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I submitted my work to journal X almost a year ago; the status of the paper remained "Assigned to Reviewers" for a long time, and despite repeated emails, no one from the editorial board responded. After my last email, they recently responded, and the status date has been changed to 22 February 2022, but the status remains the same, with the message "Assigned to Reviewers."

After such a long time, it appears that my work is losing its significance. So my question is, can I submit this work to another journal in parallel with the current journal to save time?

Is it unethical for me to do this?

PS. My question has a similar answer here.

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3 Answers 3

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To make it ethical, simply inform the first journal that you are withdrawing your paper. Wait a bit for a reply, though that isn't necessary. The paper is then free to be submitted elsewhere.

But to submit before withdrawing has ethical issues.

Reviewer time and effort needs to be considered also, here. Most journals would desk-reject such a second submission if they learn of it.

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Typically, when you submit a paper to a journal, they require you to acknowledge in writing that you have not submitted the work to another journal. By almost any ethical standard, then, it is unethical to make a written promise and then break it.

If you want to go with another journal, then I would withdraw the paper first.

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I think it would be ethical to send (not "submit") your paper to a professional friend or acquaintance in your field that might have a good idea what the second journal might like or require. So this friend sees your paper, says "Yes, submit that to Journal of XYZ and they might be very interested in it."

Then tell your original journal that you're withdrawing the submission and then submit to the other journal.

I know, as a matter of fact, many academics (and other scholars) have submitted nearly the same paper, with somewhat different titles, with possible variation in authors and principal author, to different journals and gotten the paper published both places.

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    The submission of two almost identical papers to different journals is self plagiarism and is unethical. That people have done it doesn't make it less so. Mar 5 at 9:15
  • I agree. I am just saying that I've seen quite similar papers published in both AES and IEEE by the same group of authors. Mar 6 at 5:07

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