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I am very much aware of the fact that we shouldn't be submitting the same work to multiple journals or conference venues simultaneously.

However, I see that the authors usually first submit to a conference, and then write a more thorough paper with ablation studies, extended experiments etc and submit to a journal.

Now, my student has almost completed the work he has been working on and I think it has a shot at a good journal, but since the department requires each student to just "publish or present" before they can write their thesis, he wants to send it to this regional conference. It was our B plan, the conference is regional and does not have much influence, the quality is low but it is respected in the community (not predatory). I understand his concern, and I see how our department's strict rules are basically counterintuitive.

The conference submission is about 2 and a half months away, and he will only know if his paper is accepted (review process can be random in my opinion though I am confident in work) in at least 4 and a half months from today, then a couple weeks more to submit camera-ready paper, and then a couple months more for him to present it.

I really want to send the paper to a journal instead, however even if we submit in a couple of weeks, it means that we may or not get the first round of reviews before the conference submission, and since this is a journal even in the most optimistic case, we may be asked to do a revision (another round of reviews) which will take somewhere around 2 months the least.

So, if it is possible to submit a paper (extended) to a journal after it is presented at a conference, why can't we send a preliminary version to a conference while our extended paper is in review process? He can work on some tweaks and change the model but it would still add on the journal submission so I am not sure if that would work. I did advise him to just work on something else to submit to the conference instead but who can guarantee we will have results that are good enough for any kind of conference.

Obviously, I want to do what is ethical here even though the situation does not allow for the most ideal way that is preliminary works in conference first, extended paper in a journal later.

Also, does it make a difference if the regional conference is in another language that is not English and the journal is international (top tier) and in English.

And how about we "submit" to the conference first, and then submit to the journal like right after we get the reviews (but before it is presented)?

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Let me suggest something different. The student might be able to factor the work into two papers, one minor, and the other major. The minor paper could include only some subsidiary results that are needed by the major paper and which could easily be cited without lessening the impact of the major paper.

You don't name the field. This sort of thing can be done (often) in math and CS. In math it would be a set of preliminary lemmas needed for the main result. In CS it could be a discussion of methodology leading to the solution of a class of problems, one of which is the heart of the major paper.

This avoids any issues of copyright when different publishers are involved with the conference and the journal. Each paper is "stand alone" and the major paper isn't just an extended version.

Part of this suggestion is based on your statement that the standards of the conference are somewhat lower than that of the journal, so less "impact" is likely essential for acceptance.

Factoring a major research project into a set of papers, rather than covering it all in one is a time tested technique in any case. Sometimes it is done improperly (salami slicing), but it can be valid, especially under the circumstances you face.

But the "minor" paper has to stand on its own in some sense.

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