Journals Library

Dual publication

Dual publication

NIHR dual publication policy

Publication of your funded research in the NIHR Journals Library fulfils two purposes:

  • To ensure that a full account of the research is available in the public domain in perpetuity; and
  • To contribute to dissemination of the research findings.

Dual or redundant publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross-reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points or conclusions.

The NIHR considers that publication of its research, necessarily in briefer format, in specialist and general journals is important for the dissemination and uptake of research findings and therefore expects grant holders to seek such publication.

Although the possibility that this may constitute dual publication may cause concerns, it is considered that the NIHR Journals Library, which contains comprehensive accounts of whole funded projects, is different from other, smaller, journal articles and therefore publication in both formats is acceptable. We ask authors to give an original account of their work within their reports, and therefore that they avoid including lengthy passages of material that is (or will be) published elsewhere. However, if reasonable justification is provided and the Editors agree, we would instead require authors to acknowledge the source within the report in line with The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.

COPE defines redundant publication as:

When a published work (or substantial sections from a published work) is/are published more than once (in the same or another language) without adequate acknowledgment of the source/cross-referencing/justification,


When the same (or substantially overlapping) data is presented in more than one publication without adequate cross-referencing/justification, particularly when this is done in such a way that reviewers/readers are unlikely to realise that most or all the findings have been published before

Further guidance can be found in the ICMJE Guidelines relating to Overlapping Publications.

Guidelines for publishing an article based on your NIHR Journals Library report

It is important that when seeking publication of an article based on your report in another journal you adhere to the following:

  • You should not submit large items of identical work to the report you submit to us
  • You should inform any journal that your work will be published in the form of a single whole issue of the relevant journal within the NIHR Journals Library, including actual or expected publication date
  • You should inform the journal how the submitted paper differs from that submitted to the NIHR Journals Library. The Journals Library publications are intended to contain more comprehensive accounts of the research carried out
  • If your paper is accepted by another journal, the full and correct acknowledgements to both the funder and the programme journal must be provided (see the acknowledgements and disclaimers section) As well as being an NIHR requirement, this ensures full cross-reference and so will help prevent redundant publication as described above
  • If the journal is not concerned about the publication date of your NIHR journal issue and plans to publish after it, then reference should also be provided to the correct volume and issue number, if known (see the acknowledgements and disclaimers section)
  • If the journal will only publish your paper before the NIHR journal issue is published, please inform the NIHR Journals Library Editorial Office so that a more suitable publication date can be considered to allow for this. If the delay requested is substantial, approval will be needed from the editors and cannot be guaranteed. For more information please see our Embargo policy
  • You should not assign exclusive rights to your research findings to any individual or organisation (as you have already assigned ownership to the Department of Health and Social Care in your contract). Please see the copyright section for further information

Notification procedure

You are obliged, by the terms of your contract, to notify your programme monitoring contact (prior to delivery of your final report) or the editorial office (once the report is in editorial review) of any intention to publish the results of your work elsewhere at least 28 days in advance of publication in another journal.

This also applies to public oral and poster presentations, so you should also advise us 28 days before submission of abstracts to organisers of an event or conference.

This is to allow time for the relevant communications teams and the Department of Health’s press officers to prepare for any implications of the research on government policy in this area. There may be wider communications activity intended surrounding the publication of your report, and the Department of Health may also need to consider how your initiative affects any press releases they may be distributing at the same time in related areas.

You are also required, under the terms of the contract entered into with the Department of Health, to submit one draft copy of the proposed publication/presentation/other material to the funding programme at the same time as submission of the final report or at least 28 days before the date intended for publication of the other output, whichever is earlier.

To send an output notification please login to the NETSCC Management Information System. Once you have logged in:

  • Click on the ‘My Projects’ tab to access a list of your current NETSCC projects
  • Click on the NETSCC ID number for the relevant project to take you to the project details page
  • Select the action ‘Enter or Update Output Notification' and click the ‘Request’ button
  • Complete the resulting task pages to notify us of the output

We will publish details of articles published in peer review journals relating to your research project with your report.

Details of the correct format for submitting journal references are available in the references section.

Please see the permissions and copyright  sections for information on assigning copyright and the correct acknowledgements required when publishing the results of your work elsewhere.

Planning for article processing charges in Open Access journals

During the course of your project and throughout the review and publishing phase you may choose to submit an article based on your research to an Open Access publication. Depending on the publication you may be subject to an article processing charge (APC). APC rates vary but are usually within the range of £300 to £3000. Open Access publications usually list their APC rates on their websites.

NIHR expects that APCs will be covered by the funding award.

In due course if an article is accepted for publication and there are insufficient funds to cover an APC you should contact the Monitoring Programme Manager during monitoring phase and Publishing Manager ( post submission of your final report to request additional funding. This will be considered on an individual case basis in line with the DH/NIHR policy on Open Access publishing: