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Plagiarism

This guide provides an overview of plagiarism.

Self Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism is defined as a type of plagiarism in which the writer republishes a work in its entirety or reuses portions of a previously written text while authoring a new work. Writers often maintain that because they are the authors, they can use the work again as they wish; they can’t really plagiarize themselves because they are not taking any words or ideas from someone else. But while the discussion continues on whether self-plagiarism is possible, the ethical issue of self-plagiarism is significant, especially because self-plagiarism can infringe upon a publisher’s copyright. Traditional definitions of plagiarism do not account for self-plagiarism, so writers may be unaware of the ethics and laws involved in reusing or repurposing texts. (Turnitin)

While it sounds like it should be okay, reusing your work it is actually considered plagiarism because you are presenting the paper as new work for another teacher.  Even if the topic fits the assignment, you should be building on previous knowledge as you go through college. 

image from http://www.plagiarismchecker.net/5-reasons-plagiarism-checker.php

 

Ethical Issues of Self Plagiarism

Publications manuals standards regarding self-plagiarism. When an author publishes in a journal, the author often signs over rights to the publisher; thus, copyright infringement is possible if an author reuses portions of a previously published work.

Copyright law “protects original works of authorship” (www.copyright.gov).  Authors can quote from portions of other works with proper citations, but large portions of text, even quoted and cited can infringe on copyright and would not fall under copyright exceptions or “fair use” guidelines. The amount of text one can borrow under “fair use” is not specified.

In addition to following fair use guidelines, authors need to recognize that copyright is not merely for published text. According to the U.S. Copyright Office (2010), a “work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.”

from Turnitin

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