Is Self-Plagiarism a Scourge of the Academy?

This piece was originally posted on SAGE’s Management Ink blog and is resposted here with the permission of Management Ink Editor Cynthia Nalevanko.


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In the March 2014 issue of Human Resource Development Review, editor Jamie L. Callahan explores this controversy in her editorial, “Creation of a Moral Panic? Self-Plagiarism in the Academy”:

More and more publications are appearing about issues of self-plagiarism, and much debate has ensued about the “scourge of self-plagiarism” (Green, 2005). In 2005, [Lelia] Green noted that a Google search of the keyword “self-plagiarism” resulted in 8,000 hits; in 2010, [Christopher] Brown-Syed found 38,000 hits; and in 2013, I conducted the same Google search and found 82,500 hits. This exponential increase in dialogue about an issue infrequently appearing in the annals of our field warranted some exploration; in particular, to what extent might the label of self-plagiarism constitute a moral panic generated by those who stand to gain from identifying such an infraction? Thus, in this editorial, I hope to raise awareness of what is being called self-plagiarism and to problematize the concept and its implications.

You can read the editorial by clicking here.


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