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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 every circumstance (and then only with your arrangements 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 journals or submitting multiple papers based on the same research.

As with plagiarism, duplicate submission may take several forms: literal duplication, partial but substantial duplication, or even duplication by paraphrasing. Some journals have editorial policies that prohibit or discourage the publication of numerous papers based on the same research.

Cases of literal or substantial literal duplication should be reasonably easy to detect and remedy. Cases closer to paraphrasing or involving the same research are much more difficult to detect or analyze. This is particularly so when an author writes about his or her own research in two or more articles from different angles or on different aspects of the research. In such cases, an objective judgment of whether duplicate submission has taken place be made, based on your knowledge of the area of research. In difficult cases, you may need to seek guidance from other specialists in that field of research.

Our practical guide: what counts as prior publication? offers guidelines to help you determine whether prior research should be considered formally published

English-language version submission of paper published in other language

An author may publish a paper in a language other than English in a journal of local circulation and may then submit an English-language version to an Elsevier journal. You may decline to publish a paper of this kind. If it is the journal's policy is to publish some papers of this kind, and your feel it is appropriate to do so, you may agree to publish the paper provided that the proper procedure has been followed:

  • Full disclosure has been made to the editor of all previous publications of the paper in any language.

  • A full and reasonably prominent note, usually in the form of a footnote on the title page that record the prior publication, accompanies the English-language version of the paper.

  • All necessary consents have been obtained from the previous publisher of the paper in any other language and from any other person who might own rights in the paper.

COPE flowcharts

These are available for a second opinion (*). 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.