Is Self-Plagiarism an Ethical Scourge?

Home » About Plagiarism » Is Self-Plagiarism an Ethical Scourge?

Is Self-Plagiarism an Ethical Scourge? January 7, 2013

Self-plagiarism is definitely something very close to the regular plagiarism and should be discouraged the same way. Had it not been a serious issue, it wouldn’t be called as plagiarism at all. Plagiarism, be it of any kind, is unethical and strongly discouraged. Those who think they are free to use their own work without citation are at a mistake. Mentioning the concepts when defining or explaining new concepts is something unavoidable; however, it should be done keeping in mind all the laws of plagiarism.

A writer who himself doesn’t respect his work enough to be cited if used anywhere should not expect that respect from other either. One should become an example in order to discourage others from committing plagiarism. It not only gives worth to your work but to you as well in the eyes of those who read you.

Debate About Self-Plagiarism Being Legitimate

Most of the authors and even other schools of thought consider plagiarism as something non-existent. It is because according to them the word plagiarism typically means stealing somebody else’s ideas or words and using them as your own. While when one is using his/her own words, no third part is involved, neither is the work being stolen. The work is only being published by the same author twice. While some are still not sure if self-plagiarism is an ethical scourge, others consider it to be completely opposite.


As most of us try to avoid getting in to legal issues and troubles, it’s better to avoid self-plagiarism, rather than leaving a chance for any legal issues being brought up. Authors and researchers should act responsibly by making sure they do not do something that they won’t like others to be doing, plagiarism being one of them. In some parts of the world, there are proper laws defining self-plagiarism to be illegitimate, and citation being necessary even for one’s own work.