Text recycling: Views of North American journal editors from an interview-based study


Journal Article

© 2019 The Author(s).Learned Publishing © 2019 ALPSP. Over the past decade, text recycling (TR; AKA ‘self-plagiarism’) has become a visible and somewhat contentious practice, particularly in the realm of journal articles. While growing numbers of publishers are writing editorials and formulating guidelines on TR, little is known about how editors view the practice or how they respond to it. We present results from an interview-based study of 21 North American journal editors from a broad range of academic disciplines. Our findings show that editors' beliefs and practices are quite individualized rather than being tied to disciplinary or other structural parameters. While none of our participants supported the use of large amounts of recycled material from one journal article to another, some editors were staunchly against any use of recycled material, while others were accepting of the practice in certain circumstances. Issues of originality, the challenges of rewriting text, the varied circulation of texts, and abiding by copyright law were prominent themes as editors discussed their approaches to TR. Overall, the interviews showed that many editors have not thought systematically about the practice of TR, and they sometimes have trouble aligning their beliefs and practices.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pemberton, M; Hall, S; Moskovitz, C; Anson, CM

Published Date

  • October 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 355 - 366

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-4857

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0953-1513

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/leap.1259

Citation Source

  • Scopus