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I have submitted a paper to a conference, but the reviews are not good and the rebuttal is not going well either. So the paper will most likely not be accepted later on. The "intend to submit"/register deadline for another conference will be in a short time, which requires a title and abstract that can be changed later on. The final decision on my paper from the first conference is a few days before the final submission of the second conference.

Is it unethical to register to the second conference and show my intend to submit, while the first conference has not made their final decision on my paper yet? I could still cancel my submission intention on the second conference in case the first conference accepts my paper.

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  • For your situation, the actual ethical judgement of the situation is not 100% obvious, but there is a workaround: use a different title and a very vague/high-level abstract for the initial registration at the second conference. It's then not a duplicate submission, because the abstract could, in principle, still materialize in a very different way. Once the paper is rejected at A, you can submit it at B. Feb 10 at 11:01
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    @lighthousekeeper Being more vague or changing the title changes nothing about the ethics of this situation.
    – Louic
    Feb 10 at 11:25
  • @Louic I believe it does, because the ethical code in question is the double-submission policy, and titles and abstracts of submissions affect whether two submissions are indeed the same and fall under that policy. Feb 10 at 11:28
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    Withdraw for the first conference and then submit to the second. Avoids any suspicion of you trying to double-dip and resolves the problem entirely over-the-table (I have done this myself on multiple occasions).
    – xLeitix
    Feb 10 at 12:48

2 Answers 2

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"Intend to submit" does not sound like you are promising that you will definitely submit. So in your case, given the timings you mention, I would say it is OK to tell the second conference that you intend to submit, while still waiting for the final decision from the first conference.

But you need to read the rules for both conferences and follow them. If they are unclear or don't mention this scenario, I suppose you could email the organizers, but I would say it is OK to go ahead with the "intend to submit."

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For the moment, register for the other conference with slightly different title and abstract. Change it or keep the same later on.

When the paper is rejected from the first conference, then revise the paper considering the comments/opinions of the reviewers. Include/exclude things that come to your mind in the mean time. Read the paper again and see if some improvements could be made. Then submit the paper to the second conference.

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