Q: Can I submit a conference paper containing the expanded work of the paper that is still under review with a journal?

Detailed Question -

I submitted a paper to a journal six months ago, and it is still under review. Meanwhile, I expanded the work in a new paper, by developing the method in the paper under review. In this case, could it be a problem to submit the expanded work containing the content of the paper under review?

1 Answer to this question

Hello Sooyeon – Welcome to the forum!

Straight up, you have an intriguing consideration. But there are also several points for consideration in your query. So, let’s take them one by one.

  • First, the matter of your present submission. The journal manuscript is still under review after six months. This is certainly not a very long time going by standard journal timelines, but it could still be considered a bit long. So, in case you haven’t already done so, it would help to check the status with the journal.
  • The journal review, in fact, may have bearings on how you need or wish to proceed. For instance, this may be one reason – along with the modification in method – for now seeking to submit to the conference. A conference offers a greater opportunity to showcase your research, as also to network, and you would no doubt wish to utilize it. If so, that’s a great and wise consideration. :-)
  • However, you would need to consider the nature of the review that may come in from the journal. In case it’s a major revision that involves you to revisit the method, you may well need to use the modified method in this paper itself!
  • Along the same lines, you would need to objectively view how different the two methods are – whether they are distinct enough to warrant two papers. You would of course be the best person to decide, but you need to keep in mind the possibility of salami slicing, which basically means the action of publishing one large paper as several smaller papers with a view to increasing the paper count. [You can learn more about salami slicing here.]
  • Keeping these points in mind, it may seem best to wait until the review is back. However, we understand that you wouldn’t want to miss the conference opportunity. In that case, you would need to keep both entities – the journal and the conference organizer – informed of both the papers. They will be able to guide you on the specifics.
  • However, what you will probably need to do is to present the abstract and the paper at the conference, but not have the paper actually published as a part of the conference proceedings. If you do so, it may end up being a case of duplicate submission or self-plagiarizing.

It all comes down to how different the two papers are. You will need to weigh in all the points discussed above and proceed accordingly.

Hope that helps. For more insights into scenarios such as this, you may go through the following resources:

All the best for the next steps!