Editors of respectable journals should be aware of plagiarism and self-plagiarism issues: negligence could result in lawsuits and loss of reputation. If another publication has already published the writer’s essay, it should be considered self-plagiarism, and the author should be punished with due sanctions. Writers could lose their income and obtain a bad reputation. The same situation could happen to a student as the main asset of the learner is the reputation among peers and teachers.
Plagiarism should be proven to provide the sanctions: an editor should clearly state who is the responsible party, what standards and requirements were broken, and how judicially declare that someone is a plagiarist. According to the Fair Use Doctrine of the USA, researchers, scholars, and other writers have the right to use copyrighted works without royalty payments or without asking prior permission (Jerjes et al., 2018).
The writer could refer to this act, but the work could not be copied without any limits – the same rule also works for self-plagiarism. Shoja et al. (2020) provide an example of the Optical Society of America (OSA) policy implemented to resolve plagiarism issues: an editor should conduct an investigation and request the writer’s explanation of the allegations. Then, the case passes to their Ethics Review Panel to match the results with the standardized guidelines. Compared to plagiarism of other writers’ works, self-plagiarism is supposed to be a less serious offense, so I think that the lawsuit will be an excessive measure. However, if publishers could prove that the case was the reason for serious financial losses, the lawsuit may be applicable.
The stated cause of self-plagiarism could tarnish the writer’s reputation, especially if they were included in a blacklist of offenders shared in the community of publishers. Consequently, that writer’s works will not be accepted in the future. Compared to paid publications, self-plagiarism in the class is minor misconduct – deliberate submission of earlier assignments instead of the new ones without checking with their instructors or proper revision (Post University, n.d.; Rock Ethics Institute, 2009). It is also a cheat and should be punished due to the practice established in the school or university. Still, the most dangerous punishment for both students and writers is reputational penalties.
Jerjes, W., Hamoudi, R., & Hopper, C. (2018). The power of research: Best practices and principles in research integrity and publication ethics. Kugler Publications.
Post University. (n. d.). What is plagiarism? Web.
Rock Ethics Institute. (2009). Self plagiarism [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Shoja, M. M., Arynchyna, A., Loukas, M., D’Antoni, A. V., Buerger, S. M., Karl, M., & Tubbs, R. S. (Eds.). (2020). A guide to the scientific career: Virtues, communication, research, and academic writing. Wiley Blackwell.