I presented a paper in one of the IEEE conferences last month. The paper is still not available in IEEE Xplore. The paper addresses the problem of detection and recovery of X in images. However, the recovery of X needs to be improved both computationally and quality-wise. Currently, I have figured out three different ways of improving the recovery of X. Each of these three recovery methods is better than the one presented in first paper.

Is it OK to write three papers demonstrating results with each of the new recovery results, given that the detection part will mostly be the same. Am I doing some sort of self-plagiarism here? Please help me understand this.

Further, if I am borrowing detection method from my previous paper, is it required to explain it in detail again or I can just write about it briefly and put a reference?

  • 11
    Most papers are based on previous papers, so there's no problem with that. Though you might consider putting the 3 methods in a single paper.
    – Kimball
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:58
  • The first conference I am targetting allows 4 pages maximum. Moreover, how about the detection method? If I am borrowing it from previous paper do I have to explain it again or just write in brief about it and give a reference?
    – kunal18
    Dec 3, 2015 at 14:02
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    At first glance, it sounds like you have the makings of a single, good paper that presents and then compares three different methods for improving on your earlier work. I would be wary about trying to publish three separate papers unless there's a compelling case for doing so - you risk making all the papers individually weaker, and some people might view it as a quest for the mythical "least publishable unit" (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_publishable_unit). See also slide 3 of billf.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/cvprPapers.pdf. Dec 3, 2015 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


Writing follow-up papers building on previous work is not at all self-plagiarism. So long as there is a material difference in the main emphasis of the paper, you should be fine. In your case, it sounds like the original article was the introduction of method X, and the follow-up article or articles will be incremental improvements of method X and descriptions of a practical implementation.


Am I doing some sort of self plagiarism here

Formally, you do not commit self-plagiarism unless you repeat sentences ad verbum.

is it required to explain it in detail again or I can just write about it briefly and put a reference?

You have to just put a reference.

Is it OK to write three papers

It is acceptable, but not all reviewers might like this.

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