The Debate on Self-Plagiarism: Inquisitional Science or High Standards of Scholarship?

By Roig, Miguel | Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, September 2008 | Go to article overview

The Debate on Self-Plagiarism: Inquisitional Science or High Standards of Scholarship?


Roig, Miguel, Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies


Abstract

Reusing one's previously published work without alerting the reader of its prior publication constitutes self-plagiarism and it is a practice that is strictly forbidden by most scientific and scholarly journals. There are circumstances that may justify the publication of an entire article or of portions of an article that had been previously published in another journal. Guidance on these matters is readily available and specifies the conditions under which secondary publication can take place. However, the mission of most scholarly journals is to publish original research. With some exceptions (e.g., translation into another language), few journals seem willing to grant the right to publish their material elsewhere or exercise the option to publish an article that had been previously published in another periodical. One area of contention for which little guidance is available is the practice of reusing verbatim portions of text from authors' previously published articles. I argue that such a practice should be avoided because it is not consistent with the high standards expected of scholars and scientists.

Keywords: self-plagiarism, ethics in research

What is self-plagiarism?

The mission of the vast majority of peer-reviewed journals is the dissemination of original research. As such, when authors submit a manuscript to a journal for consideration, it is assumed that the contribution is original, that it has not been published in whole or in part elsewhere, nor that it is under consideration by another periodical (Fischer & Zigmond, 1998). If the manuscript is identical or near identical to one that the authors had already published, or if it contains significant portions of material from their earlier published version, then the authors' actions may be classified as an instance of self-plagiarism. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), an organization concerned with publication ethics in science journals, discusses self-plagiarism in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (COPE, 2003). Under the heading redundant publication; COPE defines this transgression as occurring "... when two or more papers, without full cross reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions" (p. 70). Indeed, a growing number of journals' Instructions to Authors in biomedical disciplines (Scheetz, 2002), as well as in the field of psychology (Roig & Marks, 2004), now caution against various responsible conduct of research (RCR) issues, including certain types of selfplagiarism such as redundant publication.

In spite of these precautions, and to the consternation of many journal editors, evidence suggests that some authors misinterpret these instructions or are not aware of them, whereas others seem to ignore them outright. For example, a perusal of discussion themes on the World Association for Medical Editors' (WAME) electronic forum (http://www.wame.org/) will reveal editors' continuing concern over incidents of self-plagiarism. In addition, a number of editorials have appeared in recent years stressing the importance of authorship issues such as declaration of authors' conflicts of interest, compliance with various regulatory guidelines regarding the treatment of subjects, plagiarism and, of course, self-plagiarism (e.g., Baggs, 2008; Neill, 2008; Rogers, 2008). Although much of the discussion on self-plagiarism has occurred in the biomedical literature, some professional associations in the social sciences, such as the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Australian Psychological Society have also included guidance concerning this type of malpractice (Roig, 2006a). In view of these and related developments, it should not be surprising that research attempting to establish the parameters of selfplagiarism has already been undertaken by the RCR community (e.g., Bretag, & Carapiet, 2007; Errami, Hicks, Fisher, Trusty, Wren, Long, & Garner, 2007; Roig, 2005; von Elm, Poglia, Walder, & Tramèr, 2004). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Debate on Self-Plagiarism: Inquisitional Science or High Standards of Scholarship?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.