In the March 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, Green noted that a Google search of the keyword “self-plagiarism” resulted in 8,000 hits; in 2010, 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.