Plagiarism includes using words of other people or ideas with no proper citation, but you can also do plagiarism. Self-plagiarism means reusing the work which has already been submitted or published for the class. This may include re-submitting the entire paper, paraphrasing or copying passages from the previous class, and recycling the old data. The readers are misleading by the self-plagiarism as the old work is presented in a completely original and new way. If you want to include any idea, data, or text which has already appeared in the previous paper, it is important to inform the reader about it.
Examples of the self-plagiarism
The different examples of self-plagiarism:
- Handling the papers which have already been submitted in another class.
- Reusing the data and ideas from the bachelor thesis and building them up in the master’s thesis without citing the original work.
- Pasting the paragraphs or sections which are submitted previously in the working paper.
The different forms of self-plagiarism by academics include the following:
- The dataset is used from the previous studies (whether published or not) by not keeping the reader aware.
- Multiple same papers are published about a similar study in distinct journals.
- Submission of the manuscript for publication which contains data, passages, and conclusions which have already been published.
How Can Self-Plagiarism Be Avoided?
If you are not sure if something will count as self-plagiarism, then it is imperative to check the plagiarism policy of the journal or the university to which you are submitting. There is no such explicit policy of the self-plagiarism, then you must follow the guidelines:
For the students
Never use the old assignments – you may be assigned a topic you have already written on a paper. Do not submit the paper again, even in a different course. If you want that you can cover the same idea in your paper then you can:
- Talk to the instructor – Your instructor will let you know if you can reuse it, and it is acceptable to rework some parts of the old assignment. This is also the case, for example, if you really want to build on the previous paper in your dissertation or thesis.
For the academics
Never use the previously published work – There can be copyright infringement and misleading readers if the paper is published by reusing a part of the already published text. It is important to note that your paper is written from scratch and is original.
- If the usage of old ideas or data, so always inform the reader – you may want to build on the research if published elsewhere. When you use the material in an original and new way, and the publication is properly cited, it appeared originally, which is most acceptable.
You may also be confused about why you can’t use your work twice? As a reader, whether it is a professor or teacher, how would he/she react in assessing the same project next year. Try to understand if it is a new project. Then this will demand more creativity. When you plagiarise your content, you affect your grades, and even it also contributes to internet crime. Even if any statement or quote you have originally written in the previous project and you want to use it in some new project, it is important to mention the reference. Otherwise, you will be engaging in plagiarism.
Consequences of the plagiarism
For the students
Self-plagiarism is not that serious as other types of plagiarism, but definitely, your university will have a specific policy on plagiarism. In some of the universities, violation of the policy of plagiarism results in automatic zero or suspension.
Under some conditions, the university slows the reuse of the work, but it is imperative to make sure that you properly understand the plagiarism policy to avoid such consequences. If your university allows that you can use the old work, they make sure that you should check this with your professors and get permission this before you start.
The two main consequences for the researcher or an academic who self plagiarizes are:
- Copyright infringement
- Rejected or delayed publication
If the article submitted by you is just the same as the previously submitted work, then the journal will reject it. A lot of journals also list the guidelines for plagiarism and the requirements of the project submission. So, it is important to make sure to check the specific policy. If the journal’s resubmission of the already submitted work is allowed, you should also check if the original publisher owns the copyright of the paper. If the same material is published somewhere else, you may be infringing copyright which can have legal consequences.
The major consequence of self-plagiarism as a student is that if you are working on an easy article or story and it seems plagiarized from the assignment you have done before, then the publisher may delay publication or can even cancel it.
Self-plagiarism exists in a very confusing grey area, but just like all plagiarism, it is mainly about academic honesty. The readers must trust that the work submitted should be original and genuine. When you double-checked the plagiarism policies and cited them properly, self-plagiarism can be avoided.
It can take time to understand this mind-boggling concept, but this concept helps you to be aware and also helps in contributing to the knowledge when you will search for the new assignment. Your professors expect your project to be fresh content and more interesting than the previous one. But if you serve with the same old project, they might lose interest or grade less. This is what no student wants, so better to look for new content.