Scholarly misconduct causes significant impact on the academic community. To the extremes, results of scholarly misconduct could endanger public welfare as well as national security. Although self-plagiarism has drawn considerable amount of attention, it is still a controversial issue among different aspect of academic ethic related discussions. The main purpose of this study is to identify two concerns including what is self-plagiarism in academic journals, conceivable point of contention, based on journal editors’ viewpoint. Between 1990 and 2015, content of 57 editorials indexed in Scopus and WoS and 75 cases of self-plagiarism raised by international editors in COPE were analyzed to explore how journal editors identify these problems. The results show that self-plagiarism can be categorized to four facets, including its identification, types, norm, and remedy. And the editors are concerned about the issues about the detection software, salami-slicing and overlapping publication, the harm of copyright, and the retractions of published articles. Results from this study not only could obtain in-depth understandings on self-plagiarism among academic journal articles but also being applied on establishing academic guidelines in the future.
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This study is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, under Grant No. MOST 103-2410-H-032-067.
Appendix 1: List of editorials containing self-plagiarism-related articles
|Journal title||Publish year||Vol. no.|
|Archives of Disease in Childhood||1990||65:12|
|Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing||2003||32|
|Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences||2005||21:3|
|AU Journal of Technology a||2006||10:2|
|Australasian Physics & Engineering Sciences in Medicine||2007||30:4|
|Canadian Journal of Cardiology||2007||23:2|
|Canadian Journal of Nursing Research||2008||40:2|
|International Journal of Nursing Studies||2008||45:9|
|Journal of Medical Toxicology||2008||4:2|
|Journal of Tehran University Heart Center||2008||3:1|
|Pramana—Journal of Physicsa||2008||70:5|
|Research in Nursing & Health||2008||31:4|
|American Journal of Roentgenology||2009||192:4|
|Journal of Molecular Medicine||2009||87:1|
|Solar Physics a||2009||260:1|
|European Journal of Cancer Care||2010||19:3|
|Journal of Nepal Paediatric Society||2010||30:2|
|Library & Archival Security a||2010||23:2|
|Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal||2011||62:3|
|International Urogynecology Journal||2011||22:8|
|Journal of General Internal Medicine||2011||16:1|
|Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care||2011||22:3|
|ACS Nano a||2012||6:1|
|American Journal of Roentgenology||2012||199:4|
|European Journal of Clinical Investigation||2012||42:3|
|IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine a||2012||19:4|
|American Journal of Roentgenology||2013||200:2|
|American Journal of Roentgenology||2013||201:5|
|Annals of Biomedical Engineering||2013||41:1|
|Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences||2013||13:3|
|Brazilian Oral Research||2013||27:6|
|Pramana – Journal of Physicsa||2013||81:1|
|Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology a||2013||64:5|
|Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry a||2013||24:7|
|Journal of Wildlife Management a||2013||77:8|
|Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy||2013||21:4|
|Research in Nursing & Health||2013||36:2|
|Research in Nursing & Health||2013||36:3|
|Research Policy a||2013||42:5|
|Advances in Health Sciences Education||2014||19:1|
|Applications in Plant Sciences a||2014||2:7|
|Human Resource Development Review a||2014||13:1|
|Journal of Clinical Nursing||2014||23:1–2|
|New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science||2014||68:1|
|Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing||2014||13:2|
|American Journal of Neuroradiology||2015||36:6|
|Journal of Hydrometeorology a||2015||–|
|International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine||2015||6:1|
|Journal of The American Association of Nurse Practitioners||2015||27:2|
|Journal of Wildlife Management a||2015||79:3|
Appendix 2: List of self-plagiarism issues covered by the COPE cases
|COPE case #||Case title||Self-plagiarism||Overlapping publication||Redundant publication|
|15-16||Profusion of copied text passages||✓|
|15-14||Duplicate publication and removal of article||✓|
|14-10||Possible self-plagiarism and/or prior publication||✓||✓|
|13-11||A case of salami slicing||✓|
|12-30||Retraction of the first article in the case of duplicate publication||✓|
|12-27||Submitted paper already published elsewhere||✓||✓|
|12-21||A case of duplicate publication||✓|
|12-17||Duplication of data||✓|
|11-23||Possible overlapping publications/data||✓|
|11-21||Duplicate publication in possibly four papers||✓|
|11-20||Duplicate publication allegation||✓|
|11-18||Retraction or correction?||✓|
|11-17||Self-plagiarism of review article||✓|
|11-14||Is this previous publication?||✓|
|10-16||Concerns over research by an author in numerous, separate publications||✓|
|10-14||Supervisor publishes PhD students work||✓|
|10-01||Case of duplicate publication detected after 9 years||✓|
|09-20||Alleged unauthorized use of data and possible dual publication||✓|
|09-07||Duplicate publication or salami publication?||✓||✓|
|09-03||Multiple publication of research||✓|
|08-29||A case of duplicate publication?||✓|
|08-11||Clear case of duplicate publication?||✓|
|08-05||Retrospective trial registration||✓|
|07-42||Duplicate publication in a non-English language journal||✓|
|07-28||Inadvertent discovery of salami submission||✓|
|07-27||Author dispute over internal report||✓|
|06-28||Possible duplicate publication||✓|
|05-15||Allegation of fraudulent publication||✓|
|04-06||Attempts to draw attention to potential duplicate publication||✓|
|04-05||Dual publication and attempted retraction by the author||✓|
|03-09||Potential duplicate publication||✓|
|03-08||Is it duplicate publication when the first study is referenced in the second paper?||✓|
|02-03||Duplicate submission to two journals and previous duplicate publication uncovered||✓|
|01-33||Redundant publication and a question of authorship||✓|
|01-27||Query triplicate publication?||✓|
|01-20||The single authored, unbelievable, randomised controlled trial||✓|
|01-15||Duplicate submission, overlap of papers, and a referenced paper that was not in press||✓|
|01-12||Attempted redundant publication||✓|
|00-09||The study that may or may not already have been published||✓|
|00-03||Editorial compliance with duplicate publication||✓|
|99-20||Dual publication may be necessary in some situations||✓|
|99-06||Yet another case of duplicate publication||✓|
|98-32||Redundant publication by an editorial board member||✓|
|98-21||Duplicate publication and now fraud?||✓|
|98-19||The double review||✓||✓|
|98-18||Triplicate publication with possibly different data in each||✓||✓|
|98-15||Questions of authorship, duplicate publication and copyright||✓|
|98-12||Possible duplicate publication?||✓||✓|
|98-01||Blatant example of duplicate publication?||✓|
|97-19||The tortuous tale of a paper, a letter and an editorial||✓|
|97-06||Attempted redundant publication?||✓|
|97-03||Disagreement between a reviewer and an author||✓|
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Lin, WY.C. Self-plagiarism in academic journal articles: from the perspectives of international editors-in-chief in editorial and COPE case. Scientometrics 123, 299–319 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03373-0
- Academic journal
- Redundant publication
- Overlapping publication
- Research ethics