Duplicate or Simultaneous Submission and Publication

It is mandatory for authors to agree with the publication ethics while submitting their research papers for peer review to a journal. The articles submitted for publication must be original and must not have been submitted to any other publication. However, it is often seen that the authors disregard this requirement and submit the same research paper (or with minor modifications) to two or more journals. Like plagiarism, the duplicate submission can be of different types: exact duplicate, partial duplicate (substantial), or duplicate with minor changes (article title, references, or authors).

Issues with Duplicate Submission

Duplicate submission is an unethical practice and violates the copyright norm. It leads to the wastage of editorial and review resources. The publication record of the author includes misleading information. The same research paper appearing in two journals raises questions about the reputation and peer review policy of the journals. Another similar practice involves splitting up a single study to publish multiple articles (salami-slicing), to increase the number of publications.

Avoiding Redundant Publication

For authors: If the two research papers are not the exact copy of each other and the author wishes to submit them to two different journals, then the author must:

  • Disclose the details of each paper to both the journals
  • Inform both the handling editors (managing editors) that a similar research paper is under review in another journal (use cover letter to inform).
  • Explain the distinct difference between the two research papers and why two research papers were produced instead of one from the same topic
  • Do not replicate content from other published paper
  • Each paper must address separate research questions.

 

For journal’ reviewers:

  • Always use text-matching or plagiarism tools for screening redundant publication
  • Check the extent and nature of overlapping
  • Major overlapping: identical or very similar findings and/or evidence that authors have sought to hide redundancy e.g. by changing the title or author order or not citing previous papers)
  • Minor overlapping: overlapping in the methodology section or re-analysis of the data
  • Inform the editor about the redundant publication

 

Dealing with Dual Submissions

While working on two different manuscripts that use the same dataset, or if the article is going to be published in different languages, always let the editors know about the plans.

Contact corresponding author in writing, ideally enclosing signed authorship statement (or cover letter) stating that submitted work has not been published elsewhere and documentary evidence of duplication.

Contact author in neutral terms/proceeds with review expressing concern/explaining journal’s position. Explain that secondary papers must refer to the original and request a missing reference to the original and/or remove overlapping material.

In conclusion, ultimately, there’s no need to send out the same manuscript to multiple journals at once. It’s against most publishers’ policies and will only cause delays or even retractions.

DEALING WITH MANUSCRIPT REJECTION

Getting a rejection letter from a journal is one of the most disconcerting experiences for any author. Statistical evidence suggests all authors including the most experienced ones face rejection even at matured stages of their careers. There is evidence that a rejection from one journal is not the end of the road for the author or even for that particular manuscript. However, there is no denying the fact that a rejection letter hurts a lot. So, how does one deal with it?

Take a step back: Accepting rejection is particularly hard at the beginning of one’s career. You may look back on all the effort put into writing, editing, and formatting the paper and consider all that as a complete waste of time. However, these are initial reactions that are normal and hence allow them to phase out. Once you have read the review, put it away for several days. What seems shocking and rude on the first day starts to look more manageable by the third day. Getting some distance on the comments is useful for the next steps.

Understand why it was rejected: the review letter will have clear answers to your primary question; why was it rejected? Read the letter objectively once you get over the shock.  Poor language is an extremely common reason for manuscript rejection along with formatting issues. Many journal editors reject an article at the initial stage because of other factors such as multiple articles on similar lines or topics etc. If your manuscript was sent for peer review, it means the set of challenges are quite different. Read the review comments carefully and try to understand where exactly the challenge lies: methodology, main argument, presentation of academic evidence, a lacuna in rigor. A ‘revise and submit’ may be as bad as a rejection but it also leaves enough scope to work on for the next round.

What to do next? Contrary to initial feeling, you actually have multiple options before you: (1) abandon the paper, (2) send the paper without a single change to another journal, (3) revise the manuscript and send it to another journal, or (4) protest or appeal the decision and try to resubmit the paper to the rejecting journal. While the initial reaction may be towards options (1) and (4), it is really the options (2) and (3) that makes more sense. However, all four options are equally valid and what you decide to do must be based on sound reasoning.

Conclusion

Even though it may sound ironic, it is better to be prepared for rejection even at the time of drafting the manuscript for journal publication. Some prepare to send it to multiple journals from the onset. Some look forward to peer-review under rejection only to polish the manuscript for a better journal. Many authors have experience of the same paper being rejected multiple times before it was finally published. Rejection is just another stepping-stone for an academic career.

Selecting the right journal for publication

Authors need to optimize between many criterions before reaching a conclusion to publish a paper. You need to follow few tips to select the best journal for publication. Firstly, make a list of the journals available. Subsequently check the impact of the journal, confirm the requirement of journal, and verify the journals’ peer-review process. Following the above points in mind you can proceed to choose the best probable journal for your publication.

Reference Link: https://blog.typeset.io/choose-right-journal-early-stage-researchers-guide-ea2cf236dde4

Why journal articles face rejection?

When a manuscript is submitted to a journal, it undergoes a thorough quality check under the peer review process before being sent to the chief editor. Most articles face rejection during this process. There are several reasons for this.

1. The article is beyond the scope of the journal

Your article can be immediately rejected if it is not appropriate for the journal’s readership and does not meet the journal’s aims and scope. Besides, it is also likely to be rejected by the editorial board if it does not match the specified journal format. For example, if a review article is submitted to a journal that does not have the scope for publication of such articles, the editorial board is likely to reject the paper summarily.

2. The paper lacks key elements

The paper is unlikely to be approved if it is incomplete and lacks any important information, such as author’s affiliations, e-mail address, keywords, figures and tables, in-text citation of figures and tables, references, a proper structure, etc.

Lack of novelty and originality in the paper or suspicion of plagiarized information can also lead to an almost instantaneous rejection. Incomprehensible articles that show poor language skills of the author are also not acceptable.

3. The paper failed the technical screening process

If you have submitted your paper to more than one journal simultaneously, a particular journal might consider it unethical. Consequently, the paper is likely to fail the technical screening process. Even papers that do not meet the technical standards of the preferred journals are also rejected in the screening process. For example, a paper might be rejected for non-compliance with certain points in the submission checklist.

4. The paper is conceptually weak

While conceptualizing the paper, the author might fail to resolve certain fundamental problems that could result in unoriginal or impractical results. These problems include flaws in the study design, incomplete data analysis, use of an inappropriate method for statistical analysis or a poorly formulated research question. These basic defects might lead to rejection of the paper.

5. The paper is not well prepared for the journal

A paper is liable to be rejected if it is not formatted according to the journal guidelines. Disregarding such guidelines might result in excessive use of jargons, deviation from the focus of the journal, improper formatting of figures and tables, poor organization of contents, inadequate description of the methodology, poor writing standards, complex and convoluted sentences, and frequent grammatical errors. These factors will have a negative impact on the reviewers and will probably contribute to a rejection.

6. The journal is overloaded with submissions

Sometimes, a journal receives a flood of submissions within a short period. This restricts the available space to include papers in several forthcoming issues. Consequently, rejection is inevitable for many submissions, including some high-quality manuscripts. Conversely, a journal might receive several papers on the same or related topic. In such a situation, the journal will be forced to cherry pick and might return some well-conceptualized papers in the process.

7. Journals have their decision-making policy

Rejection of the paper also depends on a journal’s decision-making policy, which varies from journal to journal. Some journals forward the paper for a second screening if they are unsure about the quality of the manuscript. On the other hand, editors of certain journals aim to publish papers that are related to current research topics and their acceptance rate is directly proportional to the number of articles received in this genre.

As evident, there is a gamut of reasons for the rejection of a paper and the author needs to take cognizance of these facts for a better understanding of the rejection process. The author needs to keep in mind that the quality of a paper is not the sole reason for rejection; several other reasons can also contribute to the rejection of a submitted paper.

Mind Mapping

What is Mind Mapping ?

Mind mapping is similar to brainstorming but more visual and less linear. Create mind maps by:

  • Starting with a word or image central to your topic.
  • Placing it in the middle of a big sheet of paper and drawing a line radiating out from it to a major subdivision of the topic.
  • Circling that subdivision, and drawing a line radiating out from it to a more specific subdivision.
  • Continue the process until you run out of ideas.

Mind mapping is especially useful to those who find it easier to assimilate and understand schematic information than linear or sentence-based reasoning.

Academic Style of Writing

When writing, you should use a formal, academic style. Academic writing does not have to be elaborate or complicated. A well-structured, straightforward paper is more easily understood and your ideas better appreciated than one filled with complicated sentences and words.

Strong academic writing must

  •  Be well-organized, with ideas presented in a logical order;
  •  Present objective analysis that is critical without being too negative or positive;
  •  Use clear language that is simple without being basic;
  •  Avoid emotional language.

Every field has its style of writing. The best way to become familiar with the style used in your field is to read and note how effective authors write.

Critic

Critic = a person who writes reviews of new books, film etc.: ‘She was theater critic for the New Yorker.’  Review = a short article, book, speech etc., which carefully explains the weakness of a theory, policy, philosophy etc. (appraise critically): ‘The speech was a devastating critique of Regan’s economic policy.’

Could

(1) When talking about a skill or general ability in past, use could or be able to: ‘By the time she was four, she could/was able to swim in the whole the pool.’ (2) Used to politely ask for permission to do something: ‘Could I have the address please?’

When talking about a single event in the past, we usually use be able to or manage (NOT could): ‘Luckily, we managed to get there before the shops closed.’ ‘Were you able to start the car?’