Q: Can I give a reference of my previously published paper for which my present paper is a continuity?

Detailed Question -

I am writing the characterization part for the material whose synthesis was published by me 10 years ago. How can I give a reference of that in the abstract and experimental part of the present paper? Detailed answer will be appreciated.

1 Answer to this question

Hello Nadia – welcome to the forum!

It’s interesting that you are building on or adding to a paper from 10 years ago. There are a few points to keep in mind when doing so, especially with regard to your paper (which is probably this one). However, we shall get to those after addressing your main query.

There are certain guidelines to follow when citing and referring a published paper, even your own. We have provided some resources below, which you may look up. However, here are a few quick points.

  • As yours seems to be a multiauthor paper and you are probably the first author, when citing, you will need to cite in the following format: [Last name et al, Year]. So, in your case, this would be: [Rasool et al, 2010].
  • You typically do not need to include citations in the abstract, as the abstract is meant to provide the key points of the present paper, but if needed, you can follow the same style in the abstract.
  • It is in the Introduction and Methods sections that you will probably need to refer (most) to your earlier paper. Again, the same guideline applies.

For more information on writing citations and references, you may refer to these resources:

Additionally, you may check the journal guidelines here.

Coming to the other points we were talking about earlier, one thing seems a bit unclear, but this could be because we are not entirely familiar with your field of materials science. The title of the earlier paper has (in fact, begins with) ‘Synthesis and characterization.’ However, you have written that the new paper will be about the characterization of the material(s) (a series of novel silane crosslinked hydrogels). On going through only the abstract (one cannot access the complete paper without paying), it seems the earlier paper already talked about the characterization (with reference to this part: The structure of prepared hydrogels was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.) Unless you mean that the new paper will discuss the characterization at length. If so, that’s fine. The new paper can be an addendum (or continuity, as you have written) paper to the previous one. Our point is only that you need to ensure that there is enough content for a new paper.

As this is an addendum paper, you are probably looking to publish in the same journal (Polymer by Elsevier). If so, and in case you haven’t done so already, you may wish to check this through a presubmission inquiry to the editor. This is because journal policies keep evolving, especially since the time of the previous paper. Just in case they are not open to it, you could of course submit to a different journal.

A last point, and again, without knowing your field too deeply, as it has been 10 years since the previous paper, you may wish to include new developments especially as the field seems quite rapidly evolving. For the same reason, and based on the points discussed above, you may also wish to consider whether this should only be a continuity paper or can be an entirely new paper (though that of course may require a lot more information, and therefore, a lot more researching and referencing).

Hope that helps. And all the best for the citations – and the whole paper!