After presenting a paper at a conference last year, I was invited to submit an expanded version of the paper as a journal paper. The review of the paper has recently been concluded, and the editors recommended acceptance subject to minor revision.
While the paper was under review, however, we developed a more accurate approach which reveals that the finding reported in the paper was too optimistic and what was proposed in that paper did not seem as promising as previously thought.
I have been contemplating which action to take:
- Withdraw the paper.
- Revise the paper significantly to include the new methodology and the new results.
- Keep the paper nearly as it is, only addressing the reviewers' comments (none of the reviewers questioned the previous approach), but adding a note that our latest approach produces something quite different.
I am personally not comfortable with option 3, although it may be the easiest and fastest thing to do. I am deliberating between options 1 and 2. Option 1 because the result doesn't look as promising as before and may not be interesting enough to warrant publication. However, if I withdraw the paper, there is no chance to warn readers that the results presented in the conference paper were too optimistic. Hence option 2, which is the option I am inclined to take. It however needs more time and I am not sure what to say to the editors.