A bit of background: I am working in a R&D department of quite a big name in the IT industry, and we are trying, clashing and combining different ideas and cutting-edge inventions to tackle our engineering problem.

Now the problem itself: There is an excellent paper from CVPR 2017 that I want to try for my project. However, the authors did not publish nor their code, nor their trained FCNN (Fully-Convolutional Neural Network). Now, the project that I am working on is only on the infancy stage, meaning that we need to make some Proof-of-Concept product as soon as possible. Obviously, for this stage, training a deep CNN is a relatively very time-consuming and expensive process, so ideally I would want to ask the authors for the trained model of their FCNN. Of course, if the concept works, we will re-train and fine-tune the whole thing for our specific task, so the author's CNN will not end up in the final product.

Question: How to correctly ask the authors for it? Or is it correct to ask researchers for their results for a project at all?

  • 2
    Write an email to them for the same. I had once written to authors of a NIPS paper that I was involved in extending (improving), within 4 days, they replied back with needful. Usually, they help. Did you check the author's GitHub page, if there is any?
    – Coder
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:42
  • @Coder yes, I did check their github repository, and also the common repository of their lab. Aug 7, 2017 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


Just write them a friendly e-mail and include the information you provided here. If they want to share their model, they will, if not, asking didn´t hurt.

Two additional points:

  • Be sure to acknowledge their work when you use it and let them know that you will.
  • Maybe you can offer a collaboration on the work. If their model is usefull to you I guess their knowlegde and know-how in general is. Collaborations with and (co-)funding from industry partners are very valuable for research groups.
  • Thank you for your advise. However, now I am having another problem - they do not respond to my e-mail (have been waiting for few days). Should I treat this as a "no, we can't share with you"? Aug 11, 2017 at 11:13
  • I guess you sent an email to the corresponding author? (Meaning to just one guy?) Maybe he is just busy / on a conference / on holiday? Or simply waiting for the next group meeting to discuss this with the others? I would wait at least one week and then try to contact maybe the head of the lab or group / the Professor / senior author. You should be able to find their contact info on the homepage of the university/institute.
    – asquared
    Aug 11, 2017 at 12:10
  • 1
    @user3352632 writing a short, polite, and formal e-mail is not so easy for non-english speakers, especially if they never wrote a formal e-mail before (I was still a student / intern at that time). Jan 19, 2021 at 2:38
  • 1
    So the answer by @asquared 3 years ago has helped me a lot during earlier days of my career :) Jan 19, 2021 at 2:38
  • 1
    @user3352632 The academic world for me at that time was fairly alien, so I didn't know how open are the researchers to e-mails like that :) Jan 19, 2021 at 2:41

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