Text Recycling in Scientific Writing

  • Cary MoskovitzEmail author
Original Paper


Text recycling, often called “self-plagiarism”, is the practice of reusing textual material from one’s prior documents in a new work. The practice presents a complex set of ethical and practical challenges to the scientific community, many of which have not been addressed in prior discourse on the subject. This essay identifies and discusses these factors in a systematic fashion, concluding with a new definition of text recycling that takes these factors into account. Topics include terminology, what is not text recycling, factors affecting judgements about the appropriateness of text recycling, and visual materials.


Text recycling Textual recycling Self-plagiarism Scientific writing Engineering writing Plagiarism 



I want to thank Susanne E. Hall for her insightful comments and useful suggestions on an earlier draft of this manuscript. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM program under grant no. CCE-1737093.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication June 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thompson Writing ProgramDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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