[seqfan] Re: On ethics

Alonso Del Arte alonso.delarte at gmail.com
Wed Jun 29 23:02:15 CEST 2011

I agree with Charles on this one. If something is extremely obvious, they
probably came up with it themselves. There's a continuum. Taking A000217 as
an example:

* Triangular numbers – odd numbers = triangular numbers. — You've probably
noticed this yourself and wouldn't bother citing Xavier Acloque on this one.
* Number of transpositions in the symmetric group of n + 1 letters i.e. the
number of permutations that leave all but two elements fixed. — If you've
pondered symmetric groups (I haven't), it's possible you would also come to
the same conclusion as Geoffrey Critzer; otherwise you might come to this
conclusion but not use the proper group terminology.
* Number of ways a chain of n non-identical links can be be broken up. This
is based on a similar problem in the field of proteomics: the number of ways
a peptide of n amino acid residues can be be broken up in a mass
spectrometer. In general each amino acid has a different mass, so AB and BC
would have different masses. — On this one it might make sense to give
credit to James Raymond, because maybe not many OEIS contributors are also
knowledgeable about proteomics. I've heard of a mass spectrometer, but
couldn't tell you much about amino acid residues in one of those.


On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM, Charles Greathouse <
charles.greathouse at case.edu> wrote:

> > Suppose that you are writing a paper about sequence A. Should you refer
> to comments and links of this sequence?
> I think that would be courteous if the comments told you something you
> didn't know, and obligatory if you couldn't prove it yourself.  But
> most of the comments in the OEIS are fairly straightforward.  For
> example, I wrote
> Apart from a(2), a(n) is in {0, 1, 2}. Almost all terms are 0 by the
> Prime Number Theorem.
> in A176851.  But if a person was writing about that sequence, this
> would surely be obvious -- indeed, if I saw this in a paper I would
> sooner assume that the author had come to that conclusion
> independently than that they had copied it.
> But I don't think this is any different from the usual academic
> standards.  I don't cite Bartle & Sherbert when I show that an
> unbounded function is not Riemann-integrable.
> Charles Greathouse
> Analyst/Programmer
> Case Western Reserve University
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