No clear guidelines on self-plagiarism in science, Moskovitz says

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

When writing about their latest discoveries, scientists often reuse material from their old publications. They might recycle carefully crafted language on a complex molecular process or copy and paste multiple sentences — even paragraphs — describing experimental methods or statistical analyses identical to those in their new study.

“Text recycling, also known as self-plagiarism, is an incredibly widespread and controversial issue that researchers in almost all fields of science deal with at some point,” said Cary Moskovitz, Ph.D., during a June 11 seminar sponsored by the NIEHS Ethics Office. Unlike stealing other people’s words, the ethics of borrowing from one’s own work are more ambiguous, he said.

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