This year, I submitted a manuscript to a journal regarding new information uncovered on a particular topic. I am awaiting my reviews and a decision on its potential acceptance to the journal.

The journal policy states that the manuscript has to be original content and not published elsewhere. By "not published elsewhere", does this also mean that I am prohibited from discussing the discovery publicly or in media until it is published in the journal (or any journal for that matter). If I write about the discovery (for example, in a newspaper), will this count as being "published elsewhere" - even if the news article and the manuscript are not the same?

  • I always thought that you are prohibited not from publishing text elsewhere, but finding itself. Imagine you found a Dark Matter particle and your paper under review in Nature. How do you think would Nature feel if you went out to NY Times with popular-science article about it? Nov 8, 2017 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


This depends on the field and/or the journal. My understanding is glam-mags (Science, Nature) do indeed tend to prohibit any mentioning of the paper contents. On the other hand, for say mathematics journals it would be common to have a preprint on the arXiv anyway, so for something of particular interest, a lot of coverage can arise prior to the actual publication (see the proof of Kepler's conjecture for an extreme example).

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    All journals say "not publish elsewhere", but Arno is exactly right: what's actually done is field specific so it's best for you to ask senior folks in your field. In my field that clause is interpreted to mean literally the same words elsewhere: e.g. you can't double dip and publish it as a book chapter AND a journal paper. Otherwise, fair game: in different words it can be at a conference, in the press, or on your blog, whatever. Nov 8, 2017 at 20:49
  • OH! But if your paper is accepted and it is about to get a lot of press, journals like to know. They will often time the "online first" to the press coverage. I had something that was to be featured in National Geographic and the journal gave me free open access on the paper and promoted it heavily, syncing it with the day that NatGeo put it out. Everyone wins! Nov 8, 2017 at 20:50
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    @GrotesqueSI "All journals say 'not publish elsewhere'" Preprints usually don't count as publication and are usually explicitly allowed in fields where ArXiv is widely used. Nov 8, 2017 at 21:10

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