When is self-plagiarism ok?

When linkurl:Robert Barbato;http://saunders.rit.edu/directory/facstaff/28 of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) heard he was being accused of plagiarizing his own work, he was a bit surprised. "I can't plagiarize myself -- those are my own words," he said. Image: Wikimedia commons, Guillaume CarelsAnd he is not alone in his views. Some scientists and publishers argue that it's "unavoidable" for scientists to re-use portions of their own text (

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Sep 8, 2010
When linkurl:Robert Barbato;http://saunders.rit.edu/directory/facstaff/28 of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) heard he was being accused of plagiarizing his own work, he was a bit surprised. "I can't plagiarize myself -- those are my own words," he said.
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Guillaume Carels
And he is not alone in his views. Some scientists and publishers argue that it's "unavoidable" for scientists to re-use portions of their own text (not images or data, of course) from previous papers, and doing so may even be good practice. But others disagree, including many journals -- who have retracted papers in response. "There are many ways you can say the same thing even when it comes to very technical language," said linkurl:Miguel Roig;http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/undergraduate/liberalarts/departments/psychology/core/bi_psy_roig.stj of St. John's University, who has written extensively about plagiarism in academic literature. "It's a matter of what some have labeled poor scholarly etiquette." In...
Anesthesia & Analgesia



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