Note that the difference between this question and a related question (Recently published paper does not cite my very relevant work) is that the authors in my question are fully aware of our work, whereas, in the related question, the authors were not aware of OP's work.

A recent paper did not cite our very relevant work.

There are significant overlaps among the scopes of the papers, and one of the important figures and the related conclusion are almost identical.

The leading author of the paper in question has been informed about our work even before we submitted the paper. I've asked for a reason for not mentioning it, and the answer was that our paper was noticed during the revision of the paper, and the authors do not feel obliged to mention it.

Is it OK to not mention a paper because of ``seeing it too late?'' Regarding this: does the date of submission/acceptance play a role?

Our publication date is before their submission date.

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    One minor comment. On your previous question you refused to cite related work proposed by the reviewers, because you believed it was not relevant. Now your work is not cited for some other "strange" reason. Conclusion? When you are not 100% sure it is better to cite the work than not citing it.
    – Alexandros
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 15:27
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    Should they have cited you? Yes. Can you do anything about it? No. Best to forget it and move on.
    – user37208
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 17:16
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    It is up to authors to determine what previous work is both relevant and important enough to cite. Missing one citation is trivial and will almost certainly make no difference to your ultimate impact (unless perhaps their work is almost identical to yours and has been published in a higher-profile journal). Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 23:54
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    Note that if much of the work is essentially the same, and your work is known to other people, the authors of the other paper look bad (in the sense of they weren't aware of the literature or weren't novel) for not citing your work. So it's not worth worrying about (as long as your paper is not obscure).
    – Kimball
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 0:09
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    It is my understanding that this question is fundamentally different than the marked "duplicate" question in that the authors in this question are fully aware of OP's work. Voting to reopen.
    – Mad Jack
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


You have no real recourse. Authors can cite what they like and snub others for no reason. Plus, you can't cite everything so someone's going to get left out. But if it seems purposeful it very well may be. I would send your paper(s) to the snubbing PI and say something like 'looks like these slipped past you'.

It's in their best interest because of your work truly is that related, you'll probably review their papers eventually.

  • perhaps the silence has already proved the "no real recourse" conclusion. Just a side remark -- the coauthors of the other paper seems to have high profiles, and a more like scenario is they would be reviewing my future papers.
    – gastro
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 23:53

In such a situation, you should warn the editor. Articles can be changed between the time they are published on the internet and the time they are printed. Whatever happens, the editor should know and will make a decision.

  • We don't know which editor handled the paper. Even as the author, I don't know who is the editor. Is this common?
    – gastro
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:35

As per your post, the concerned paper which was published utilized your work but didn't cite it. There are two angles to look at this.

  1. Plagiarism. If they really did copy-modify your figure and conclusion, then it could be considered as an act of plagiarism -- the use of a work of another without proper attribution. With sufficient evidence, you can claim against this, if you are willing to go through the trouble for this one citation.

  2. Lack of research defense. You stated that the party in question was informed of your paper before publication. This is something you ought to avoid. If their submission date is before your publication date, then you cannot claim against them for plagiarizing your content.

Having said the above, it should be up to your responsibility to guard your research before its publication. This sort of thing happens all the time. All you have lost so far is a citation, but people have lost their opportunities for the publication of research ideas for the lack of protection of their research ideas. It would be advisable to take it to your experience and move on.

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    The OP doesn't seem to think they copied his work, rather that they independently did similar work and didn't cite his even though they knew about it. I don't see the relevance of this answer. ("Guarding your research" does not force people to cite you.)
    – ff524
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 19:16
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    Normally, we do communicate with others about what we are doing. I did inform the lead author about one of our findings, which is related to the ``almost identical plot''.
    – gastro
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:34
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    Issac is right, in that if our earlier exposure of the work does not even help the others to recognize the work in the very basic form, we should have thought twice before communicating the results. But it would be very sad if these have to be kept as secret.
    – gastro
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 18:32

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