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Academic Publishing : How can authors avoid 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.

How can authors avoid self-plagiarism?

In Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing, Roig (2013) presented four guidelines for authors to ensure that authors avoid self-plagiarism:

Avoiding duplicate publications:

Guideline 10: Authors who submit a manuscript for publication containing data, reviews, conclusions, etc., that have already been disseminated in some significant manner (e.g., published as an article in another journal, presented at a conference, posted on the internet) must clearly indicate to the editors and readers the nature of the previous dissemination. ("Redundant and duplicate (i.e., dual) publications", para. 1)

Avoiding "salami slicing":

Guideline 11: Authors of complex studies should heed the advice previously put forth by Angell & Elman (1989): If the results of a single complex study are best presented as a ‘cohesive’ single whole, they should not be partitioned into individual papers. Furthermore, if there is any doubt as to whether a paper submitted for publication represents fragmented data, authors should enclose other papers (published or unpublished) that might be part of the paper under consideration. ("Salami slicing (i.e., data fragmentation", para. 1)

Avoiding copyright infringement:

Guideline 12: Because some instances of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and even some writing practices that might otherwise be acceptable (e.g., extensive paraphrasing or quoting of key elements of a book) can constitute copyright infringement, authors are strongly encouraged to become familiar with basic elements of copyright law. ("Copyright infringment, fair use, and plagiarism", para. 1)

Avoiding unacceptable text recycling:

Guideline 13: While there are some situations where text recycling is an acceptable practice, it may not be so in other situations. Authors are urged to adhere to the spirit of ethical writing and avoid reusing their own previously published text, unless it is done in a manner consistent with standard scholarly conventions (e.g., by using of quotations and proper paraphrasing). ("'Borderline/unacceptable cases of text recycling", para. 1)


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: