So there I was, just kicking back in my office and reviewing a manuscript like a good citizen of the scientific community. I liked this paper, which is rare--it was straightforward and didn't try to be too fancy, and seemed like it was headed for an accepted with minor revisions fate--which is REALLY rare. But then, a record scratched--I sat up in my chair and re-read what I'd just seen. "The data from Fig X were previously published in Myself & TheOtherGuy 2011, but we include it here for direct comparison with the current data."
In all of my brief but illustrious reviewing career, I don't think I've ever seen that before. It's certainly possible some manuscripts that crossed my desk have included recycled data, but I'm pretty sure I've never had an author spell it out like that before. Is that even OK, I wondered? Naturally, I didn't keep my thoughts inside my brain, but took them to the twitterz--and what a response I got! You guys and your opinions. I'm too lazy to make a storify for this, but here are some screen shots of your responses. As you can see, most of you gave a conditional "yes," but a few emphatic "no!"s in there as well.
So, lovely non-twittering readers, what do you think? Can you publish your data twice? Have you ever? Did your reviewers comment on it? Comment away!