At a recent editorial board meeting it was suggested that in some disciplines straddling several specialties, transparent simultaneous publication might be necessary. It was suggested that this applies to sexually transmitted infections, and different readers may not have access to each other’s journals. For example, in a study of human papilloma virus epidemiologists, virologists, STD physicians, immunologists and oncologists may all be looking at different aspects of the same study or patient group. It was therefore suggested that some papers, which straddle more than one field, could be simultaneously published in two journals with open reference to each other. This question arose because the journal had recently been involved in disputes about redundant publication for some papers published from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The authors had taken the same cohort but looked at it from two entirely different angles with two entirely different readerships in mind. What are COPE’s views on this?
There is no problem about simultaneous publication, assuming that the editors of both journals agree, and that full disclosure is made.
The immediate issue was resolved as the original journal decided not to publish the article and the two papers were published back to back.