18.677 self-plagarism

From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_KCL.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 16:27:51 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 677.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 06:00:51 +0100
         From: Patrick Durusau <patrick.durusau_at_sbl-site.org>
         Subject: Self-Plagiarism


I thought Humanist readers would be interested in a recent treatment of the
problem of self-plagiarism as a update to Irving Hexham's 1992 post to the


Self-Plagiarism in Computer Science, Christian Collberg and Stehpen
Kobourov, Communications of the ACM, volume 48, number 4, 88-94.

The authors define the following terminology for self-plagiarism:

Textual reuse: Incorporating text/images/or other material from previously
published work. (By "published work" we mean articles published in refereed
conferences and journals where copyright is assigned to someone other than
the author.)

Semantic reuse: Incorporating ideas from previously published work.

Blatant reuse: Incorporating texts or ideas frompreviously published work
in such a way that the two works are virtually indistinguishable.

Selective reuse: Incorporating bits and pieces from previously published work.

Incidental reuse: Incorporating texts or ideas not directly related to the
new ideas presented in the paper (such as related work sections, motivating
examples, among others).

Reuse by cryptomnesia [4]: Incorporating texts or ideas from previously
published work while unaware of the existence of that work.

Opaque reuse: Incorporating texts or ideas from previously published work
without acknowledging the existence of that work.

Advocacy reuse: Incorporating texts or ideas from previously published work
when writing to a community different from that in which the original work
was published.

at page 91

The authors have created software, SPlaT (Self-Plagirism Tool), available
at: http://splat.cs.arizona.edu, to assist in their investigation of the
incidence of self-plagarism.

I have not installed the software (yet) but can easily imagine using it in
reviewer mode while acting as a peer reviewer for markup conferences.

The article concludes with a number of questions as to what can and should
be done, as well as who would be responsible for taking action to prevent

If humanists are going to be concerned with "classic" plagiarim by
students, it seems to me that self-plagiarism deserves equal concern.

Hope you are having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!
Received on Mon Apr 04 2005 - 11:28:16 EDT

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