Editorial compliance with duplicate publication
Case text (Anonymised)
An editorial that was very close to a paper that had already been published in another journal was submitted for publication. The authors did not make clear that the editorial was essentially the same as the one already published, but this was discovered during the peer review process. Nevertheless, the journal went ahead and published the editorial without disclosing that it was very similar to the one that had already been published. Copyright was not obtained from the author. The failure was brought to light some time after the editorial had been published, and the editors concluded that both they and the authors were at fault. The journal intends to publish a notice of duplicate publication. Has it done the right thing? Should the editors do more?
_ A much broader audience has been reached with the publication of the editorial. _ Publication in two languages is not a duplication issue, provided the authors are transparent and disclose any previous publications on submission. _ The onus is on the authors to disclose previous publications as their promise of honesty. _ Most readers don’t expect editorials to be completely new, but word for word repetition of previous published articles would not be allowed. This would clearly be an improper use of power, but it is not unethical to reproduce material over and over.
Notice of the previous publication, and an apology, have been published in the journal, although the authors were much aggrieved, being under the impression that duplication wasn’t an issue for editorials.