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Can I email the author of a published paper to ask for protocols of the experiment?

Hi everyone, I need some advice here!

I'm in my first year of PhD, only started less than 3 months ago and still very lost. My field is soil chemistry and my research topic is about cadmium uptake by potato plants. The idea is to first do a hydroponic experiment. Because studies explicitly focused on cadmium uptake by potato plants based upon hydroponic experiments are very limited, in fact there is actually this only one paper similar to what we want to do and can learn some experiment setups from.

The published paper isn't detailed in everything, and some practical things are missing. (e.g. potato plant was pre-grown in a Vermiculite media, but the paper didn't say for how much volume). Is it appropriate to directly email the author, to ask about details in his/her experiments, or even ask for the protocols?

I've heard that some authors are happy to receive questions about their publications, but I'm not sure about experiment setups.

Thank you in advance!

PhD application - the more they background check you, the higher chance of accepting?

An update: So as I said in the main post, this PhD project is at the same chair group where I did my master's thesis. Last week one of the supervisors for my master's thesis (a PhD student) told me that she wanted to publish something which involves some of my master's thesis work. So I paid a visit back to the university, where the potential supervisor from the position I'm waiting for is in the same office building (!!!). I was hoping to bump into him to ask about the process, and I did! basically from what I understand from his words, they are deciding from me and another candidate, and they are super busy and still struggling to schedule the interview with another candidate. I know I showed up unexpectedly and he was not supposed to tell me anything, he clearly seemed more nervous than me upon my direct questions lol Anyway, they said they try to make the decision within this month so that's a little bit over a week.

I'm extremely stressed out now, but I managed to apply some other positions in Germany. Although my plan is to stay in the NL, but NL is so small, I have to accept the fact that there just aren't many suitable options for me..:(

PhD application - the more they background check you, the higher chance of accepting?

Quote From rewt:
I wouldn't try and guess what they are thinking/doing? I know it is hard but there is nothing you can do at the minute.

A multitude of things can hold up the final decision and you have no idea knowing which. Such as finalizing funding, waiting to interview everyone, filling in paperwork etc. I got a formal offer 3 weeks after my interview, they had made the decision a couple of days after my interview but waited for all the paperwork to be completed. Until they contact you don't know and shouldn't be paranoid. You sound confident and qualified, so I hope you get it.

I know and all the people keep telling me this also lol But because of a lot of reasons this PhD position is kind of my last and only hope, because it's the closest one I've got so far (I've decided to stay in NL but I'm not an EU citizen and am still learning Dutch; finding a job without Dutch language skill is difficult; plus I need to find a job/PhD with working visa sponsorship before my current visa expires..)

Although I really want to do a PhD, but it's kind of like I have to also now.. (of course I didnt say this in the interview!)

That's why I'm super stressed out!

PhD application - the more they background check you, the higher chance of accepting?

Hey, I'm new here and right now I'm suffering from the agony of waiting for the interview result..

I'm a Chinese national and I completed my Master's in the Netherlands. Luckily I came across this PhD position which is at the exact same chair group where I did my master's thesis. So before the interview, the potential supervisors asked around about me in the Chair group and I was told by my previous master thesis supervisor and 2 friends there that the feedback from everyone was generally positive. The potential supervisors even knew that I have a Dutch boyfriend (which is important because the experiments of this project have to be done in Ireland, and they have concerns whether I am willing to go and be separated from my bf for a while). Other things people in the Chair group told them are: I'm intelligent but a little bit shy (I was surprised during the interview that they honestly told me that they asked around about me lol)

My background fits this position 80% I would say, and according to my "spies" in the chair group, seems like they don't really have a better candidate than me (not 100% sure). I answered the technical questions well during the interview and the interview went almost 1 hr. The only concerns of them that I can think of are:1. my introverted personality, which they said in the interview that it's totally ok but I have to pay attention to the communication. 2. If i'm willing to spend some time in Ireland. For this I sent an email 3 days after the interview, saying that I had a family meeting and I have their full support regarding going to Ireland.

Today it's officially a week after the interview and I haven't heard anything back (I know it's normal for even longer waiting time). I went from super positive about this position to start being paranoid what could possibly go wrong... any insights here? Big thanks in advance!!