I have a paper under review for over 6 months now. Recently I have done some more work which is an extension of paper under review and wrote it as a new paper. As there is dependency on the paper under review, I have included some important theorems of paper under review in appendix of the new paper. Can I submit this new paper to (a) the same journal, although there is a paper already under review for a long time. (b) Should I submit to another journal, even before the review process of current paper still going on. (c) should i seek advice of the EIC of the current paper under review (d) Don't do anything and wait for the decision on the current paper under review and proceed accordingly?

Appreciate any pros and cons or suggestions/advice in this scenario.

  • 2
    Over 6 months? Apparently some disciplines it can take 2 years...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 26 '19 at 4:32
  • 1
    Can you include the old manuscript as "supplementary information for peer reviewers but not for publication" with the new manuscript? Probably (a) is good, but it depends on the particular journal and papers. Aug 26 '19 at 5:11
  • @SolarMike : Let me call it "a considerable amount of time".
    – user102868
    Aug 26 '19 at 13:13

I wouldn’t submit the follow-up paper while the first is still under revision. For the moment I’d consider the time that you’ve waited as pretty normal. So stay calm and wait some more time. If the first paper eventually gets publish, fine, then proceed with the follow-up paper. Otherwise, I would consider the option to merge both versions to a more influential single version and submit this one (maybe even in a higher-ranked journal).

  • @SebastianBetchel : Thank you for the answer. Makes sense to me.
    – user102868
    Aug 27 '19 at 2:45

In what field are you working?

I would suggest to proceed with caution because of several factors. If you submit your new work and gets published faster, there is a risk of rejection of your first paper because it is not novel enough, etc. I have heard of a case in physics in which the review process took ~1 year, and it was eventually rejected because the same authors during that year generated data with better resolution, and thus their original work was not worth as much as it was.

Another important point to remember is that you can't plagiarize yourself. This means that if you add appendixes with copy/paste of your own paper, that does not count as plagiarism. However, journal editors may disagree. Many journals have automated software, and if it gets marked for not-to-publish, editors won't spend a second more on it. Again, proceed with care, because your first paper can be locked out because of your follow up paper.

If you have the option to submit to different places, I would ask the first journal to withdraw the first paper from the revision process, and submit it somewhere else (but again, you are the only one who can judge whether it is smart for your career). Sometimes just asking it, makes the editors speed up the review process.

Finally, you can consider publishing your first paper to a pre-print server, and cite it in your new paper. If it happens that your first paper gets approved before publishing your second one, you can update the references. And if not, both reviewers and readers have access to the original work if they want to follow your procedure.

I think that it is a tricky situation, in which a lot of what is wrong with the review process starts to surface. In some areas, reviewers block the publishing of papers because they are working on the same area and they want to be published first. You can always pressure the editor to speed up the process, perhaps finding new reviewers, or if you say you are going to submit elsewhere and your paper is worth it, editors will speed up the process. Remember that publishing is, in almost all cases, a business, and losing a paper is losing money.

  • Thanks for the answer. Journal field is mathematics (journal is on specialized topic and multidisciplinary in nature)
    – user102868
    Aug 26 '19 at 12:23
  • I'm not sure how the mathematics community work. I am a bit more aware about the awful things that happen in the bio-world of publishing and reviewing... Aug 27 '19 at 13:03

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