Q: Should I reconsider the novelty of my study if a similar idea has been published in a working paper?

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I am working on a study in the field of Economics since the last year. Recently a researcher from another country published a working paper (WP) about a study which is similar to my study. Though this WP includes some technical problems, its principle is largely similar to my study. Even if it is a WP instead of an original article, should I reconsider the novelty of my paper when I write it because the idea has been already published by other people?

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Answer:

The idea behind publishing protocols and working papers is that the main idea and novelty remain with the one who has already published it. Therefore, the other author who has already published the working paper will have priority over the idea. If you have the option to change your approach slightly, it would be best to do so before you submit your paper. Else, it might give off the impression that you have copied the idea from the working paper. Additionally, your paper will not be great in terms of novelty, and the best journals might not want to publish it. Therefore, in my opinion, if you can consider a different approach for your paper, it would be advisable to do so. 

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