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What is short communication?

  • #1
blue_leaf77
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Main Question or Discussion Point

So I noticed a mistake in the mathematical analysis in a paper and I want to propose the revised version. What should I do?
I think it doesn't worth a journal since the revision probably only takes a page. Is there other ways of doing such revision? I have heard there is this short communications thing, is this relevant? If it is, how long is typical short communication?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Quantum Defect
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So I noticed a mistake in the mathematical analysis in a paper and I want to propose the revised version. What should I do?
I think it doesn't worth a journal since the revision probably only takes a page. Is there other ways of doing such revision? I have heard there is this short communications thing, is this relevant? If it is, how long is typical short communication?
If you are correcting your own work, you can submit an erratum to the journal.

If you are correcting somebody else's mistake, you can submit a "Comment." If it is simply a typo, the original author may be allowed to submit an erratum, thanking you for your help, etc.

I believe that the "gentlemanly" thing to do is to first send a brief note to the authors of the original publication, which gives them the chance to fix little problems. I did this to a big wig when I was in graduate school, and was sent a very nice thank you letter from the big wig.

If it is a bigger problem (i.e. the analysis is wrong) the original author may get testy, and if you believe that you are correct, you can try the "Comment" route. Journals will allow the original author to submit a "Reply" to the comment. Sometimes you see a Reply to the Reply, etc.

I would try corresponding with the original author first. You may have made a mistake, and in being corrected you can learn something. Or you can endear yourselves to someone for helping them to remove an embarrassment from the literature.

Different Journals have different rules. You can look at the editorial page of the particular journal to see how to submit a Comment.
 
  • #3
blue_leaf77
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I simply disagree with the way they present the mathematical analysis. The reason is that their math analysis leads to a physical result which contradicts the underlying theorem. It seems to me that they didn't notice that discrepancy. I think I should sent e-mail to them first, but by the way where can I find this comment field. I opened the publication link but couldn't find it.
 
  • #4
Quantum Defect
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I simply disagree with the way they present the mathematical analysis. The reason is that their math analysis leads to a physical result which contradicts the underlying theorem. It seems to me that they didn't notice that discrepancy. I think I should sent e-mail to them first, but by the way where can I find this comment field. I opened the publication link but couldn't find it.
Yes this sounds like a bigger problem. If you write to them first, they may invite you to co-author a paper with corrections (assuming that you are correct).

Usually it is with editorial information. In PRL, it is in the "Authors" section:
http://journals.aps.org/prl/authors/comments-physical-review-letters
 
  • #5
blue_leaf77
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Ok thank you very much for the information.
 

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