This question is about broad-topic and highly cited journals such as Nature or Science in which papers submitted from different subsets of authors could cover slightly overlapping subjects.

Would a paper under review in one of these journals interfere with the submission of another paper to the same journal? Or maybe the other way around that the new submission could interfere with the editorial decisions for the paper under review? The first author would be the same in both papers but the other authors would be different and the subject of both papers would overlap slightly.

A senior colleague with extensive experience in publishing in these journals suggested that the new submission "may interfere with the paper under review" and suggested to submit to a different journal.

In theory I don't see how one submission could interfere with another given that they would have very likely different handling editors. But obviously editors communicate among each other and might think that we are "spamming" the journal. We don't submit to these journals regularly.

  • 4
    In my experience, people with extensive experience in publishing have a variety of superstitions about publishing. Jul 26 at 11:51

I would guess that the circumstance in which one such paper might interfere with the handling of the other is when the subject matter and results are very closely aligned.

The second paper might be considered not novel enough if the first paper is published. Or an editor (or a couple of them) think the two papers should be combined into one.

But, I doubt that if the new paper is sufficiently novel in light of the existing literature and the new paper it would have any effect.

In particular, if the new paper is independent of the first (field, topic, results, methodology (perhaps)...) then most editors would treat them individually. But, of course, we can't predict the decisions of all editors, since we don't know them.

  • Thanks for the answer. The results and methodology of these two papers are not connected at all. But I was wondering if journals might have other concerns such as publishing the same author/s over a few months. Jul 26 at 13:08
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    They should not, but who can say. They should be concerned with the content of the paper, not the authors. Their job isn't to manage reputation, but to publish the best research advances. I think you can proceed with confidence.
    – Buffy
    Jul 26 at 13:10

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