Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Self-Plagiarism

There has been quite a discussion on self-plagiarism in Germany the past few weeks, based mostly on a discussion about a paper that the current Minister of Education published 32 years ago parallel with her thesis that contains much identical material and neither refers to the other. I've been on the radio on the topic and there have been quite a number of articles published on the question.

There is an interesting legal article written by an Austrian law professor about the question of self-plagiarism: Gamper, Anna: Das so genannte „Selbstplagiat“ im Lichte des § 103 UG 2002 sowie der „guten wissenschaftlichen Praxis“. In: zfhr 8 (2009) 1, S. 2-10. DOI: 10.1007/s00741-008-0204-5

Conclusion (my translation)
A self-plagiarism is apparently only frowned upon in those cases, in which it is in essence identical to an original work, without referring to that work. [...] In such a case of sameness it cannot be the case that these are "new scientific findings [...]". 
(Wenn ein „Selbstplagiat“ verpönt ist, dann offenbar nur in Fällen, in denen eine damit im Wesentlichen idente Originalarbeit bereits veröffentlicht wurde, ohne dass auf diese gleichzeitig hingewiesen wird. [...] In einem solchen Fall der Identität liegen jedenfalls keine „neuen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse“ iSd § 103 Abs 3 Z 2 UG 2002 vor.)

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