(cross-posted from math.stackexchange.com)

I found after publication of an article that a chunk of it was duplicated in a previous article written by someone else, and I'd like to know if I should take some action, like write a corrigendum just to add the other paper as another citation. Perhaps some journals have a formal process to deal with this?

In my field, pure mathematics, it sometimes happens that people publish the exact same theorem, but the methods are distinct enough that the reviewer of the later paper views it as publishable because of its methods. In my case, only one of four theorems in my paper duplicates earlier work, but the methods I use, while looking slightly different, would certainly be considered essentially the same as the earlier paper.

I suppose the best answer might simply be, "contact your journal and ask". On the other hand, I have seen many times a result claimed as "independently" discovered in multiple papers, and I don't recall seeing a corrigendum or something in those cases. Perhaps a notation on the research page of my website is sufficient?

As a follow-up, in mathematical publishing/culture, where is the line drawn between saying a result was "independently" discovered by multiple people and crediting all of them, as opposed to give priority to the one who was first? Crediting all authors who gave substantially different proofs makes sense to me. But what if two proofs use essentially the same idea?

(This question differs from

How to cite earlier work, discovered only at the end, that claims similar results to a recently completed project?

in that the both results, original and duplicate, have already published.)

  • See my answer at academia.stackexchange.com/questions/85330 . Mar 14, 2017 at 17:10
  • Ah, yes, thank you. I missed that post when doing a preliminary search for answers to my question. I'm still interested to hear ideas on how the line is drawn between "independent" discovery, i.e., shared priority, versus giving priority to the first discoverer.
    – Barry
    Mar 14, 2017 at 20:15
  • Another example that I find interesting, there is a congruence in the theory of real quadratic fields usually credited to Ankeny-Artin-Chowla. I found years ago that Kiselev proved the congruence a few years before them, but in Russian, so its understandable why many people don't know. Perhaps its a losing battle to try to get people to call it a theorem of Kiselev-Ankeny-Artin-Chowla. A less extreme version of trying to change the name of "Pell's equation".
    – Barry
    Mar 14, 2017 at 20:20
  • Although I just found that the congruence has a webpage: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. And it doesn't reference Kiselev's paper, so I can do I bit for posterity by adding him.
    – Barry
    Mar 14, 2017 at 20:22
  • I have voted to close this as duplicate: even though the direction of the relationship is inverted from the prior question, the explanations in its answers appear to provide the information needed to solve this dilemma.
    – jakebeal
    Jun 9, 2017 at 11:00


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