Inquest follows the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) in case of Overlapping Publications. General scenarios of Overlapping Publications:
- Duplicate Submission – Generally, it is not an advisable practice to simultaneously submit the same manuscript to more than one journals. Because, at the time of publication ownership dispute, there is a potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish the same manuscript. So, authors are not advocated to practice multiple/duplicate submissions of the same material to more than journals. However, editors of different (associate) journals may decide to simultaneously or jointly publish an article if they believe that it would be in the best interest of public health.
- Duplicate Publication – Duplicate publication is the publication of a manuscript, article or paper that is overlapping substantially with one that is already published, without a clear and visible reference to the previous publication.
Readers of the primary source journals deserve to be able to trust that what they are reading is authentic unless there is a clear statement that the author and/or the editor are intentionally republishing an article. Some of the reasons to disapprove this practice (when it doesn’t have an acceptable explanation) International copyright laws, ethical conduct, and cost-effective use of the academic resources. Duplicate publication of original research is generally not encouraged in Inquest since it may result in the unnecessary weighting of the multiple duplicate (and often modified) results of a single study, which distorts the available original evidence.
Editors of different (associate) journals may decide to simultaneously or jointly publish an article if they believe that it would be in the best interest of public health. However, we ensure all such (planned) simultaneously published joint publications are indexed separately in National Library of Medicine (NLM), so the statement from respective editors shall make the simultaneous publication clear to the readers.
Author(s) who attempt duplicate publication without any notification shall expect at least prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript. If the article has already been published and editor was not aware of the violations, as soon as the policy breach is proved to be true, the article might warrant retraction which may or may not require with the author’s explanation or approval.
- Competing Manuscripts Based on the Same Study – Co-investigators submitted works based on the same study would confuse the readers. Inquest Editorial team only considers two kinds of competing manuscripts.
- Scenario 1: Differences in Analysis or Interpretation
- When the co-collaborators couldn’t agree to the same version of study since their analysis and interpretation clash and the general peer review process couldn’t resolve the dispute. In this scenario, the authors shall submit clearly presents both versions in a manuscript each, with justifying titles.
- Scenario 2: Differences in Reported Methods or Results
- When the co-collaborators disagree or raise a dispute on what was actually done or observed during the study, the journal editor shall hold the review and even refuse to publicize until the disagreement is resolved. The contributor(s) can’t expect the peer review to resolve such disputes. If there are accusations of dishonesty/fraud from any of the contributors against other, the editors should first inform the appropriate authorities at Inquest; inform the authors about editor’s intention to report a suspicion of research misconduct.
- Scenario 3: Competing Manuscripts Based on the Same Database
- Inquest Editors sometimes receive manuscript submissions from different research groups that may have investigated using the same data set e.g., a public database). Such manuscripts may differ in terms of their analytical methods, conclusions, or both. In such scenarios, each manuscript shall be considered separately and gazed distinctly. If the data interpretation is too similar to each other and is tough to decide which one has the best perspective, it is fair but not mandatory for the editors to prefer the submission they’ve received first. But in all the other cases, if the editors may consider publishing both the submissions if found different analytical approaches that may be complementary and equally valid.