I am a referee on a paper. I am concerned with the reuse in this paper of illustrations that appeared a year ago in a different article by the same authors in the same journal.
In the earlier article the illustration was found in the body of the paper and in the later article it appears in the Introduction section.
The illustration is of reasonable quality and it provides a concise metaphor of the framework the authors are working in, but the details of the illustration are not discussed below. I am concerned that the exact same look of the illustration might cause confusion to the readers who may come across the two papers.
On this site I have found an excellent discussion regarding the reuse of text. The accepted answer points to COPE Text recycling guidelines where a comment suggests that the practice regarding illustrations might be different.
In my field (Pathology), and probably in others as well, a much bigger problem than recycled text (probably not so bad in an invited review article, in which the authors are specifically invited to discuss their previous publication/s, obviously with appropriate citation) is recycled photographs, diagrams/drawings, Tables and the like. Again, the rule we usually follow is to require permissions from the original publisher/s and, obviously, citations. I must say, however, as an author as well as an editor, that it has always annoyed me to have to get permission from a publisher to reuse my own original illustrations.
Should I suggest the authors remove the illustration in question?