For many years, IEEE
multiple publication policy has established a useful standard for authors
and publication volunteers. Authors should only submit original work
that has neither appeared elsewhere for publication, nor which was under
review for another refereed publication. Multiple publication is considered
wasteful of funds and space, does not give members and libraries full
value for their subscriptions, and causes citation and indexing confusion.
It is to be avoided except under unusual circumstances.
However, until recently, there had been little or no specific guidance
on what should be done in the event these standards were not followed.
On 18 November 2004, the IEEE Publications Products and Services Board
approved new policies and procedures for handling reported cases of
authors who have submitted the same manuscript to two or more publications,
or who have not properly cited the reuse of their previously published
work in newly submitted papers. These new guidelines are part of the
recently approved (June 2004) guidelines for handling complaints of
plagiarism. Section 8.2 Publication Guidelines of the PSPB
Operations Manual now contains another new sub-section entitled Guidelines
for Adjudicating Prior Publication, Multiple Submission, and Reuse of
Previous Publications. The purpose of this new section is to describe
- The Editors and Societys prerogative
with respect to acceptable reuse of previously published material
- The authors obligations regarding multiple
submission, prior publication and reuse of previously published work
- Appropriate corrective actions that correspond
to the degree or type of misconduct.
The new guidelines recognize that it is common in
technical publishing for material to be presented at various stages
of its evolution. As one example, this can take the form of publishing
early ideas in a workshop, more developed work in a conference and fully
developed contributions as journal or transactions papers. This publication
process is an important means of scientific communication. At the same
time, however, the IEEE requires that this evolutionary process be fully
referenced by the author.
Authors who do not properly cite their previous work or who submit a
given manuscript to two or more publications without informing the editor
that the paper is concurrently under review by another publication,
are subject to corrective actions, such as
- A reminder that the practice
is considered inappropriate scholarly practice
- A requirement to submit an apology to the publication
editor for possible publication, and/or
- Suspension of publication in the IEEE publication
where the offense took place for 1 year or, if appropriate, the next
volume of the conference proceedings.
It is at the discretion of each IEEE Organizational
Unit whether or not to allow multiple submissions. The editor of a publication
may choose to re-publish existing material for a variety of reasons,
including promoting wider distribution and serving readers by aggregating
special material in a single publication. This practice continues to
be recognized and accepted by the IEEE.
An updated version of the PSPB Operations Manual is now available at
The new multiple submission guidelines appear in section 8.2 Publication
For more information, contact
Bill Hagen, Manager
IEEE Intellectual Property
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08855