When making relations of my contribution to the work of others, I sometimes deliberately want to avoid detailed description of the related work and state: "For details on derivation, see the original work." However, I'm not sure if the term original is appropriate here, and I kindly ask you to provide some alternatives. Or, is the term actually the most appropriate?

  • Maybe you can give a few more details that provide a meaningful context. Do you ice the cakes that others bake, stuff their turkeys, edit their English, ghost write their medical articles, draw the cartoons or write the dialogues for their comic strips?
    – user21497
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 12:36
  • @Bill Franke I'm a researcher in mathematics; I propose new solutions, but need to make a connection to existing ones. So, the text will be published, and I would like to have proper English.
    – engUsero
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 13:00
  • One standard practice is to have a bibliography at the end of the article, with all the references carrying serial numbers. In your article simply mention the serial numbers.
    – Wishwas
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 14:08
  • 1
    You're probably better off employing footnotes like so¹: ¹For details on derivation, see Bar, Foo (1998) Studies in Advanced Baz Theory, p.94. (These things vary from publication to publication.) Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 14:58
  • What @coleopterist says; but "in-line" citation is often accepted, too, and probably easiest on the reader: "For details ... see engUsero, 2008b," where the title and publication details are spelled out in the Works cited at the end. The proper form of citation will be defined by the journal in which you are publishing, typically by reference to a specific style manual. Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


One alternative is seminal.

(adj.) strongly influencing later developments

You would use this word to note that a text that has influenced your work has primacy in the field.

For details on game theory, see John Nash's seminal text "XXX".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.