I recently finished a project that has accepted for publication in a preventive medicine journal.

I was hoping to submit the abstract to some conferences to improve my presentation skills, and my supervisor informed me that I should make sure my paper is not published before the abstract is presented.

The journal has given us a 12-week ETA on publication, and both conferences I was hoping to present at are much later than that (16-24 weeks). As a result, I was wondering what my possible options are? So far, I have four questions:

  1. If my paper is accepted for an oral presentation instead of a poster presentation, could I still present them if the paper has been published?

  2. Could I ask the journal to put a hold on production so I can present at these conferences?

  3. Does it matter if one of the planned conferences is not international / if they do not publish abstracts?

  4. Should I contact the managing editor to ask if I may present the abstract at the planned conferences?

  • You could make a normal conference paper and convert the journal paper into an extension paper if you have enough content. This gives you the liberty to publish both papers at the same time. Generally extension papers allow 30% similarity to the original paper. While this is a lot of work, its one way around your situation.
    – Academic
    Mar 23, 2021 at 18:20
  • 1
    I worry that your advisor has it backwards and if you "publish the work" in a conference first, then the journal would want to reject it.
    – Buffy
    Mar 23, 2021 at 18:39
  • 2
    @Buffy Unlikely that matters; medicine usually follows the convention that conferences aren't "real" publications. As Azor Ahai's answer mentions, the norm is that conferences are for work "in-progress"; it's common for submissions to conferences to occur around the time authors are preparing to submit for peer review. Most often the conference presentation occurs while the peer review process continues. (as always, there can be exceptions for certain conferences or journals; there are a rare couple in medicine that are "fast track" and indeed expect no prior presentation either)
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 23, 2021 at 18:50
  • @BryanKrause, agreed, if a conference talk isn't considered a form of publishing then the issue goes away. And, the fast track issue seems to be a special case. Perhaps that should be spelled out to avoid confusion.
    – Buffy
    Mar 23, 2021 at 18:59
  • @Aymuos I don't think that concept of an "extension paper" exists in medicine. Apologies if you know otherwise. In any event, OP already has their paper submitted and accepted in a journal; they aren't going to be making changes to that accepted version unless some major error is discovered.
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 23, 2021 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


I think generally speaking you're thinking about your advisor's point the wrong way round. The point isn't that the journal now owns your work and presentations thereof (re: point 2), it owns the copyright, and the right to distribute their presentation of your work.

Rather the point is that conferences are expected to be new work, ahead of the literature. People don't go to conferences to hear a paper read aloud, they go to hear about new things they can't read in the literature. It's a venue for feedback (which can't be applied to a published article).

I'm not in preventative medicine (but at one time was in a medicine-adjacent field), but have heard this before. Generally, an oral presentation might be the better avenue for work that was just published, but you should ask your advisor about point 1.

To point 3 - no.

To point 4 - no, the managing editor is not the one imposing the "restriction," if you wanted to ask someone besides your advisor, you would ask a conference organizer or someone else familiar with the conference to learn what level of novelty is expected there.


I'm worried about this and about your intent, though I don't know what you would intend to put into the "Abstract". If the abstract is nothing more than a description of a talk you will give on "recent results" or "recently published work", an ad, so to speak, then I see no harm. But if you are intending that you get another "publication" out of the conference proceedings then I think you are on very thin ice.

I especially worry that if you present at a conference before publication, that the journal will want to pull the paper immediately as being "old work".

However, in your field, where lives may be as stake there is certainly value in people speaking to an interested audience of practitioners to make them aware as early as possible about results that will appear soon. It may be that there is no understanding that such a talk is "publishing", in which case the issues may go away.

But, to be safe here, I'd suggest that you, the journal editor, and the conference program chair, all come to a common understanding of your submission and what it implies. Trying to finesse it could leave you in trouble with everyone. But, within certain constraints, I'd think that everyone could be made happy about what happens. But, you don't suddenly have several "first publications" of the same work. Don't try to go there. It is a dark and scary place.

And, of course, if what you say/write in one venue is an extension of what you have previously published then there is no issue, assuming that you cite properly.

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