, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 337–345

Replication of the methods section in biosciences papers: is it plagiarism?


DOI: 10.1007/s11192-013-1033-5

Cite this article as:
Jia, X., Tan, X. & Zhang, Y. Scientometrics (2014) 98: 337. doi:10.1007/s11192-013-1033-5


To find out whether replication of methods section in biosciences papers is a kind of plagiarism, the authors firstly surveyed the behavior of authors when writing the methods section in their published papers. Then the descriptions of one well-established method in randomly selected papers published in eight top journals were analyzed using CrossCheck to identify the extent of duplication. Finally, suggestions on preparing the methods sections were given. The survey results show that an author may employ different approaches to writing the methods section within a paper, repeating published methods is more often than give citation only or rewrite complete using one’s own words. Authors are more likely to repeat the description of a method than simply to provide a citation. From the samples of the eight leading journals, plagiarize is very rare in such journals; Learning from Science, attachment may be a considerable choice for papers with common methods.


Publication ethics Duplication methods 

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Journal of Zhejiang University—SCIENCE A/B/CHangzhouChina

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