Now the journal editors I contacted about these cases were very grateful for the information and handled the situation swiftly and delicately. My question here is this: What more could be done to prevent this activity? I’m assuming that editors would want there to be a way to check that submissions are only to their journals. So why not some kind of coordinated private wiki, where, say, the title and the first paragraph of the paper are entered when it’s received? Or perhaps there are other solutions? Have editors tried anything? Or do they think this is like voter fraud, happening so infrequently that there’s no justification for trying to do anything to prevent it? (I hadn’t discovered anything like this before, and I’ve refereed well over 200 papers). I’m especially interested in hearing from actual journal editors. (I’m also interested in whether other referees have made these discoveries, although that’s less important here.)
[UPDATED WITH A CORRECTION] In my recent summer orgy of refereeing, there were two occasions in which it seemed that an author had simultaneously submitted to different places (in one case it turned out I was mistaken). I know there are movements amongst some folks to allow these, but for now they are against most (if not all) philosophy journal policies, for what I take to be pretty good reasons about the time and energy involved in refereeing and editing that could be wasted (I had one former really placid colleague who got so angry about people engaging in this practice that his face turned red and he banged repeatedly on the poker table).