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Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing

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Responsible science and scholarship entails the highest degree of objectivity in reporting the results of our research. Authors, often with the assistance of the editorial process, make every effort to describe their observations without exaggerating the importance of the findings or overstating their conclusion. However, lapses in preserving that high level of objectivity in reporting research have been noted in a recent study. Woloshin and Schwartz (2002) carried out an analysis of press releases and reported that they often fail to emphasize the limitations of the studies. These authors also noted that “[d]ata are often presented using formats that may exaggerate the perceived importance of findings”. These results are noteworthy because, in some cases, study authors are consulted during the editorial stages of producing a press release.

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