Multiple, duplicate, concurrent publication/simultaneous submission

Articles submitted for publication must be original and must not have been submitted to any other publication. Except in very unusual circumstances (and then only with your agreement as the editor), authors are expected to submit articles that are original and have not been submitted to any other publication. Occasionally, authors may disregard this requirement, submitting the same paper to multiple journals or submitting multiple papers based on the same research.

Read more about identifying duplicate submission cases

The complainant must be made aware that the matter cannot be investigated unless at some point the journal editor informs the corresponding (or complained-about) author (due process) and likely the other journal.

Comparison of relevant texts

The first stage must be a simple comparison of the relevant texts. This might involve a simple side-by-side comparison by the editor for the simpler forms of duplicate publication or a more thoughtful analysis by the editor if the same research or a single research project has apparently been inappropriately written up as separate articles.

Note that an identical or similar version of an article may have been published by one journal (often in a national or local edition, usually in a local language) and legitimately republished in another more international journal. The ethical implications of such republication will depend on the editorial policies of the journal - and agreement by the editors of the two journals involved. Republication may be appropriate provided the prior publication and any relevant facts concerning such publication are disclosed to and agreed by the editor. A brief explanation of these circumstances and full citation details for the previous article should be published along with the newly published version, preferably as a footnote to the title.

What if the editor reasonably determines that the articles are the same or the research reported is substantially the same (or should not have been reported in multiple articles)?

What if the corresponding (complained-about) author accepts the position of the complainant?

What if the corresponding/complained-about author rejects the position of the complainant?

What if the corresponding/complained-about author has not responded in a timely fashion to the editor’s correspondence?

What if the complainant and authors, or if relevant the employing institutions and funding agencies, fail to reach consensus or to act in a reasonable time?

COPE flowcharts

These are available for a second opinion. (*) Note: there may be some minor differences between COPE-recommended procedures and Elsevier-recommended procedures. It is therefore suggested that editors always discuss and agree with their publishing contact on a course of action together.. This is often the time for the editor to discuss the case with his/her publishing contact within Elsevier and agree what action, if any, needs to be taken.

Suspected redundant publication in a submitted manuscript
Suspected redundant publication in a published article