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Keywords:

  • Duplicate publication;
  • otolaryngology;
  • dual publication;
  • suspected dual publication;
  • salami-slicing

Objectives/Hypothesis

Duplicate publication—deemed highly unethical—is the reproduction of substantial content in another article by the same authors. In 1999, Rosenthal et al. identified an 8.5% incidence of duplicate articles in two otolaryngology journals. We explored the current incidence in three otolaryngology journals in North America and Europe.

Study Design

Retrospective literature review.

Methods

Index articles in 2008 in Archives of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Laryngoscope, and Clinical Otolaryngology were searched using MEDLINE. Potential duplicate publications in 2006 through 2010 were identified using the first, second, and last authors' names. Three authors independently investigated suspected duplicate publications—classifying them by degree of duplication.

Results

Of 358 index articles screened, 75 (20.9%) had 119 potential duplicates from 2006 to 2010. Full review of these 119 potential duplicates revealed a total of 40 articles with some form of redundancy (33.6% of the potential duplicates) involving 27 index articles (7.5% of 358 index articles); one (0.8%) “dual” publication (identical or nearly identical data and conclusions to the index article); three (2.5%) “suspected” dual publications (less than 50% new data and same conclusions); and 36 (30.3%) publications with “salami-slicing” (portion of the index article data repeated) were obtained. Further analysis compared the likelihood of duplicate publication by study source and subspecialty within otolaryngology.

Conclusions

The incidence of duplicate publication has not significantly changed over 10 years. “Salami-slicing” was a concerning practice, with no cross-referencing in 61% of these cases. Detecting and eliminating redundant publications is a laborious task, but it is essential in upholding the journal quality and research integrity.

Levels of Evidence

N/A. Laryngoscope, 124:655–658, 2014