Early this year we submitted and presented a paper on an IEEE conference. However, due to the page limit we had leave out quite a few of our experiments and results. As most the work has been carried out already, I would like to submit an extended version of that paper to a journal. Unfortunately the best fit is a special issue at another publisher.

Now comes the tricky part: What exactly does IEEE's copyright on our previous work cover? It is no problem for me to rewrite the text, redraw the included figures, and add a reference to the conference paper in the introduction. But as the added content comes from additional experiments and measurements, the sections on related work and methodology will still repeat the same ideas and formulas as before.

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 8, 2021 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Perhaps you can get permission from IEEE for this, though I doubt it. You likely have a specific license for the work that covers some but not all uses. I doubt that including the bulk of the earlier work within the latter is allowed, but you have to check. If it isn't specifically allowed, then getting explicit permission from IEEE is probably essential.

You are probably better off writing up the new work treating the older one much as you would the work of another: quoting judiciously and citing as needed. People extend the work of others in this way quite regularly, so it isn't impossible.

Citation will save you from charges of self plagiarism, but you are in danger of copyright infringement.

Paraphrasing extensively and redrawing figures isn't going to save you as the rights for that are held by the copyright holder.

The problem is that if IEEE considers that it has a financial interest in the original, then a new paper "incorporating" the old in some way will reduce that value. It is what copyright is actually designed for.

And, keeping IEEE happy is probably in your best long-term interest as you are likely to want to deal with them in the future.

Laws vary, of course, but you have only limited license to act. Consult a lawyer for specific details, of course.

I suspect, also, that another publisher would be wary of publishing something that incorporated large parts of a work copyrighted by another publisher.

And, the advantage to you of a "new" paper is that you get a "new" paper.

  • Thank you for your considerations. Since the additional evaluations make only limited sense without the context of the methodology and direct comparison to the other results I'll go for an IEEE journal then. There are a few that explicitly encourage submission of extended conference papers... Was mainly hoping to avoid the page limit / overlength fee.
    – exocore
    Dec 8, 2021 at 18:25

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