Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing

The purpose of this module is to help students, as well as professionals, identify and prevent questionable practices and to develop an awareness of ethical writing. This guide was written by Miguel Roig, PhD, from St. Johns University with funding from ORI.

This module was originally created in 2003 and revised in 2006 and 2015.

* Note: Self-plagiarism is NOT considered research misconduct in accordance to 42 CFR 93. *

This module is intended for educational purposes only.  Views are those of author and not necessarily those of ORI or the Federal Government.  This module is not intended to be guidance.



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  • Preface
  • 28 Guidelines at a Glance
  • Introduction
  • On Ethical Writing
  • Plagiarism
    • Plagiarism of Ideas
    • Acknowledging the Source of Our Ideas
    • Plagiarism of Text
    • Inappropriate Paraphrasing
    • Paraphrasing and Plagiarism: What the Writing Guides Say
    • Examples of Paraphrasing: Good and Bad
    • Paraphrasing Highly-Technical Language
    • Plagiarism and Common Knowledge
    • Plagiarism and Authorship Disputes
  • Self plagiarism*
    • Redundant and Duplicate (i.e., Dual) Publications
    • Redundancy, Publication Overlap, and Other Forms of Duplication
    • Data Aggregation/Augmentation
    • Data Disaggregation
    • Data Segmentation (Salami Publication)
    • Other Forms of Redundancy
    • Why Duplication and Other Forms of Redundancy Must Be Avoided
    • Text Recycling from an Author’s Previously Disseminated Work
    • Self-plagiarism Within and Across Various Other Dissemination Domains
  • Copyright Law
    • Copyright Infringement, Fair Use, and Plagiarism
  • Cultural-linguistic Considerations of Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism
  • The Lesser Crimes of Writing
    • Carelessness in Citing Sources
    • Relying on an Abstract or a Preliminary Version of a Paper While Citing the Published Version
    • Citing Sources that Were Not Read or Tthoroughly Understood
    • Borrowing Extensively from a Source But Only Acknowledging a Small Portion of What is Borrowed
    • Ensuring Responsible Writing Practices
    • Selective Reporting of Literature
    • Selective Reporting of Methodology
    • Selective Reporting of Results
    • Authorship Issues and Conflicts of Interest
    • Deciding on Authorship
    • Establishing Authorship
    • Authorship in Faculty-Student Collaborations
    • A Brief Overview on Conflicts of Interest
  • Paraphrasing/Plagiarism Exercise
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

* Note: Self-plagiarism is NOT considered research misconduct in accordance to 42 CFR 93. *

Source URL: https://ori.hhs.gov/avoiding-plagiarism-self-plagiarism-and-other-questionable-writing-practices-guide-ethical-writing