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Secondary Publication 

Secondary Publication
Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Subscriber: null; date: 21 June 2018

Secondary Publication

Secondary publication is the subsequent republication, or simultaneous publication (sometimes called dual or parallel publication), of an article in 2 or more journals (in the same or another language) by mutual consent of the journal editors. Secondary publication can be beneficial. For example, the editors of an English-language journal and a non–English-language journal may agree to secondary publication in translated form for the benefit of audiences who speak different languages. The ICMJE approves secondary publication if all of the following conditions are met2:

  1. 1. The authors have received approval from the editors of both journals; the editor concerned with secondary publication must have a photocopy, reprint, or manuscript of the primary version.

  2. 2. The priority of the primary publication is respected by a publication interval of at least 1 week (unless specifically negotiated otherwise by both editors).

  3. 3. The paper for secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; an abbreviated version could be sufficient.

  4. 4. The secondary version faithfully reflects the data and interpretations of the primary version.

  5. 5. The footnote on the title page of the secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper has been published in whole or in part and states the primary reference. A suitable footnote might read: “This article is based on a study first reported in the [title of journal, with full reference].” Permission for such secondary publication should be free of charge.

  6. 6. The title of the secondary publication should indicate that it is a secondary publication (complete republication, abridged republication, complete translation, or abridged translation) of a primary publication. Of note, the National Library of Medicine does not consider translations to be “republications” and does not cite or index translations when the original article was published in a journal that is indexed in MEDLINE.

For example, the title of a translated edition of a journal should include the journal’s name and an indication of the translated edition in the title (eg, JAMA-français).

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