Regardless of how ridiculous this collocation sounds, this issue is real and leads to negative outcomes. We are inclined to believe that you are aware of the definition of plagiarism, so we are about to lay the main emphasis on the issues connected to plagiarizing yourself. Drawing a notable example, should a republished text be addressed as plagiarism? Answering positively, we underline the value of citing yourself in case of utilizing the previous work.
In addition, self-plagiarism sometimes appears in form of so-called data fragmentation (also known as salami slicing). For instance, you compiled a work some time ago, and now you split it into separate compositions in order to make more than one publication.
Bear in mind that copyright infringement includes self-plagiarism. If you have published an article in the scientific journal, forget about your author’s “prerogatives”. The copyright was allotted to the publication since the author signs over the rights to the publisher. The valuable bit of advice, in this case, is to carefully study this complexity before reproducing any chunk of the work.
What else should be taken into account is a few types of self-plagiarism:
- publishing the piece in another scientific review without calling neither readers’ nor publisher’s attention to the fact that the same piece has already been published;
- dividing one large research into a number of smaller ones aiming to have more publications;
- reusing the earlier written chunks of published or unpublished texts.
Summarizing the aforementioned, the writer ought to be considerate and thoughtful concerning self-plagiarism in order not to be accused of it. As you can see, this issue is irrevocably fixed in some areas, yet it is dubious and questionable in the other ones. Understanding of the difference between these spheres is imperative for making further publications. Remember that discretion is the bigger part of valor.
A common question we get from our student customers is “Can you plagiarize yourself?” Our answer to this simple questioning will astonish you – “maybe”. We do not mean to bewilder you. Is it plagiarism if you use your own work depends on the circumstances: let us explain to you when using your own writing is considered as plagiarism and when it is not.
Is it Possible to Plagiarize Yourself by Reusing Your Own “Masterpiece”?
Wonder how is it possible to plagiarize yourself? Imagine the situation where you want to submit an old writing, which you wrote a couple of years ago, to another teacher or for a new class. The piece of advice you receive from us is a straightforward “No”. Do not even dare. All professors scan the pieces for plagiarism, so you might be caught since your work is already in the databases of your institution. Are you looking for some “adventures”?
Is it Plagiarizing Yourself if Your Paper is Already Published?
Yes, it is also plagiarizing yourself. Despite being the author of the paper, the considerable obligation to cite your work properly exists. It is up to you whether to determine your work as a research source or not. Nevertheless, it is pivotal to give yourself some credits. Puzzled by how to cite your own work? Simply: the same as you cite the others’.
Can Plagiarism Occur at Work?
Business professionals might also face the issue of committing plagiarism. It might take place in two slightly connected situations. First, you created a marketing copy for an employer, in a year left that job, and joined another company. Yes, it will be plagiarism to reuse that work for another employer. Second, you might have thought of using the work, which you created for the previous customer, for another client. The plagiarism affair is described here as well. The intellectual property rights in the corporate setting strictly forbid both situations as they may bring about serious consequences. The only legal opportunity to utilize your own work is to have a proper permission (better a written one). Notwithstanding the fact that you are the creator, they are the owners.
Hopefully, these examples have cleared the air for you. Imprint on your memory all above-mentioned, and you will not encounter any plagiarism obstacles!
James Lang: Being a Student, Can You Plagiarize Yourself?
We would like to present to your attention one story. One English professor, James Lang, once pointed out that many universities and schools consider using the same paper for different courses/ classes to be plagiarism. Nonetheless, the deeper he was digging, the more disappointed he was becoming. Finally, he noted that his own statement was wrong. The focal point there was in the fact that professors constantly reuse their own presentations, articles, research and lesson plans. The question “Is it plagiarism to reuse a paper?” becomes pointless if a disciple meets the requirements.
Frankly speaking, a student will not have an opportunity to use the same paper more than twice. Furthermore, it happens once in a blue moon, namely once or twice in the whole academic career. Due to the variety of disciplines and diversity of syllabuses, professors can compile special assignments and prompts.
James Lang indicates that if such an opportunity arises, so why not allow the learners to gain the maximum advantage of it. He described the situation when the student was assigned to conduct the extensive inquiry on some psychological topic and passed it to one professor. What is more, he got some recommendations for improving this paper. The next semester another professor gives an open-topic investigation to finish the course of writing. Why does this student need to carry out a new in-depth research if he has a unique possibility to enhance the prior one? Moreover, such an approach will assure the interdisciplinary relation of knowledge and curriculum.
James Lang arrived at the conclusion that the entire argument centered on the question “Is reusing your own work plagiarism?” is a bit misleading. There is no reason for questioning “Can you plagiarize your own work?” The problem of passing off or stealing someone’s ideas and works as your own, as well as committing intellectual/literary theft (that is plagiarism according to the dictionaries), differs a lot from self-plagiarism. The latter is a completely independent controversy and not troublesome at all.