I have a manuscript A, ready for submission, that describes a method for characterizing topographic features (computer sciences). I also have another manuscript B, ready for submission, that uses the method from the manuscript A where I extract the features I want and do some statistical analyses to explain the topographic variations (geosciences). A and B cannot be merged, and I consider to publish them in different journals since they treat different topics.

Should I submit A and B at the same time, but mention in B that I use a method from A? If yes, what should put as in-text citation?

3 Answers 3


Is there a compelling reason to submit both simultaneously? In case (I hope this doesn't happen!) there is an oversight in A, and the reviewer asks for modifications to the method, the results in B may no longer be valid. So it would be better to wait for acceptance of A.

If you must submit both soon because of deadlines etc, you can cite A as "journal xyz- submitted" (i.e. 'submitted' in place of volume number etc). This does happen now and then, but in my field (materials science), most journals discourage it.


I'd consider sending at least A to arXiv, then you'd have something to cite in B. The local culture is very different about preprint in various fields, but computer science is IMO quite Ok with arXiv preprints.

Another idea would be to submit A as is, but in B submission also to supply A manuscript as additional material for review.


This is a very normal thing and no big deal. Just cite the other one with whatever the citation format is. Obviously you won't have a volume number or page numbers and add "In preparation." Or "Submitted." Or "In press." (Whatever applies.)

Note: that some reasonable portion of such prospective citations don't ever turn into articles or go into alternate journals or whatever. But such is life. No big deal. You are being as honest and accurate as you can at the time doing the citation. It is still possibly useful to a future researcher for years in the future, who may want to look for related papers when looking at the one paper. You are doing the best you can.

Note 2: There may be very good reasons to have separate papers like this. For example if you discovered and characterized a new important chemical with new apparatus, you may want to go into lots of detail on the chemical but not in detail on the apparatus for a chemicals journal...and then the converse for an apparatus journal. In addition, sometimes work has natural break points (chemical A and chemical B discovered with some connection) where it is really better for the reader to get an LPU (least publishable unit) on A and one on B. It's a judgment call and some people think it is done to pad count, but I actually prefer LPU papers because they are a bit more readable and focused. You can do a review paper later that combines some of them. Also LPUs are faster to get out.

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