Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 13–25 | Cite as

Education Journal Editors’ Perspectives on Self-Plagiarism

  • Samuel V. BrutonEmail author
  • John R. Rachal


The perspectives of academic journal editors regarding self-plagiarism were examined by means of an online survey in which 277 editors of education journals participated. Following the survey, a sub-sample of 14 editors were interviewed. A substantial majority of editors were found to be in accord with the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the APA in believing that re-use of long, verbatim passages or tables, figures and images from an author’s previously published work without appropriate citation is unethical, and most editors viewed less egregious self-borrowing as wrong also. However, numerous editors expressed unease with the general concept of self-plagiarism, and several of them noted contextual factors that can make limited self-plagiarism acceptable. A clear majority indicated support for a common policy regarding self-plagiarism but had doubts about the feasibility of getting agreement on a comprehensive statement.


Self-plagiarism Plagiarism Editors Journals Research ethics 



This research was supported in part by assistance from the College of Arts and Letters and the Vice President for Research at The University of Southern Mississippi. We also received assistance with data analysis from James T. Johnson.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest with respect to this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionThe University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Studies and ResearchThe University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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