Duplicate publication has received increased attention lately. Instances of repeated publication of substantially identical articles have been pointed out in editorials and letters to the editors.1-3 Commentary has ranged from dismay to indignation.
The republished article usually carries no reference to the earlier article, much less a statement acknowledging that the data have been published before. By all appearances and manifest intent on the part of the author, the cloned article purports to be a new report containing new findings.
When asked to explain the "coincidence" of virtually identical articles, the authors are likely to deny both intent and fact of duplicate publication. Obviously, editors and authors do not readily agree on what constitutes duplicate publication. The consensus among editors defines it as simultaneous or subsequent republication, unbeknownst to the editors, of essentially the same article in a journal (or other printed media) sharing a target audience with the