I was wondering about the acceptability of submitting two papers to the same journal at the same time. (I see some similar questions here, but they don't quite address my particular situation.) My area of interest is Media Studies. The two papers would be related but stand-alone, and I would be the sole author of each.

Rather than explain further, I'll give an example. One paper might be something like "Race Relations in Star Trek: Discovery." And the other might be something like "Does Star Trek: Discovery perpetuate some social stereotypes?"

The two papers would be on a somewhat similar theme and would share some references but would, I submit, be different enough to warrant separate treatment in two separate papers. So I would hope they would not be seen as salami slicing or duplicate publication.

Does that sound right? And would it be acceptable to submit them to the same journal at the same time (e.g. to a journal similar to Television Quarterly, which, lamentably, ceased publication a few years back)?

  • One of those similar questions would be Submitting multiple distinct papers to the same journal, and has a couple of answers from the editor's perspective. – Anyon Sep 12 '19 at 11:11
  • Thanks. I read that one before posting. It was close, but not quite aligned with my situation. Still, some helpful information. – academic1 Sep 12 '19 at 14:38

It is absolutely unremarkable to submit two related papers to a journal in parallel. In fact, it is often better to have them submitted to the same journal than to separate journals, so that they can be handled as a "package" of related work by the editors.

My one key suggestion is to make sure that you explicitly call out that you are doing this in the cover letters for the papers, and to have the papers refer to one another in their related work sections. This will give you a chance to make your case to the editor and reader that the papers are indeed each able to stand alone. Moreover, if you are up front about this and the editor disagrees, then they are likely to ask that you merge the papers rather than rejecting them or getting upset about "salami slicing".

  • Thank you so much. That is so helpful, especially the suggestion to inform the journal of what I am doing and why. I really appreciate it! – academic1 Sep 12 '19 at 11:33

It is acceptable in general, but an editor might question the similarity of the two papers and wonder whether you are just trying to pump up a CV. It would be up to them to decide whether to send either or both out to review.

But if you do it, I suspect that the doubts of an editor would be reflected back to you with advice and questions.

The further apart the papers are the less questions might be asked. It is a judgement call for the editor, but your downside isn't very deep.

  • Thank you very much. I will definitely go back through the papers and review how far apart they are. – academic1 Sep 12 '19 at 11:33

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