The papers for a conference are limited to 3 pages. On the website, however, it says Transactions of the IEEE offers a special feature edition (whatever it means?), so I think it would be good to submit the full manuscript to this special issue. But that means I'm submitting two papers with the same title to a journal and a conference proceedings. Is that ethical? How should I deal with this?

The extended abstract is accepted. Meanwhile the special issued journal is open for submission. I contacted the editor of the journal and she said you can present your longer version in the transaction journal.

But basically I think I will use the same text and figures. Maybe 2 more pages than the conference one. Is it considered as self-plagiarism ?

  • 1
    An IEEE conference with 3 pages limit to the final paper? Which society sponsors that? Usually they are 6 pages long and can pay for extra 2 up to 8.
    – o4tlulz
    Feb 25, 2015 at 10:09
  • 4
    @o4tlulz IEEE allows for a wide variety of formats: a 3-pager would generally be an extended abstract or short paper format.
    – jakebeal
    Feb 25, 2015 at 12:18
  • @jakebeal I have never come across a final paper that is limited to 3 pages (even Letters are limited to 4) and that makes me curious on what IEEE Society would allow that. If user3327426 refers to the extended abstract that is just for review purposes then he might have to do a lot more for the final version of the conference paper before worrying about the extended version for Transactions.
    – o4tlulz
    Feb 25, 2015 at 19:59
  • the conference asks for an extended abstract as the final submission. So basically it is limited to 3 pages dude. Feb 26, 2015 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


In computer science, the typical rule of thumb is that a conference paper may be 'upgraded' into a journal paper with at least 30% new material. Certain subfields and other related fields covered by the IEEE may have different standards, however, and ultimately, the standard for this particular conference/special-issue pair is whatever the organizers have decided it is. Since a 3 page paper is a very short form, though, the full manuscript will almost certainly be reasonable to submit to a journal.

It may not, however, be appropriate to submit to this special issue. Special issues associated with conferences are sometimes open submission (in which case, you can probably submit immediately), sometimes open to extended versions of any accepted papers (in which case, you need to wait to see if your paper is accepted), and sometimes only for a select set of invited papers (in which case, you need to wait to see if you are invited). The organizers should have posted this information on their site: if they have not, you can email them to ask.


I will agree with what @jakebeal said, but will say that the main answer is his last statement: you should ask the editors of the special issue.

In general, when concerned about the ethics of reusing text or resubmitting, I would always (ALWAYS) err on the side of asking. If you want to do something that is reasonable, they will likely say yes. If they don't think it's reasonable, they will probably say no, and tell you why. You can discuss it, and perhaps find a balance (in this case, between old and new content) that is acceptable. Asking is never a bad thing, IMHO, if your concern is "doing the right thing."

But, if you DON'T ask, you run the risk of them "discovering" the duplication and treating it as an unethical move. I have seen this happen. A person submitted to substantially similar papers to two conference simultaneously, and had the bad luck of the same people seeing it for review. Not only were both papers rejected, but the committee took action (which I won't share). Furthermore, everyone involved now thinks less positively about this person.

You do not want this to be you.

My rule of thumb is: if I feel like I need to ask about this, that's a pretty good indication I should ask!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .