A paper was submitted to one journal on 7 March, revised on 20 May, submitted to another journal on 21 March, revised on 29 May, accepted on 2 July and published in December 1997. The content of both papers is identical but each has different reference styles so were clearly intended for two different journals. The submission letter to the first journal clearly states that the material has not been submitted elsewhere. What should the two editors do now?
The committee felt that this behaviour was clearly wrong. They suggested that the two editors should write initially to the authors inviting an explanation and saying that they were considering sanctions. They should invite a reply by a certain date and if they had not heard enact the sanctions. - They suggested writing to all the authors, not just the corresponding author. - Another suggestion was peer review to ensure that the two publications were duplicates. Suggested sanctions included: - A notice of duplicate publication, including details of any further sanctions. - Consider refusing to consider papers for 2 years. - Writing to the head of department/institution.
The editors of both journals simultaneously published an editorial in their May issues the following year, explaining to readers why they minded about duplicate publication. Both editors also retracted the publication and informed the author that they would not be accepting any further papers from him for 2 years. Nothing further has been heard from the author.