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Academic Publishing : Self-plagiarism

This guide will provide you with information, suggestions, and resources for preparing your written work for publication, including information on open access publishing.

What is plagiarism and self-plagiarism?

According to Royal Roads University's (2014) Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy for Students,

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all materials, electronic or in print, including laboratory reports, seminar presentations, computer programs, research projects and results, postings online, in discussion groups, and statistical data. The use of such material either directly or indirectly without proper acknowledgment (i.e., footnotes or endnotes) is contrary to the norms of academic behaviour. (para. 6)

Students may be less familiar with the concept of self-plagiarism, or the duplicate submission of work, but RRU's academic integrity policy also notes that "submitting work for one purpose, which has been or is being submitted for another purpose, is not permitted without the express permission of those involved" (para. 14). The Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research's (2011) Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct Of Research defined redundant publication as "the re-publication of one’s own previously published work or part thereof, or data, in the same or another language, without adequate acknowledgment of the source, or justification" (p. 5), and identified redundant publication as a breach of the Tri-Agency Research Integrity Policy (p. 5).

Scholarly publishers also consider self-plagiarism to be a serious issue; for example, Taylor & Francis (n.d.) defined self-plagiarism as follows:

Self-plagiarism is the redundant reuse of your own work, usually without proper citation. It creates repetition in the academic literature and can skew meta-analyses if the same sets of data are published multiple times as “new” data. If you’re discussing your own previous work, make sure you cite it. ("Case 2: Plagiarism", para. 3)

There are four areas of concern regarding self-plagiarism:

The publication of what is essentially the same paper in more than one journal, but without any indication that the paper has been published elsewhere (i.e., redundant and duplicate publication), the partitioning of a large study which should have been reported in a single paper into smaller published studies (i.e., salami-slicing), copyright infringement, and the practice of text recycling. (Roig, 2013, para. 3)

For more information on each of these four areas, please click on the links below to visit sections of "Self-Plagiarism" in Roig's (2013) Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing:


Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research. (2011). Tri-agency framework: Responsible conduct of research. Retrieved from

Roig, M. (2013). Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing. Retrieved from US Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Research Integrity website:

Royal Roads University. (2014). Academic integrity and misconduct policy for students. Retrieved from

Taylor & Francis. (n.d.). Ethics for authors. Retrieved from

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