I have a paper that was presented at an NRC workshop and was not peer reviewed. Moreover, although this work is accessible at an NRC website, it is clear from reading the literature that search engines do not discover the paper and no one is aware of its existence.

Is it ethical to submit this paper to a peer-reviewed journal for publication?

2 Answers 2


Different journals have different standards for what counts as prior publication. For example, most computer science journals happily accept "extended journal versions" of existing papers that are intended to supersede the prior publication, as long as there is at least 30% new content and the relationship to the prior paper made explicit. Some high-ranked biology journals, on the other hand, are so obsessed with "novelty" that they will consider a submission improper even if only an extended abstract has previously appeared. Check the policy of the journal(s) that you are considering: either it will be listed clearly online, or the editorial staff should be able to give you a quick answer about their policies.


A lot of journals give their politics for conference paper in their websites. It is mostly like following:

  • Journal of Machine Learning Research

    We will consider research that has been published at workshops or conferences. In these cases, we expect the JMLR submission to go into greater depth and extend the published results in a substantive way.

Some of them give numerical new content like %30 new material. Find suitable journal which accepts such submissions. Clearly cite this is an improved version of your workshop paper. Improve your paper as suitable and submit.

As long as reviewers and editors are aware that your submission is an extension of workshop/conference paper, this should not be issue.

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