I recently found a case of duplicate publishing and at the same time conflict of interests. Here is the case:
Someone sent a paper (in Persian) as the sole author in a scientific Persian journal. Submission date is Jan 1, 2020 and acceptance date is Aug 8, 2020. Based on the author academic background it is related to her academic career. She was being employed in a highly competitive university during the submission time.
She seemingly adds the faculty dean as the first and corresponding author and re-submits the same paper (now translated into English) to a WoS journal. Comparing the two papers, subject and abstracts are word-by-word the same, and the article body is almost (over 80%) the same (the difference comes from the formats and limitations of the journals). No kind of reference to the first Persian version is specified. The second paper submission date is not specified in the published version but if the first review appeared 2 months after submission, it should be March 2020, because the first review date is 2020/05/24 (according to review log).
I have two questions:
- What should be done in case the first Persian paper was proved to be submitted sooner than the English one?
- Can this be considered a case of conflict of interest?
PS All scientific Iranian journals accepting original researches require that the work should not be submitted or printed anywhere else.
UPDATE: Persian journal removed the sole-author paper without any notice about retraction or something. Still traces of the Persian paper is available on paper search platforms. What to do?
UPDATE2: Persian journal links was broken because of the system upgrade. The paper is still up and accessible.