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Is it possible to submit two papers to the same conference which are citing each other?

Both papers were accepted and they are both very related, so I think to cite the papers in each other, when submitting the camera ready version. Is this allowed or is it not a good idea?

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    Whether the other paper is appearing in the same conference as your paper is utterly irrelevant. If you have a good reason to cite the other paper, then cite the other paper. – JeffE Aug 31 '16 at 0:22
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    @JeffE I always thought reference graphs are directed and acyclic. Is this even possible in practice? – Ébe Isaac Aug 31 '16 at 7:54
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    @ÉbeIsaac This is not only possible, but surprisingly common. Conferences in computer science announce the list of accepted papers well in advance of the deadline to submit the final proceedings paper, and authors regularly update their papers to cite other related papers in the same conference. At least once I've published papers at two different conferences, occurring within a month of each other, each of which refers to the "companion paper" in the other conference. – JeffE Aug 31 '16 at 11:56
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This is actually quite common in some fields, for both conference and journal submission, particularly when you have coordinated submission from a number of different participants in a complex project.

The way that I have handled this when I've done so is to have the citations initially as "submitted" and either bundle the other submissions as supplementary information for reviewers (when possible), or with a note saying "available on request" when the venue doesn't support supplementary information. Another option is to make use of pre-print services like arXiv, though that can violate double-blind review.

Once the papers are accepted, you just change the camera-ready to the final information and the circular reference enters the literature without issue. It gets more awkward if one paper is accepted and the other is not, but this can be resolved with the help of a pre-print service.

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    To avoid the possible awkwardness, sometimes the circular references can also be made "non-essential". If both papers are accepted, one will contain a sentence such as "A formal discussion of the underlying syntax can be found in another publication [...].", and the other one will contain a sentence such as "Another publication presents a more detailed description of a practical applied context for the syntax [...]." These references are helpful and therefore justified, but none of the two papers becomes incomprehensible if either of the papers is rejected and the references is removed. – O. R. Mapper Aug 30 '16 at 19:07
  • @O.R.Mapper I suspect in OP's case, the citation would appear in a discussion of related work, not as necessary background information or supporting evidence for an argument, but rather to set OP's work in its proper context. In that setting, even if the cited work is not accepted, the circular reference doesn't make the paper incomprehensible. (Also: Why would I remove a reference to a paper just because it was rejected? I cite papers because I believe they're correct; rejection only implies that the PC did not find the paper sufficiently interesting.) – JeffE Aug 31 '16 at 0:28
  • @JeffE: Maybe you wouldn't, but I'm from a non-arXiving field where "rejected" usually means "will remain inaccessible to the public" and is treated as "cannot yet be cited". – O. R. Mapper Aug 31 '16 at 5:04
  • @O.R.Mapper But if the paper is inaccessible at submission time, can you even cite it in the submission? – JeffE Aug 31 '16 at 11:58
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    @JeffE: Of course. As long as it is not strictly required for understanding the submitted paper, and rather a "further related information" kind of reference, the review can be done without having access to that paper. Instead of a year, the paper would be marked with "to appear", which - if the paper gets accepted and the official time of publication is known by the CR deadline of the citing paper - might get replaced with an actual year after the review. – O. R. Mapper Aug 31 '16 at 12:20
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It's unusual in journals, but allowed - it's more common in special thematic issues which tend to be prepared at the same time and cover similar topics, perhaps even with authors in common across some papers. There may be a specific form of citation for, eg, "in this issue" rather than a volume number (I've seen this once or twice). This is not to say that every editor will like it, but there's no absolute rule against it.

I would assume that published conference papers, generally speaking, are in the same boat - unusual, but no fundamental principle why not, and individual venues may have specific policies.

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