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ResourcesResearch IntegrityHow much text recycling is okay? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | July 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

How much text recycling is okay? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | July 2017)

Published/Released on July 06, 2017 | Posted by Admin on July 17, 2017 / , , , ,
 


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This is a question we are frequently asked in professional development workshops on research integrity. Given the career impacts of forced retractions the desire for specificity is perhaps not surprising, but we’ve found researchers of all levels of experience asking about this. As this Retraction Watch discussion piece illustrates there really isn’t a universal rule that applies to all circumstances.

Are there a limited number of ways to describe the the background and methods of an experiment? Once something has been written well, and vetted by editors, is it a waste of time to rewrite it ? And if text has been reused, how should that be indicated — if at all?
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These are questions we’ve asked before — and are revisiting after reviewing a pair of commentaries published earlier this year in Research Integrity and Peer Review. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of retractions due to duplication (so many we can’t cover them all) — but in one commentary, Cary Moskovitz — the Director of Writing in the Disciplines at the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University — argues that some text recycling — aka, “self-plagiarism” or duplication — is sometimes unavoidable, and, in some situations, even preferable. He told us:
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Some amount of recycling is appropriate in some situations. Of course, it is also true that recycling text in some situations is not appropriate.
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Read the rest of this discussion piece



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