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I finished and submitted one paper (journal version) several months ago. My mentor suggested to me to submit a shortened version of the original paper to a conference. The conference version is almost the same as the journal version, except that some detailed mathematical proofs are omitted. But we cross-cited these two papers and told the reviewers of the conference paper that the journal version was under review.

Now both the journal and the conference have accepted my paper. I wonder whether there will be any problem if I choose to publish these two papers in a journal and a conference at the same time.

Furthermore, now I am applying for a PhD degree. If I list these two papers on my resume, will I be regarded as academic dishonest and be rejected?

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    What is your field? In some subfields of CS, it is the normal course of things to have a conference paper and an extended journal version that repeats much of the content of the conference paper - although submitting both at a time, rather than first writing the shorter conference version and then extending it (also based on the comments gathered uring the conference!) is somewhat unusual. – O. R. Mapper Sep 16 '15 at 11:06
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    You submitted the same paper on two venues at the same time. Do not do that, ever. – Alexandros Sep 16 '15 at 11:09
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    I upvoted it because it's a legitimate question. The OP's mentor suggested him to do it and then he doesn't feel right, thus the question. – scaaahu Sep 16 '15 at 11:26
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    But we cross-cited these two papers and told the reviewers of the conference paper that the journal version was under review — Many conferences (even in computer science) explicitly forbid submitting papers that are already under submission to any other conference or journal. If the program committee accepted OP's paper even after being told that it was under review elsewhere, I think OP is in the clear. – JeffE Sep 17 '15 at 3:19
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    I am in electrical engineering department and my main research focus is information theory. I used to see other guys going like this---finish a conference version and submit an extended journal version later. However, in my case, I submitted two versions almost at the same time, that is what I am worried about. – NalRa Sep 17 '15 at 7:41
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Publishing a shorter conference version and a longer journal version of the same article is common practice in at least one discipline I am familiar with (computer science) and maybe in others. So that by itself is not an offense. Keep in mind that conference and journal publications are philosophically different and serve somewhat different purposes:

  • Publishing in a conference proceedings is a quick way to get your research published. And of course you also get to attend the conference and speak about your work to people working in your area. Hence in rapidly moving fields this is the standard venue for publishing exciting new research. However, proceedings papers have strict length limitations so one cannot include as many details as in a journal article. And most importantly, the review process for conference publications is faster and usually not as strict as for journal articles. Many people consider conference publications not to be proper peer-reviewed publications, and when citing a result from such a publication one must be aware of a very real possibility that the result has not undergone the fullest scrutiny as to its correctness and may be wrong. (Of course this possibility also exists in journal publications, but to a lesser extent.)
  • Publishing in a journal takes a lot longer for the review and publication process, but there are fewer or no space limitations, and the review is a proper peer review that (ideally, though not always in practice) provides strict assurance that the results of your paper have been checked and are correct (or use proper scientific methodology and are likely to be replicable, in experimental sciences).

Because of these differences, in a field like CS one common practice is to submit a short and quick version of your paper to a conference to get the ideas out in front of their intended audience as quickly as possible, and then to follow up later with a longer, more detailed, version of the results, and to submit that to a journal for strict peer-review certification and the accompanying credibility and prestige.

With regards to your question, I think there are two potential pitfalls you need to beware of in your specific situation:

  1. It sounds like the journal editors are unaware that you concurrently submitted a short version of the paper to a conference. Since you made the conference submission after the journal submission (which is the opposite of the usual order of doing things, as someone else pointed out), there is a possibility that you are violating the journal's submission policy. I suggest making very sure that that is not the case, and if in doubt contacting the journal editors to inform them of what you did and ask if it's okay. There is nothing shameful or dishonorable about making such an inquiry - you are trying to do the right so it makes perfect sense to ask such questions.

  2. Even if you verify that with both submissions you did everything by the book and did not break any rules, NEVER claim or make a representation in your CV or publication list that the two versions are different publications. That in my opinion would expose you to serious criticism of dishonesty and resume-padding. Benoit Kloeckner's answer gives a good explanation of the proper way to cite the two versions by including both in the same entry in your publication list.

The bottom line is that in some areas it is acceptable to publish two versions of the same article, one in a journal and one in a conference proceedings. I should add that in my opinion doing so is also of questionable value, unless you are in a discipline where this is the standard practice for publishing for the reasons I listed above. You will not get, and should not try to get, double credit for publishing the same material twice.

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    NEVER claim or make a representation in your CV or publication list that the two versions are different publications. — Alas, this rule is universally obeyed. My university explicitly requires me to list my conference papers and journal papers in separate sections of our official biographical data forms, even though almost all of my journal papers are revisions of conference papers. When I objected, my department head said "No, really, list them both." – JeffE Sep 17 '15 at 3:23
  • @JeffE, if the biographical data form is for internal use within your university, e.g. promotions, then that sounds reasonable (though in such a situation I would make sure to point out in a prominent place in the file that there is double-counting of substantially similar publications), but for public posting online I honestly don't think I would allow my publications to be presented in such a way. – Dan Romik Sep 17 '15 at 5:53
  • BTW did you mean to say the rule is not universally disobeyed? – Dan Romik Sep 17 '15 at 5:54
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    ... not universally obeyed. – JeffE Sep 17 '15 at 23:34
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The issue of duplicate publication concerning conference and journal versions of similar papers is a difficult one. What is acceptable to do and what not depends highly on the field and maybe even individual venues. Of course it also depends on the degree of overlap between the two papers.

Whenever you plan to reuse some content in another publication, be sure to make the duplicate publication transparent by stating the other paper in the cover letter, and citing it from within the paper. In general, it will be required that the later paper goes beyond the results of the first paper, and it is important to point out how it does that both in the cover letter and the paper itself.

In your case, from the conference's side it's probably fine since you informed the reviewers about the duplicate publication and they obviously had no objections. However, since the journal paper was not yet accepted, you should have at least checked their guidelines on duplicate publication, or better verify with your handling editor that it is fine to submit a shortened conference version. Maybe you can still do that now, and offer the journal editor to withdraw your conference paper if the duplicate publication in that case is against their guidelines.

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    "by stating the other paper in the cover letter" - and of course, the existence of a cover letter depends highly on the field, just as well. – O. R. Mapper Sep 16 '15 at 12:59
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Concerning the resume question, I'd suggest presenting the papers as one item, e.g.

  1. Fancy Journal Paper, Journal A (2015) (a conference version has been published in Conf B (2014))

  2. Truly different paper, Journal B (2016)

or giving the conference version its own item, numbered 1', or anything similar which makes it clear you are not trying to sell twice the same work as CV lines.

As all other advices, this may be more or less compatible with the habits in your field, you should get more specific advice IRL.

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    My CV uses the following format: [1] This is the title of the paper, which is found many times in the paper itself. With Coauthor One and Coauthor Two. Redundant Journal of Redundancy 42(3):16–23, 2015. Extended abstract in Proceedings of the 123rd Annual Pub Crawl on Computational Zymurgy, 1923–1932, 2014. [2] Next paper – JeffE Sep 17 '15 at 3:27

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