8

I submitted a paper for publication. The editor accepted it but asked that I remove some results to make the paper shorter. He suggested that I put the full paper with the full results in arXiv, and refer to it from the published paper. My question: if I do this, can I later send the trimmed results to a different (lower level) journal? I.e, are they considered "published" since they appear in a preprint that is referred from a published article, or "unpublished" since they do not appear in the published article itself?

EDIT: in my field, in general, it is allowed to upload preprints and then submit them for journal publication, so the preprint itself is not an issue; the issue is that the preprint is referred to from a published paper, so it might be considered an "appendix" of that paper.

  • 1
    Does the journal allow supplementary info? Sounds like that is what they are trying to do here in a roundabout way. – A Simple Algorithm Apr 29 at 17:40
  • 2
    Separately from the issue of whether a journal would accept the followup paper, you have to consider (and might want to ask a separate question about) whether it would be perceived as salami-slicing by people who didn't know the backstory. – Peter Taylor Apr 30 at 7:06
5

I suppose you could. When submitting the paper with the "leftover" results, you'll probably want to explain in your cover letter what's going on, so that the editor doesn't think you're double-publishing those results.

However, I don't think it's a very good idea. People usually expect a one-to-one correspondence between preprints and published papers. Having results from a single preprint going in two separate papers will confuse people and make it harder for them to find and properly cite your work. So if you are going to have two papers, I think you should have two preprints.

So first, decide how you are going to split up the results among papers. Update the preprint of your current paper so that it matches the content (and title) that will be in its published version. Then submit a new preprint with a new title containing the leftover results, corresponding to your second paper.

In your current paper, you can then cite the second preprint.

1

The important distinction here is that the results, while made public, were not peer-reviewed. From IEEE guidelines:

(...) Authors should only submit original work that has neither appeared elsewhere for publication, nor which is under review for another refereed publication.

(emphasis mine)

While they don't make it unambiguously clear, the second part of this sentence is a strong suggestion that published only applies to papers that have been published as a refereed (i.e. peer-reviewed) publication. Guidelines from other publishers are similar.

So, if, as others suggest, it is not possible to add an appendix or supplementary material to your accepted publication, as others suggest, I would suggest following the Editor's advice with one small (and not very tangible) change. Publish the full results, not as a pre-print, but as a technical report under a different title. Remove the old pre-print and have only a matching pre-print sharing the title of your accepted paper. Refer to your technical report as you would any other work, including the URL in the citation (as this is a "web-resource", and not peer-reviewed).

Since you may not resubmit the work only if it has been published as a refereed publication, which your technical report will not be, you will still be free to re-use those results when trying to publish in a refereed journal or conference. You should, in that case, still cite your technical report. This not only encourages consistency, but additionally, publishing all the results as a technical report also "time-stamps your name" on it, removing the possibility (or at least, giving you a well-documented trail) of your work or results being scooped.

This practice is something I've occasionally seen in my field. The last example I've seen was of a group that developed a new theory, and then also applied that theory to a number specific problems that were still of fairly wide interest to the community. The theory, with selected examples that validate it and demonstrate it were published in a high-ranking journal. The application of the theory to several specific problems was "published" only as a technical report (on their university/institute web pages) which was cited in the journal paper. It would also allow the authors to reuse any of those results (from the technical report) in their subsequent publications, e.g. they might want to more deeply explore the implications of, or process the, results of applying the technique to one of the specific problems covered in the technical report, in which case it would be perfectly fine to include those results (previously published in a technical report) in such a new paper.

0

This depends a lot on what you put in the other paper, on your field, and on the journal. If the other journal permits pre-publication and your paper holds together for that journal's reviewers, you should be fine.

It isn't especially uncommon to mine several papers from the same research, covering different aspects.

But don't neglect that the full paper might be acceptable to another high level journal with less strict page limits.

0

Instead of publishing the "trimmed results" in a different journal, you may want to consider presenting the "trimmed results" in a conference, one that has published proceedings.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.