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My paper in IEEE Transactions journal got accepted one month ago. I wonder if I can modify it a little bit (changing the test case and remove one contribution of the paper out of 3)? If yes, How much does it worth for applying for a phd?
Note: I have 2 papers in Elsevier journal and 1 in IEEE trans. I was thinking to publish something in a conference to show my interest of being amongst others in my field.

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I think 3 published papers in reputable journals (though you do not say which precisely) should more than enough to get you in a PhD program. Dome people are happy to get as much with their PhD work. But that may depend on the field.

However, publishing twice the same result, even with some cosmetic changes, is a good way not to get accepted for a PhD program, or for an academic position.

People publish far too much, and waste each other's time. We have to strive for quality, not quantity.

Now, you did not specify you field, and thing may somewhat differ according to scientific field.

In some fields, conferences are considered publications, sometimes harder on selection than (some) journals. In other fields, it is more acceptable to republish in conferences as conference papers play a minor role and are more intended as topics for meeting with colleagues, and giving introduction to your work.

The former will have more importance for your publication list, but is more demanding on originality.

The right thing to do, that will avoid any problem, bcause they will be dealt with by the program committee of the conference, is to be extremely clear as to what is already published, to make it visible and to have in the references your previous relevant publications (as well as those of other people), whether already accepted or only submitted. Then the program committee will let you know whether your submission is appropriate or not.

But do not abuse relying on the program committee, they have considerable work to do.

And always be very careful when using twice the same research results.

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