I'm reading a paper, which is not open access, and I had troubles in some passages there, I would like to ask for help in https://math.stackexchange.com/, for that aim I have to share the paper and not take shots only; is that acceptable? any pieces of advice please?

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    $\begingroup$ Honestly, I suspect that if your questions are so involved that one has to read a paper before being able to answer, then your questions are likely to go unanswered. I would suggest trying to condense and emphasize only the bits that you are having trouble with. Frankly, this might help you answer your own questions. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ Why don't you post the complete bibliographical details of the paper (Title, author, journal, volume issue, year, page numbers)? Probably more people will have access to it through their university's library than you seem to think. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson, thank you, in the fact I have more than one question, I think that for understanding them, one has to understand the way that the author gathered the ingredients, and I don't see that this is possible without reading all the part we are concerned with, and about geting answer that's up to the users $\endgroup$
    – ahdahmani
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrésE.Caicedo, Thank you, the paper is zbmath.org/?q=an:0427.35021 but even if someone has access to it how can we discuss some points ( that will be possible only for whom who have access to it ! ) $\endgroup$
    – ahdahmani
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Fog_convergence Isn't this specific paper freely available: eudml.org/doc/111725? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thank you, No this is a conference paper which contains few details! $\endgroup$
    – ahdahmani
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ By freely available I meant that anybody can access it, without having any institutional subscription - see the link in my comment. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak yes i understand you, the one which i talk is not this you can check it here zbmath.org/?q=an:0427.35021 ( see the pages number )! $\endgroup$
    – ahdahmani
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ I see. They are different papers, although they have the same author and the same title. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak, Even that how about my question in the general case? $\endgroup$
    – ahdahmani
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe not exactly the same, but this past discussion seems related: How to ask for help in understanding specific parts of a paper or proof. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Well, anyone can access pretty much any paper that was ever published (not legally though). $\endgroup$
    – Qudit
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Qudit isn't illegal only if you download the paper? you can read almost all papers online for free without having to download them. $\endgroup$
    – clark
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 11:45
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    $\begingroup$ That's one of the reasons I don't like these journals and their websites. arXiv is much better. Timothy Gowers once heavily criticized Elsevier for their journals. See gowers.wordpress.com/category/elsevier $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ @clark I'm not sure what you're referring to. $\endgroup$
    – Qudit
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


The abstract of the specific 1979 paper you asked about is written in French, so it would be helpful to identify whether "open access" is so much a barrier to discussion here as content written in a language other than English.

I think Xander Henderson identified the generic difficulty to asking "more than one question" about a technical paper. As the Help Center FAQ puts it ("What types of questions should I avoid asking?"):

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here.

However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

My advice is therefore to use a fine grained approach. Start with Questions you are able to formulate yourself, and whose Answers you will be able to digest and Accept with your current understanding. The process of breaking up a lengthy paper into a series of comprehensible segments will no doubt be time consuming, but it will reward your patience and will likely produce Math.SE content that will have substantial interest for Readers in the long run.


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