I used results from derivations of a theoretical physics paper in my paper. Is is appropriate for me to include the derivations with a few adaption specific to my work with citations like: 'most of the derivations can be found in paper XX' or should I just cite the final result of their derivations, without writing an appendix section elaborating the derivations?

a little more to ask : is it considered plagiarism if I write down all the derivations with most of them from their paper and a few adaptions even with proper citations?

  • It might depend on whether the other paper (or that techniques) is well-known in your field. In my fields there are several results that are never written down rigorously and used for 20-30 years. – Arctic Char Apr 24 '16 at 1:10

It's standard to write "The derivation can be found in X and is included in the Appendix for the sake of completeness." It may happen that the reviewers suggest to remove the Appendix but in this way the presence of the derivation should not influence the overall suggestion of the manuscript.

You may well give other reasons than "sake of completeness" (e. g. self-containedness, slightly different derivation...) but some reason and proper reference should be given.

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'most of the derivations can be found in paper XX'

If by "most of" you mean that there are some simple additional steps missing from the derivation but in essence it is the same derivation, then a simple citation would suffice.

If the derivation is more complex, or if there are significant steps missing from the paper you meant to cite, then I think including them in the appendix would be useful.

It is also possible, that the editor of the specific journal you are submitting to would also have an opinion on this.

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  • It's a long paper and the whole derivation is complex and I don't need the final result but only half of it, which is 1-2 2-column page's derivation. There are no significant steps missing in the original paper. – HanaKaze Apr 24 '16 at 2:06

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