Dear colleagues and friends,
Among the tacit rules of the game that our academic community of management scholars saw emerging over the last two decades, one of these tacit rules, in fact not so tacit anymore, is causing severe damage. I am thinking of the practice of journal editors rejecting papers in the name of so-called “self-plagiarism”. Let me explain why I think that this practice is inappropriate and damaging.
We know plagiarism as the inacceptable use of ideas, text, tables or diagrams from other authors without giving appropriate reference and credit to the sources, as if one claimed being the originator of the material used. In that sense, plagiarism needs to be chased and condemned relentlessly. No doubt about it.
Yet self-plagiarism is quite a different matter. Self-plagiarism, as I understand it, is the use of some of your own work in subsequent pieces of work, and more precisely, the use of part of some of your previous publications in a subsequent publication. In that sense, denouncing self-plagiarism boils down to accusing someone of stealing from one-self. A strange concept indeed.
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