Reuse in STEM research writing
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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Text recycling (hereafter TR), sometimes problematically called “self-plagiarism,” involves the verbatim reuse of text from one’s own existing documents in a newly created text – such as the duplication of a paragraph or section from a published article in a new article. Although plagiarism is widely eschewed across academia and the publishing industry, the ethics of TR are not agreed upon and are currently being vigorously debated. As part of a federally funded (US) National Science Foundation grant, we have been studying TR patterns using several methodologies, including interviews with editors about TR values and practices (<jats:xref>Pemberton, Hall, Moskovitz, & Anson, 2019</jats:xref>) and digitally mediated text-analytic processes to determine the extent of TR in academic publications in the biological sciences, engineering, mathematical and physical sciences, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences (<jats:xref>Anson, Moskovitz, & Anson, 2019</jats:xref>). In this article, we first describe and illustrate TR in the context of academic writing. We then explain and document several themes that emerged from interviews with publishers of peer-reviewed academic journals. These themes demonstrate the vexed and unsettled nature of TR as a discursive phenomenon in academic writing and publishing. In doing so, we focus on the complex relationships between personal (role-based) and social (norm-based) aspects of scientific publication, complicating conventional models of the writing process that have inadequately accounted for authorial decisions about accuracy, efficiency, self-representation, adherence to existing or imagined rules and norms, perceptions of ownership and copyright, and fears of impropriety.</jats:p>
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1075/aila.00033.ans
Publication InfoAnson, CM; Hall, S; Pemberton, M; & Moskovitz, C (2020). Reuse in STEM research writing. AILA Review, 33. pp. 120-135. 10.1075/aila.00033.ans. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21611.
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Professor of the Practice in the Thompson Writing Program
Cary Moskovitz is Director of Writing in the Disciplines and directs the Duke Reader Project.