127

This is not a major revision. Just change the value in the final version. (And explain to the editor in the cover letter that you are correcting a typo. A misplaced decimal point is essentially a typo.) You are not misrepresenting yourself in any way. Because you're explaining the change in the cover letter, you are giving the editor the chance to reject ...


119

Since you never mention their technique, it is quite likely it's a "typo" (they accidentally cited a different paper than they meant, which, at least, in my field happens more than 0% of the time), or they just misunderstood your paper (or you misunderstood your paper). I agree with @aeismail that there's nothing you need to do, but if you want to get to ...


104

Congrats on your paper. No, it wouldn't destroy your career but it would be awkward and embarrassing. It could potentially hurt your career if the mistake was the result of obvious sloppiness, gross incompetence, and worst of all, outright dishonesty. But for the first two of those, the damage would very likely be containable and if you keep doing research, ...


93

This would be an excellent time to use the Latin sic: ("thus"; in full: sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written") inserted after a quoted word or passage, indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous or archaic spelling, surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that ...


92

Let's see: You wrote a paper of sufficient writing quality that it was chosen for presentation at a conference and publication. None of the peer reviewers noticed anything wrong with it. None of the people in the audience questioned it. Your supervisor saw nothing wrong with it. You gave an excellent presentation. You found a flaw in a paper that had ...


86

It is a question of framing. Frame it as something that is good for him, not just for you. I'd write something along the lines of: Thank you very much for your kind offer. I'm indeed very interested in the subject of book X. It probably is easier and cheaper for you if you just send me a PDF, and as I am someone who reads mostly on a screen anyway, I ...


79

Don't make it personal. Keep it about the science. You can inform them of the flaw and let them fix it or you could just publish a new paper with better results, pointing out the flaw if needed. That would depend on whether you want the new result under your name or are happy enough for it to be under theirs. If you write, however, and get pushback, ...


72

It will not affect you career. You'll be fine. An erratum is not a bad thing, per se. Errors happen, and if you fix them it's fine. The error you describe are totally normal and I would even guess that a large fraction of published paper contains this type of error and does not have an erratum. Even a more serious error that invalidates some of your ...


67

I think that the best way to overcome your situation is to realize that nothing out of ordinary happened - to err is human. In my opinion, research is about discovering truth and enriching knowledge (including the one of the researchers'). And making mistakes is a natural part of the process. I would just discuss my work with advisor openly and do my best to ...


67

Relax. Nobody is going to take away your degree for some honest mistakes in your masters thesis. The errors you describe are not even that serious I identified a lot of typos, some references errors, and some improvements that I should do, but I did not. as it sounds like they don't even invalidate the main results of your thesis. But even if you ...


66

For the sake of science [...], I intend to upload my paper, the referee report and the covering letter of the associate editor (all of whom are anonymous, BTW) on my website and on researchgate. Alongside this, I plan to upload an explanation explaining why the journal was mathematically wrong to reject my work. Besides possibly being a copyright ...


65

What's the recommended course of action in this situation? Should I notify the editor of this additional discovery, so that the authors can directly take care of it in their (presumably ongoing) revision, Yes, I think so. This seems to be in the best interest of all involved: you, the authors and the journal. It may be tempting to feel "embarrassed" about ...


63

Feel free to ask, but if this author is in the same position I was in when my recent book was published, the answer would have to be "no" Under my contract I got a set number of printed copies of the book, but not even one DRM'd ebook copy. I could send you an electronic copy of my manuscript, but it doesn't exactly match the published version (the copy ...


57

One possibility is for you to write a paper on your reanalysis. Often this would need to be something more than pointing out the flaw alone, but that may be discipline-dependent. If the flaw you have detected is a key part in your own analysis of your work, including your updated analysis in a larger article (while citing their paper) is a smooth way to ...


56

Just don't worry about it, and keep doing your current good work. It's pretty cool that you were able to publish a paper at all as an undergraduate. Anybody who notices your old paper will primarily notice that. The sloppiness will reflect much more on your senior co-authors (who should have been expected to know better, and educate you likewise) than ...


54

First: Slow down. In the academic world, books are simply collections of known things presented in a unified fashion. In fact, in some disciplines, it's almost unheard of for someone to release something novel in book form. Additionally, while book chapters are reviewed by editors and (occasionally) peers, it's not the same peer-review setting as we have in ...


53

I'll try to give a general answer from a non-CS perspective. tl; dr: yes, there are errors out there. A lot of errors, clerical and not, even in oft-cited papers and books, from any field. It's inevitable: though they do their best to avoid errors, authors are human after all, and reviewers are humans too (I know, you never find a damn robot when you need ...


52

Publishing things that you know are erroneous is a good way to get a really bad scientific reputation. Depending on how severe it is, it might go so far as to be labelled fraud and formally sanctioned, basically killing your career. If it's important, then yes, you need to fix it. If it's not published yet, then fix it before you publish it. If it's ...


50

I have a feeling that your advisor is using fear to make you work with extra care on the paper. While his intention is good, I don't like this method at all. He is definitely exaggerating. Unless the mistake is a scientific misconduct, statistically speaking only one paper can't have much impact in your career, either in a negative or positive way. Many ...


50

There are many critical scientific resources out there that have massive known flaws, but are still useful because the flaws don't prevent people from getting high value from the resources. GenBank, for example, is the predominant source of genetic information in the world and is also known to have many mislabelled sequences. From what you have written, it ...


50

I'm no physicist, but speaking from common sense: Depending on how "ground-breaking" your discovery of their mistake is, here are the options I would consider: Silly mistake that could have been avoided by being careful or by knowing a bit more math: Write up a correction, contact the group and offer to co-author the correction with them, so that way ...


49

It is better to send the corrections directly to MathSciNet, through the mathrev "at" ams.org account. As long as they are just typos, we update the review directly. If you notice mathematical mistakes, we tend to involve the reviewer (if possible), since the changes will be more significant in that case. We routinely update files for which we discover ...


48

The main answer to your question is easy: talk to your advisor. I find it a little curious that you have not done this already. As a graduate student, you read a very famous paper (in mathematics, more than 150 citations is a very large number) that was written a while ago, and at the first sign of trouble you contacted the author of the paper. That is ...


47

Small errors that do not affect the results or conclusions of the paper are normally handled through publication of a correction (or erratum). This is handled by the journal editor, who will be in contact with the authors for confirmation that they agree as to it being an error, and provide for the exact correction to be published. The journal that published ...


47

The other side of the argument is that perhaps the professor wanted to write something personal in it and give it to you as a gift. It might be even better to say that you are delighted to receive the hardcover, and wonder if it might also be available online in PDF format.


43

Assuming you are have carefully checked that there really are serious errors, the best course of action would be to contact the authors of the paper first. Maybe they can explain subtle details, not clearly described in the paper, that explain everything. Of course it is important to be nice: It is very well possible that everything appeared to be correct ...


42

In addition to the others answers given, I think that is it extremely important to state whether or not you consider the grammatical errors to affect the scientific substance of the paper. Usually, grammatical errors don't actually effect your ability to evaluate the science in a paper. Even when phrases are fairly tangled or when a missing word makes a ...


41

Ask him. It sounds like none of the errors is serious so if your question is just one of etiquette, all you need to say is that you think you found a few typos and little mistakes in the paper and ask if he'd like a list. If the final version has already been sent to the publisher, it's probably too late to fix that, though there's the opportunity to ...


41

Talk to an experienced researcher in the field before getting too excited. For instance, you could talk to the professor of your course, if they are an active researcher in this area. The question of what constitutes a "critical error" is subjective and often hard for a student to evaluate. For instance, perhaps the authors are just using conventions that ...


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