Defining Self-Plagiarism

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Defining Self-Plagiarism January 5, 2013

Self-plagiarism is a term that usually refers to using one’s own content more than one time. It means that you wrote some content once and, as per requirement, used it at another place too. It might be an article, a column, a paper or a research. Most of the authors feel that since it’s their own work, they can reuse it anyway and anywhere they want. Well, that’s not true.

You have to make sure that you even use your own content with citations. If you don’t cite it, it’s considered plagiarism, although not of the sort as is the case with copying others’ stuff, but it’s ethically wrong to reuse the content written by you for submission as an assignment to 2 different teachers or submitting it as an article without referring to the original article where it was first posted.


Most of the authors are basically unaware of the fact that copying their own work would make them account for anything like plagiarism. They use their work without citation considering it as their own property. It’s a different scenario when defining self-plagiarism, as nobody can sue you for using your own work; it’s your content and, hence, your property. Most of the time, when plagiarism is referred to, self-plagiarism is not mentioned, which is the reason why most of the authors are unaware of it being a possibility.

Ethical Writing Awareness

As a social responsibility, what we can do is to spread the word. When talking about plagiarism, we should also mention that self-plagiarism s also something almost equally unethical as much is plagiarizing somebody else’s content. Moreover, instructors should discourage students from using the projects and assignments that they have made for one subject for other class or semester projects. Until and unless we spread the awareness, it’s not going to be acknowledged.