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I have heard that if someone sends his paper to two different conferences and is somehow caught, then there would be severe consequences for the researcher.I did not know that before but I heard two supervisors talking about it yesterday. So is it okay to send a research paper to different journals at once?( I am talking about sending to all,not publishing in all). My field is computer science.

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    If your field is very specialized, chances are quite high that the person reviewing your article will be the same, regardless of journal you submit to. (Also, you might have a specific reviewer in mind). This probably gives a bad impression... Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 8:12
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    This question is related (or duplicate) to academia.stackexchange.com/q/6100/4511 .
    – user4511
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 9:22

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Short answer: No. Then to expand on the different aspects of your question, acceptable or not and effects:

  1. It is generally not acceptable to send the same paper to two journals (in your question your title states "journals" but your text talks about "conferences", I will focus on journals). Typically you sign or agree to a statement that the work is not under consieration elsewhere when you submit work. If so then you are clearly violating an understanding you have agreed to. This does not prevent people from doing so. I have experienced (as editor/reviewer) a paper that was submitted to three journals at the same time.
  2. There is no way to provide formal punishment if you break the rules but you will become "known" for this behaviour quite quickly and you do not want a bad reputation. Again, this does not prevent the problem from happening but I guess some authors think the world is too big for anyone to notice and prior to Internet and its search capabilities, this was probably at least partially true; now it is much easier to trace duplicates.

Your final commnet confuses me a bit. why would you send a paper to a journal if you do not intend to try to get it published there? If this is to get free feedback to improve the manuscript, I would strongly advice against such behaviour.

A final comment: I deliberately did not consider the case of a conference since all conferences may not lead to a publication, but then you would submit an abstract and not a complete manuscript.

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  • I was talking about applying to multiple journals and get it published in the first journal which accepts it.Like we apply for job at multiple companies but accept the first good offer.
    – zzzzz
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 8:26
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    @iOsBoy I do not know of any journals to which you "apply". In any case, do not send to multiple journals at once. A good strategy is to send to higher end journals first since if they accept your paper it will be more noticed. Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 8:32
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    "There is no way to provide formal punishment if you break the rules": In principle, your institution could consider double submission a breach of academic ethics and discipline you. A student could be suspended or expelled; a professor could be censured or fired. This would probably only happen in egregious cases, but in fact there is a way to "provide formal punishment". Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 14:44

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