Duplicate publication

Any manuscript submitted to a ISCI must be original and the manuscript, or substantial parts of it, must not be under consideration by any other publisher. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication we require that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission and, where possible, upload these as additional files with the manuscript. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to the Editor’s and reviewers’ assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editor. ISCI reserve the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis.

In general, the manuscript should not already have been formally published in any publisher. If justified and made clear upon submission, there are exceptions to this rule. Details of these exceptions follow below and are also summarized in [Table 1].

ISCI, is a member of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and takes seriously all cases of publication misconduct. Any suspected cases of covert duplicate manuscript submission will be handled as outlined in the COPE guidelines and the Editor may contact the authors’ institution (see [Misconduct] policy for more information).

Complete manuscripts

Co-publication in multiple journals

If transparent, and with prior agreement of the relevant journals, co-publication in multiple journals will be considered at the Editor’s discretion.

Preprint servers and author/institutional repositories

Posting a manuscript on a preprint server or an author’s personal or institutional website does not constitute previous publication.  Please see our preprint sharing and citation policy for further information. Material that has formed part of an academic thesis and been placed in the public domain, as required by the awarding institution, will also be considered by ISCI.

ISCI encourages self-archiving by authors of manuscripts accepted for publication in its journals.


Authors should seek approval from the original publisher to check that they do not breach the copyright terms of the original publication and that the original publisher gives permission for publication of the translation under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.

Incomplete manuscripts

Abridged articles

At the Editor’s discretion, ISCI will consider manuscripts that are substantially extended versions of publications published by another publishers. In such cases the prior publication of an abridged version of the article would therefore not preclude publication, provided the new manuscript represents a substantially novel contribution to the scientific record. If applicable, the authors should seek approval from the original publisher before submitting the extended version of the manuscript.


Prior abstracts of up to 400 words and posters presented at, or published as part of, academic meetings do not preclude consideration for peer review of a full manuscript, as the full manuscript represents a formal advance to the citable scientific record. Published abstracts should be cited. Authors should be aware that many conference proceedings exceed the allowable word limit and constitute a citable form.


Making scientific data sets publicly available before associated manuscripts are submitted will not preclude consideration by ISCI. Because an increasing number of research funding agencies require that their grant holders share the ‘raw data’ research outputs, such data sharing is encouraged by ISCI, provided appropriate safeguards are in place to protect personal or sensitive information..

Non-research articles

Authors of non-research articles (usually commissioned reviews and commentaries) can include figures and tables that have been previously published in other journals provided they confirm on submission that permission has been obtained from the original publisher (if applicable) and cite the original article. Documentary evidence to support this permission must be made available to the Editor on request.

In order to avoid the potential for self-plagiarism, inadvertently or otherwise, authors agreeing to write commissioned articles should notify the Editor of any recent publications or invitations to write on a similar topic.

Open science

If authors have previously discussed or posted their own data in venues such as blogs, wikis, social networking websites, or online electronic lab notebooks, they are still able to submit their findings to ISCI. However, given the rapidly evolving nature of these resources, where discussion of data or manuscripts posted to these venues has subsequently been incorporated into the manuscript, the Editor will make their own assessment as to whether there may be duplication in the submitted manuscript.

Study protocols

Publication of study protocols reduces the risk of non-publication of research findings and facilitates methodological discussion, and is encouraged by ISCI. Therefore prior publication of a study protocol before submission of a manuscript reporting the results is not considered duplicate publication.

Summary clinical trial results in public registries

Posting of summary clinical trial results in publicly accessible databases is generally not considered duplicate publication. ISCI requires authors of manuscripts reporting clinical trials to have registered their trial in a suitably accessible registry (see our [Trial Registration] policy for more information). In the US, submission of trial results to ClinicalTrials.gov is a statutory requirement. More information on this requirement can be found here.

Table 1. Generally permissible and non-permissible forms of duplicate/overlapping publication

Previous publication/deposition Guidance on permissibility
 Abridged articles At the Editor’s discretion, provided there is agreement from the original journal/publisher and the original publication is cited
Abstracts up to 400 words or posters presented at scientific meetings Yes – published abstracts should be cited
Co-publication in multiple journals At the Editor’s discretion
Datasets in public or restricted access repositories Yes – datasets should be cited in/hyperlinked from the manuscript if possible
Figures and tables in non-research articles Yes, if, where applicable, permission has been obtained from the original publisher by the submitting author
Open science: data posted and discussed on wikis, blogs, online electronic lab notebooks, networking websites incorporated into submitted manuscript Yes, usually permissible
Preprint servers, including authors’ personal and institutional websites Yes – this does not constitute previous publication
Study protocol published Yes – published protocols should be cited
Summary results in clinical trial registries Yes – accession number should be included in the abstract
Translations At the Editor’s discretion, provided there is agreement from the original journal/publisher, no breach of copyright and the original publication is cited.