I'm going to send manuscript for publication in IEEE Transactions. Some parts of this manuscript were published earlier in little-known journals (in Russian). But in general manuscript is significantly different from previous papers. Should I upload previous papers as a ‘Previous Published Version(s)’, and upload summary of differences?

UPD: I found the following in ScholarOne Manuscripts (IEEE Transactions manuscript submission site): "Has any portion of your paper been published elsewhere? If yes, please include your original paper and a brief summary of your changes. New material must be added before submitting the manuscript to this journal.". So, I should upload previous published versions?

  • 1
    Yes, you should upload your original paper and a brief summary of your changes, just like it says in the instructions.
    – JeffE
    Jul 29, 2015 at 0:13
  • @JeffE If I have three previous papers, should I upload them separately, or as single PDF-file? Jul 31, 2015 at 16:52
  • You should ask the editor, but I would want three separate PDF files.
    – JeffE
    Jul 31, 2015 at 20:20
  • I have the similar situation now. I am also submitting in IEEE transaction. But in my case, the previous publication (which is a conference) will respond sometime in late July. Should I also upload the under-reviewed conference paper?
    – SJa
    Jul 6, 2018 at 3:24

3 Answers 3


While I'm not too familiar with the IEEE publication process, in particular, the common sense tells me the following. Since your manuscript in its present form is "significantly different" from the previous versions, it very well makes sense to simply submit the current version as an original publication. However, it would be nice (and right - in order to prevent self-plagiarism accusations) to mention somewhere in the paper (preferably, in the introduction section) that the present paper is based on previous work by such authors, which has been published in such journals / outlets.

The "previous published version(s)" option that you have mentioned seems to be directed toward more closely related versions of the same paper, which seems to be not the case in your situation.


It's always best to err on the side of openness, particularly when dealing with a venue that is particularly friendly to expanded publication like IEEE. Even when the new version is very different, if parts were previously published, I upload and explicitly mention those parts.

When most of a publication is new (as it sounds like is the case for you), then all it means is that it will be really simple for the editors and reviewers to determine that you are in conformance with their extended publication policy. If, however, you do not declare the prior publication and a reviewer notices, then it is likely to at least cause a significant delay in reviewing while they sort things out (if not larger problems).

Having the previous publication in another language complicates things a little bit, but does not fundamentally alter the situation. Translating the paper might be a bit much for appropriate level of effort, but you might at least make the life of the editors and reviewers simpler by annotating the previous and current documents to show which passages have been translated for the current work. That way, they can easily see that the magnitude is much smaller than the current paper, simplifying their evaluation.

In short: there's generally no downside for declaring prior work, and plenty of possible downsides for not declaring, so it's almost always better to declare.


It is always a good idea to declare and provide access to similar or overlapping content, even if the current work is significantly different from the previously published ones. That way, it is clear that your intent is right and you do not wish to deceive or pass off parts of a previously published work as an original study. I'm not sure if translation or annotation would be feasible in terms of time and effort, but you should at least cite the previous publication if you have used any content from it in your current work.

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