|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 145-146
Self-plagiarism - Self Goal
Prof. and HOD, Department of Orthodontics, SRMC, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||17-Jul-2017|
Department of Orthodontics, SRMC, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Padmanabhan S. Self-plagiarism - Self Goal. J Indian Orthod Soc 2017;51:145-6
With the “publish and perish” pressure mounting on students and faculty in academic circles, hitherto unfamiliar terms such as plagiarism and scientific misconduct have become commonplace with individuals, institutions, and journals increasingly forced to grapple with such situations. Plagiarism as a term and entity is quite well recognized, explained by the definition itself as “the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.”
In contrast to this, self-plagiarism could be a confusing and not so well-recognized entity. The term itself appears to be an oxymoron and most authors would say “How is it wrong if I take from myself or my own work?” Despite this, self-plagiarism also comes under the realm of scientific misconduct and could involve situations where authors draw on ideas, samples, text, and figures from their own works without disclosing that they are already published.
Various forms of self-plagiarism have been recognized and even classified.
Duplicate publication is where authors publish almost entirely their original work in a second journal with minor changes such as title and authors. A more duplicitous form of self-plagiarism might involve situations where authors try to mask the publication by altering or adding to original data to make it meatier to create what is called an augmented publication.
Segmented or salami publication is a distinct publication practice that is discouraged even in the absence of any data reuse. It involves segmenting, a study into several smaller parts and publishing it as several articles possibly in different journals. Usually, it involves multiple measures from the same sample without disclosing that its data are derived from the same experiment.
Another form of self-plagiarism which is not as censured but nevertheless frowned upon is text recyling. It occurs when authors reuse large portions of text already published. It is often attributed to intellectual laziness and sloppiness rather than an intention to decieve.
Self-plagiarism may involve some gray areas and opinions on the degree of scientific misconduct that it consitutes might vary. However, there is no doubt that it raises ethical issues since it creates a situation where the work involved is being misrepresented as original.
Moreover, it also raises legal issues, that of copyright infringement. Since authors hand over intellectual rights to the journal or publisher, self-plagiarism also raises questions of legal propriety, and might create tricky problems also involving the economics of publishing. However, it has been widely accepted that a distinction has to be made between “fair use” and scientific misconduct and this needs to be determined based on various factors such as the purpose or reuse, quantum of overlap, nature of work, and the impact on potential markets and might be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.,
For example, Anesthesia and Analgesia explicitly accepts self-plagiarism in the methods section of a manuscript but discourages it elsewhere.
We live in a digital age where the internet has created for us a huge online library. Potential sources of overlap can be freely found on online search engines and databases making it possible for editors using plagiarism software to detect similarity. This can also be used by authors to avoid accidental self-plagiarism. As in the performing arts, the evolved author needs to constantly reinvent himself and keep repititons to an acceptable minimum. Full disclosure and citing previously published work would eliminate the risk of self-plagiarism.
”I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.”
- George Bernard Shaw
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