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Thoughts on Self-Plagarism

Self-plagarism might be one of the trickiest things that an author can struggle with in academia. It seems much easier to remember to cite someone else’s work when writing an article than your own. It also seems easy to reuse the same words and phrases that have already been floating in your own head without realizing it.

The definition of to plagiarize (from merriam-webster.com) is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source”, Therefore, it is difficult for me to wrap around my head around the idea that you can steal your own ideas and words to pass them off as your own…again.

I can appreciate that citing your own work can show your train of thought through a long research project that produces multiple articles. It could be very useful to show how an author’s work progresses as the project does…the idea that we could follow the evolution of ideas and theories instead of just having them presented as a fait accompli seems like it could be very useful for academic communities to develop research and practices.

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