I came up with a new idea in the field of Computational Intelligence, and wrote a paper which I uploaded on TechRxiv. When submitting it to a conference, I realized that the title was too simple, and in the submitted paper (Springer Nature template), I improved the title and abstract and made a few changes to the paper in terms of grammar and clarity of the text.

What happened:
The conference initially rejected the paper saying "Unfortunately, it is not recommended for review because of its high similarity with existing content".
I clarified, saying that their plagiarism checker may have matched it with what I uploaded on TechRxiv.
The conference organizers responded saying: "Yes, it is rejected due to a repository paper. Please note that the titles of both papers are different. Repository may be considered if both papers are identical".

My understanding of a pre-print repository is that it is a place where authors can publish a rough version of their paper to get a timestamp of when they came up with an idea and also to be able to share the paper with other academics to solicit their opinion. There's no need for a pre-print version to match the version submitted to a journal or conference. A former teacher was once told that she shouldn't publish a paper to an ArXiv, so I know there are people in academia who aren't familiar with the purpose of a pre-print repository.

I know that few journals won't accept a paper if it is already on a pre-print repository. But I have already published papers with Springer, when my papers were already on TechRxiv, and the titles didn't match exactly. So I'd like to know if it would be appropriate to inform the conference organizers that there's nothing wrong with accepting the paper even if the title is different, or perhaps asking after uploading the updated paper to TechRxiv?

Potential problem: The old version of the paper is uploaded to EngRxiv too, and I've had login problems and the tech team is unresponsive. So I won't be able to update the paper there.

  • 5
    This is purely the rule of this specific conference. Their rule is silly, but probably intended to protect against plagiarism and multiple submission. Giving clear attribution to your preprint may help in the future, but nothing can protect you from some other people being silly.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 27, 2023 at 12:44
  • Note that some journals and, I assume, some conferences, won't accept anything that has appeared previously, even as a preprint. This is changing to be more permissive, but there are still vestiges.
    – Buffy
    Jan 26 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


The paper does not have to match your preprint exactly. One option is to reference the preprint in the "Related work / Literature review" section of your paper. This prevents the plagiarism checker from considering the preprint as plagiarised content.
This can of course be an issue if the conference/journal wants to do a double blind review, and they need you to not include any identifying information (adding a link to the preprint would provide identifying information).

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