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You certainly know what plagiarism is, but do you know about the notion of self-plagiarism? In fact, it is also wrong and unethical.
When you write multiple works in one field, they often overlap and touch upon similar topics. At times, you might want to use information from one of your previous works. You can do it, but in this case, you should properly cite it, just like the quotes from works of other authors.
What Is Self-Plagiarism?
Self-plagiarism is defined as using the author’s own phrasing from their previous works and making it look as if it is brand new. Even though it is not about stealing other people’s ideas, self-plagiarism is still a serious issue in the field of scholar research. Therefore, the authors who publish multiple papers need to know that they should give proper citations when they use their own ideas from their previous works.
Why Is Self-Plagiarism Wrong?
Even though you may think that self-plagiarism is harmless, you should know that it is highly unethical. There are three reasons you need to avoid it:
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It Disrupts the Basic Role of Research Papers
First of all, you need to avoid self-plagiarism to preserve the research record integrity. Every published work needs to have new ideas and innovative information that helps better understand the questions raised in the paper. In case a paper contains the ideas that were previously used, it loses its value. Besides, reusing old materials in a new work diminishes not only the prestige of your paper but also your own standing in the field. If you do it, publishers will fail to trust you in the future and may refuse to publish your new papers.
It Breaches the Publisher Copyright
Part of the standard publication process is yielding the publisher with the copyright of the final paper. Even though the intellectual ownership is still yours, the publication of your paper becomes the journal’s property. Therefore, if you use materials from this paper without citing the publisher, you break the law. Keep in mind that it is called copyright infringement, even though you use the ideas written by you.
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Your Publication Process Can Be Blocked or at Least Delayed if a Journal Catches Self-Plagiarism
Remember that in most cases self-plagiarism can be easily detected. The publisher only needs to use special software to check your new work and notice any kind of copyright infringement there. So if you reused the information and failed to cite it, the software will show it, and your paper will not be published. In this case, you will either have to revise the questioned parts, or you will get a rejection and fail to publish your paper.
Now you know why you should avoid self-plagiarism. It will not only make you a less trustworthy author but also waste your time. So it is better to give proper citations right away.