I recently found out my preprint paper (to be published in a journal) that missed a citation of others' work, the paper is just published online in IEEE Xplore? The sentences are rephrased, however, I forgot to give credit notice within the texts. I feel very badly about it. I know this is a plagiarism. I do not want to find the excuse for myself. I want to remedy it before I cannot. What should I do it now?

The paper I should cite is in the reference list of the bibliography. I did not cite it within the texts.

  • 1
    I know this is a plagiarism. - Are you sure you know what plagiarism is? Because it's not clear to me from your post that it is.
    – Kimball
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Contact the journal as soon as possible with the correction, and see whether they can change it before the paper is officially published.

When they had real (and not electronic) typesetting, you had to try to change the text as little as possible. That's still a good idea, although it's less important now.

If they can change it before it's published, that's ideal. If they can't, you can decide what steps to take after they tell you it's too late.

  • 5
    This does not alter your original intent of the article. Something that alters the original intent would need to be much more substantial, like a change that adds an extra hypothesis to a theorem. This is just correcting your unintentional oversight of not including a citation. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 13:24
  • 2
    If you don't contact them, it will be plagiarism. You cannot let this go and preserve your reputation. In the worst case withdrawing the paper is preferable to letting it go through unfixed.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 13:51
  • 3
    Let me lay out the consequences. If the original authors are still working, they very likely will find your work. They very likely will notice their own work uncited. They may very well complain. They have every right to complain. Now you have no real defense. Either you are sloppy or a plagiarizer. This isn't an option for you. If they reject your correction, you should withdraw the paper and fix it. If they refuse to do that as well they participate in the wrong, but the consequences will still come back on you. Just. Do. It.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 14:01
  • 3
    I concur with PeterShor and Buffy. The only way I could see such an edit changing the author's intent is if the author intended to plagiarize. Hopefully that's not the case here (and if it is, maybe don't tell the journal...), so please just go ahead and contact them right away.
    – Anyon
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 14:11
  • 6
    Nevermind the written policies. You have an exceptional case. They will make an exception or they will not, but that is for them to decide. If you don't contact them they don't know there is a problem. But future readers of your paper are likely to know that you have behaved badly, though not in what way. Just. Do. It.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 14:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .