I'm currently in a position where I need a result from a paper where the formulation is a little unwieldy, in that it depends on some notations and concepts that aren't useful to my work. I found a reformulation of this result in a book (not a new result, just restating the same theorem in different words) that uses different notations and is easier for me to relate to what I'm doing.

Is it appropriate in this situation to cite both the original and the reformulation like this:

"Theorem X, formulation from Y, based on Z"?

  • How significant is the reformulation? Would anyone who understood all the concepts involved be able to immediately see they are the same theorem? Or be able to do so with a little work? Or would it take an expert to see the equivalence? Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:32
  • The equivalence is obvious if you're familiar with the terms involved, and I've seen the other formulation in several other publications other than that book as well so I'd say it's probably reasonably well known among experts.
    – Cubic
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:49
  • 6
    Yeah, I would probably write something like "Recall the following theorem of X given in [1], brought here in the equivalent formulation as presented by Y in [2]".
    – Ink blot
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:53
  • Citing Y besides Z is almost definitely a good thing! Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


I recommend restating the theorem in your own paper. You can then say: "We now restate a theorem of X [citation], since in this context, it is more convenient to write it in different terms/notation. The version we give here is based on the book of Y [citation].

Theorem: ....."

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