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A bit similar to Submitting two articles to the same journal at the same time but not exactly. I was wondering about the strategy for publishing two related, but separate papers. Could there be a benefit (in terms of your chance of getting accepted) in submitting the two papers to the same publisher, while explicitly asking for publication in two of their separate journals (given that they have different audiences/criteria)? Or should you just submit them separately, in a vacuum?

To give some context (too much in hinsight, so feel free to skip) I will use my case as an example, although I am sure it applies elsewhere.

We did an experiment that uncovered a new piece of physics, previously not seen before. We investigated how it came about, and on which parameters it depends. We constructed a model that was able to explain the data. Let's call this part A. In that same device, we then went on to use that physical effect to do something; we applied it and managed to create something novel and potentially useful, or at least a proof of concept. This is part B.

These two sets of results are, in my opinion, both worthy of publication. Part B however, has a broader scope and will most likely be more impactful, at least in the eyes of an editor. It is more of a hot topic item. Part A is more field-specific, but without it B comes out of nowhere and is poorly understood. I feel that combining the two texts would both be too long and not focused enough.

Now, my first thought was submit & publish separately. For part A we can go to a more specific (and lower impact) journal, and for part A we can try to aim for something more prestigious. But then I thought that perhaps it would make sense to try and bundle the papers in terms of publisher. What I mean by that is that some publishers have multiple journals that could house the papers (say Nature physics & Nature communications for the Nature family, or Physical Review X and Physical Review Letters or more specific like Physical Review B for APS). Could there be advantages to doing this? Could it be that the 'joint probability' of the papers getting published/accepted, P(A&B), is larger than if the papers come in separately, P(A)*P(B)?

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  • In hindsight academia.stackexchange.com/questions/134427/… touches upon this same issue. Perhaps someone has further insights than given there, as that question was from the perspective of whether it is ethical to do this, rather than if it is beneficial to do this
    – user129412
    Mar 3 at 13:06
  • APS have a joint submission system that is well suited to this, but I don't know how/if it affects probability of acceptance. Haven't heard of something similar for the Nature journals.
    – Anyon
    Mar 3 at 13:27
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    Your probability computations seem dubious. :) Mar 3 at 14:24
  • Do you have any other possible advantages in mind, or just the probability of getting accepted being higher?
    – gib
    Mar 3 at 16:50
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    I don't know about Nature and am not a physicist, but in my area (statistics) individual journals act largely independently and the publisher doesn't have much if any impact on publication decisions, so I'd guess that as long as you submit to two different journals, it doesn't matter whether they are from the same publisher or not. Mar 3 at 17:23

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For most publishers, the publisher has no role in the editing of the journal. Editorial decisions are made independently by the editors of each journal. Usually it makes no difference if you submit your two manuscripts to different journals with the same publisher or to two equivalent journals with different publishers.

When you submit a manuscript, it is always required to disclose related manuscripts to the editor. The identity of the publishers has no bearing on this requirement. Should someone accuse you of self-plaigiarism, "We told the editor about it in advance." is pretty much the perfect defense.

Some top journals will show your manuscript to the editors of lower ranked journals at the same publisher. I do not think this is something that matters much.

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  • That makes sense. I know of a case where the submitter bargained with the editor to publish two papers, or else they'd take both of them elsewhere, when they only wanted to accept one. But it sounds natural that this does not extend across journals.
    – user129412
    Mar 3 at 18:18

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