I believe I have come up with a new formula for a certain combinatorial sequence. Is it considered safe to ask whether my result is actually new on MSE? I mean "safe" in the sense that no one could claim the result for themselves.

P.S. I also don't currently have a proof that my sequence indeed matches the one in question for general $n$.


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    In this question, someone got an original idea about a new kind of formula. With some work I conjectured and then proved that there was something indeed. The proof is mine, but without the OP sharing their ideas I would never had even remotely thought about that. So sharing is also a way to make maths progress a lot faster. As a civilization, that's what we should be aiming at instead of worshipping individualism. Sharing is one of the hearts of MSE. – Arnaud Mortier Aug 1 at 23:17
up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you asked about it, and someone provided you with a proof. Isn't claiming it is your formula just stealing their proof?

By talking to people you always run the risk of them beating you to the punch. Mathematical history shows that for the most part, at least, people tend to give the proper credit, share credit, or otherwise be aware of independently obtained results.

There is no "safety" here and MSE is not meant for you to "validate your research" anyway. If you have a specific question, ask it. Just remember that you should give proper credit where credit is due for people who helped you along the way.

  • Thank you for the answer Asaf. For the record, I was not intending to steal anyone's proof. My main question is the novelty of my formulas. – user1337 Aug 1 at 12:53
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    While you can use this site with its online archiving and clearly shown timestamps for claiming priority, it's not a wholly accepted platform for that, and you're not using your real identity, so it is harder to corroborate. – Asaf Karagila Aug 1 at 12:54
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    Plus, in the case at hand, there are no actual proofs yet, so there is no priority to claim. – Andrés E. Caicedo Aug 1 at 13:09
  • @Andrés: Of course. :) – Asaf Karagila Aug 1 at 13:09
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    So... of course there should be credit for discovering the formula (in mathematics called a "conjecture") and also credit for proving the formula. If that is done by two separate people, both should be mentioned. – GEdgar Aug 1 at 14:50

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