December 1990

Duplicate Publication and Related Problems

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(12):1293-1294. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150360015008

The editors of several international general pediatric journals have been concerned about two problems that weaken the quality of papers submitted for publication. One is the duplication of data in papers submitted to several journals, a practice known as self-plagiarism.1 The other is the practice of dividing a study up into numerous short reports; this results in what has been called the "least publishable unit."2 Commonly, these submissions are presented simultaneously to different journals. We suspect that these practices are based on the desire to expand one's list of publications so as to enhance one's reputation and the chances of achieving promotion and academic tenure. In an effort to discourage these practices, the editors of the general American pediatric journals began some years ago to inform one another when they encountered examples of duplicate publication. Editors of European pediatric journals expressed interest in joining this informal network. We

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