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ComSoc has a new policy on multiple submissions and plagiarism. Since December 2011, the following policy is in place: In addition to the IEEE policies, pre-publication author misconduct, such as double-submission or plagiarism, will result in rejection of the manuscript(s), and a minimum 6 month ban on submissions to fully owned ComSoc publications by the author(s).

1. Policy on Multiple Submissions and Prior Publication

The general IEEE policy requires that authors should only submit original work that has neither appeared elsewhere for publication, nor is under review for another refereed publication.  Exceptions can be made to this policy, but only with the approval of the editorial board.  This means that authors must disclose all prior publication(s) and current submissions when submitting a manuscript.

Section 8.2.4.F of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual provides guidelines for handling reported cases of authors who have submitted the same manuscript to two or more publications, or who have not properly cited the reuse of their previously published work in newly submitted papers.

In addition to the IEEE policies, pre-publication author misconduct, such as double-submission or plagiarism, will result in rejection of the manuscript(s) and a minimum 6 month ban on submissions to fully-owned IEEE Communications Society publications by the author(s).

1.1 Prior Publication

The guidelines recognize that it is common in technical publishing for material to be presented at various stages of its evolution. As one example, this can take the form of publishing early ideas in a workshop,  more developed work in a conference and fully developed contributions as journal or transactions papers. This publication process is an important means of scientific communication. The editor of a publication may choose to re-publish existing material for a variety of reasons, including promoting wider distribution and serving readers by aggregating special material in a single publication. This practice continues to be recognized and accepted by the IEEE. At the same time, the IEEE requires that this evolutionary process be fully referenced by the author.

Authors submitting manuscripts must disclose whether there are prior publications, e.g. conference papers, by the authors that are similar, whether published or submitted. They must also include information that very clearly states how the new submission differs from the previously published work(s). Such papers should be cited in the submitted manuscript.

1.2 Multiple Submissions

‘Multiple submissions’ is defined as a given manuscript being concurrently under active consideration by two or more publications. It is at the discretion of each IEEE Organization Unit whether or not to allow multiple submissions. Authors shall inform editors of multiple submissions of manuscripts.

1.3 Corrective Actions

Authors who do not properly cite their previous work or who submit a given manuscript to two or more publications without informing the editor that the paper is concurrently under review by another publication, are subject to corrective actions depending on the number of previous violations he/she/they have previously incurred into (see Section 8.2.4.F of the IEEE PSPB Operations Manual for details). The corrective actions range as follows:

  1. A reminder that the practice is considered inappropriate scholarly practice
  2. A requirement to submit an apology to the publication editor for possible publication, and/or
  3. A minimum ban of 6 months for submission to any IEEE Communications Society publication.
  4. Suspension of publication in the IEEE publication where the offense took place for 1 year or, if appropriate, the next volume of the conference proceedings.

2. Policy on Plagiarism

The IEEE PSPB Operations manual in Section 8.2.1, describes plagiarism in the following way:

"IEEE defines plagiarism as the use of someone else’s prior ideas,  processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the  original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is  unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional  conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences.  Section 8.2.4.D provides detailed guidelines for a) handling  allegations of plagiarism, b) applying appropriate corrective  actions when findings of plagiarism have been reached, and c)  referencing previously published material."

The guidelines in Section 8.2.4 of the PSPB Operations Manual also describe a method for investigating an allegation of plagiarism.  Section 8.2.4 states: "In considering the allegation, the responsible person shall  appoint an independent ad-hoc committee of experts in the  topic to confidentially investigate and make a recommendation  on the allegation to the responsible person. View IEEE's Introduction to the Guidelines for Handling Plagiarism Complaints 

Additional information is available at:

Who should I contact if I have questions?
Send inquiries to:
Executive Director
Harold Tepper
212 705 8910 |

3. IEEE Communications Society Misconduct Investigation Procedure

When an editor suspects multiple submission or plagiarism, he or she will refer the case to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the journal. The EiC will investigate the allegations with the help of the original editor and possibly other experts in the area. If the EiC determines that misconduct has occurred he/she will forward the case to the Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Publication Misconduct Committee along with available documentation and the email addresses of the authors concerned. The Executive Director will forward to the ComSoc ad hoc committee on Author misconduct for investigation and appropriate corrective action. This committee will examine the submitted materials and question the authors directly .

The ComSoc ad hoc committee on Author misconduct can:

  • Sanction the author(s) of the offending manuscript with a ban of at least 6 months from ComSoc wholly-owned publications.
  • Sanction the author(s) of the offending manuscripts with a ban of at least 6 months from publications jointly-sponsored by ComSoc at the discretion of the VP of publications.
  • Refer the case to the IEEE for further investigation and possible sanctions at the IEEE Level.

4. Policy on Electronic Posting

Authors submitting manuscripts for review to ComSoc publications should be aware of the IEEE policy on “Electronic Information Dissemination”. The policy applies to authors who post part or all of a submitted manuscript on a Web site. The policy is found in the Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) Operations Manual, in Sections 8.1.9A and 8.1.9B, as follows:

The following copyright notice must be displayed on the initial screen displaying IEEE-copyrighted material electronically:

“© 20xx IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, collecting new collected works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.”


Upon submitting an article to the IEEE for review and possible publication, the author must add the following notice to the first screen of any of his/her previously posted electronic preprint versions of this paper:

“This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no longer be accessible.”

When IEEE accepts the work for publication, the author must add the IEEE copyright notice shown in Section 8.1.9A to any previously posted versions of the particular paper submitted and provide IEEE with the electronic address (URL, ftp address, etc.) of the primary electronic posting.

When IEEE publishes the work, the author must replace the previous electronic version of the accepted paper with either (1) the full citation to the IEEE work or the pdf of the final accepted manuscript, including the IEEE copyright notice and full citation.  Note that the author cannot post the final IEEE version, but can post the final submitted version of the accepted paper.