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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

When Is Self-Plagiarism OK?

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When Robert Barbato of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) heard he was being accused of plagiarizing his own work, he was a bit surprised. "I can't plagiarize myself -- those are my own words," he said.

And he is not alone in his views. Some scientists and publishers argue that it's "unavoidable" for scientists to re-use portions of their own text (not images or data, of course) from previous papers, and doing so may even be good practice. But others disagree, including many journals -- who have retracted papers in response.

"There are many ways you can say the same thing even when it comes to very technical language," said Miguel Roig of St. John's University, who has written extensively about plagiarism in academic literature. "It's a matter of what some have labeled poor scholarly etiquette."

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