extension of that earlier paper from other authors?

EDIT: By extending I mean: writing a paper emphasizing the modifications that produce improved/better results, instead of copying significant passages from the original work results.


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You need a little bit more than for the results to be better than the state of the art - you need the modification to be a non-obvious one that moves the field forward.

For example, there are a lot of results in my field that I can improve by tuning some parameters (to make the results in a given scenario "better") or by combining two known methods. If the modification involves new intellectual or technical insight, it's a meaningful extension and can be published. Otherwise, it's probably not publishable.

The "minimum" modification that is necessary for the work to be publishable is the modification that involves (at least) the amount of new intellectual content that is necessary for work in your field to be considered publishable.

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    At least in my field and in my experience, there are so many journals out there that it is essentially impossible to define a "minimum publishable contribution". Moreover what constitutes a nontrivial intellectual contribution is inherently subjective and dependent on the expertise of the readers. Once or twice a year I see a published paper for which my reaction is "Not only have I known this result for a long time and never considered it worth publishing, since you bring it up here is a significantly stronger result that I still think is too routine to publish." Dec 15, 2015 at 19:04

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