About one in 20 recent academic papers is a duplicate, with some articles being recycled as many as 27 times in different publications
About one in 20 papers published recently in Russian journals is an exact or near duplicate of an existing article, with some pieces reproduced as many as 27 times across different publications, according to a study.
Some might disagree if recycling an expression or a paragraph is questionable research practice (factors in that decision might be where in an output the copied text is and whether the earlier publication is cited), but most would agree duplicate publication of the same work is problematic. If 20% of a country’s research outputs commit such a breach it is cause for concern.
According to a Journal of Informetrics paper that analysed 3.8 million scientific articles in Russian-language publications, about 3.9 per cent of papers published between 2000 and 2019 had been published again in another outlet, usually by an author linked to the original article.
Overall, 70,406 papers were identified as duplicates – having a text overlap of at least two-thirds with another paper – of which more than 5,000 appeared three or more times. In several cases, papers were republished on more than 20 occasions, with one article appearing 27 times in different formats.