Prior Publication Policy

0. CONTEXT

Internet has changed the dynamics of scholarly communication and publishing which is why we find it necessary to clearly indicate our stance on what we consider to be a published scientific work.

A great number of working papers, early drafts and similar works in progress gets openly shared online between the members of the scientific community. It has become common to announce one’s own research on a personal website or a blog to gather comments and suggestions from other researchers. Such works and online postings are indeed published in a sense that they are made publicly available, but this does not mean that if submitted for publication by IN TECH they are not original works. Therefore, we differentiate between reviewed and non-reviewed works when determining whether a work is original and has been published in a scholarly sense or not.

The significance of peer review must be stressed when it comes to defining what a published scientific work is. It is widely considered to be the cornerstone of a modern publishing process and a publisher’s key value adding contribution to a scholarly manuscript.

Other than the issue of originality, there is also the looming issue of research misconduct.

IN TECH’s Retraction & Correction Policy and various publication ethics guidelines available online consider both redundant publication and (self)plagiarism to fall within the definition of research misconduct, thus constituting grounds for rejection or issuing a retraction if the work has already been published.

In order to facilitate the tracking of a manuscript’s publishing history and development from its earliest draft to the manuscript submitted, we encourage authors to disclose any instances of a manuscript’s prior publication, whether it be a conference presentation, a newspaper article, a working paper publicly available in a repository, a blog post, etc.

A note to the editor containing detailed information about a submitted manuscript’s previous public availability is a preferred means of reporting prior publication. This helps us determine if there are any earlier versions of a manuscript that should be disclosed to our readers or if any of those earlier versions should be cited and listed among a manuscript’s references.

Some basic information about the editorial treatment of different varieties of prior publication is laid out in the following sections.

1. CONFERENCE PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS

Given that conference papers and presentations generally pass through some sort of peer or editorial review, we consider them to be published in a scholarly sense, especially if they are published as a part of conference proceedings.

All submitted manuscripts originating from a previously published conference paper should contain at least 50% of new original content to be accepted for review and considered for publication.

Authors are required to report any ties their manuscript might have with their earlier conference papers and presentations in a note to the editor, as well as in the manuscript. Additionally, authors should obtain any necessary permissions from the publisher of their conference paper if copyright transfer occurred during the publishing process. Failure to do so may prevent us from publishing an otherwise publication-worthy work.

2. NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Newspaper and magazine articles usually do not pass through any extensive peer or editorial review and we do not consider them to be published in a scholarly sense. Besides, articles appearing in newspapers and magazines rarely possess the depth and structure characteristic of scholarly articles.

Submitted manuscripts stemming from a previous newspaper or magazine article will be accepted for review and considered for publication. However, authors are strongly advised to report any such publication in an accompanying note to the editor.

As with the conference papers and presentations, authors should obtain any necessary permissions from the newspaper or magazine that published the work indicated in a note to the editor.

3. GREY LITERATURE

White papers, working papers, technical reports and all other forms of papers which fall within the scope of the (most commonly used) ‘Luxembourg definition’ of grey literature do not pass through any extensive peer or editorial review and we do not consider them to be published in a scholarly sense.

Although such papers are regularly made publicly available via personal websites and institutional repositories, their general purpose is to gather comments and feedback from authors’ colleagues in order to further improve a manuscript intended for future publication.

When submitting their work, authors are required to disclose the existence of any publicly available earlier drafts in a note to the editor. In case that earlier drafts of the submitted version of the manuscript are publicly available, any overlap between the versions will generally not be considered an instance of self-plagiarism.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA, BLOG & MESSAGE BOARD POSTINGS

We feel that social media, blogs and message boards are generally used with the same intention as grey literature: to formulate ideas for a manuscript and gather early feedback from like-minded researchers in order to improve on one’s work before submitting it for publication. Therefore, we do not consider such internet postings to be published in a scholarly sense.

Nevertheless, authors are encouraged to disclose the existence of any internet postings in which they outlined and described their research or posted passages of their manuscripts. Such occurrences are welcome to be reported in a note to the editor, but we will not be strictly enforcing it as a rule as we understand that it may be difficult to keep track of all one’s internet postings in which his or hers current research may be mentioned.

In case there is any overlap between the submitted manuscript and related internet postings authored by the submitter or any indicated co-authors, we will generally not consider it to be an instance of self-plagiarism.


For more information on this policy please contact permissions@intechopen.com.

Policy last updated: 2017-03-20