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Re: (off-topic) self-plagiarism

Unless I missed something in these comments, no one has mentioned that one
usually signs a copyright release to the publishing journal that legally, not
just ethically, prevents the authors from submitting the same article to another
journal.  I don't know if journals go to lengths to actually enforce these, but
pointing out the multiple copies to the journals that think they have copyrights
to the material wouldn't breach any confidentiality and might prevent further


Brandon Abbs, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women's Hospital
1620 Tremont Street, BC-3-34 DWH
Boston, MA 02120
Phone: 617-525-8641
Fax: 617-525-7900
E-Mail: babbs@xxxxxxxxxxxx
-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bruno L. Giordano
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 4:58 PM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [AUDITORY] (off-topic) self-plagiarism

Dear Ajay and Pierre,

the reviewers are not the only ones to be blamed if a journal publishes 
material that was already out there.

A journal should take steps to avoid sending reviewers at least 
close-to-perfect replicates: it is better if only one person in the 
editorial offices runs the necessary simple checks rather than having 
two or three reviewers doing so. It is only less clear cut cases of 
self-plagiarism that should be left to the judgment of reviewers and to 
their knowledge of the field, which, depending on how carefully they 
have been chosen, should be up-to-date.

Humbly, my two cents.

Best regards,


Divakaran, Ajay wrote:
> Dear All,
> I once got a conference paper that looked remarkably like something I had
reviewed a few weeks prior. I felt I had to inform both conferences, and so I
did. The paper was rejected by both conferences even though I gave it a good
review for its technical content. I would have been happier in some sense if the
paper had not been technically good.
> My feeling is that if the reviewer presents concrete evidence of
self-plagiarism, no editor can overlook it. In this case, the papers are already
out there in public view, so just including the references to the paper in the
review and recommending rejection should suffice. You can also send a special
note to the editor about this. Usually a journal is obliged to communicate the
complete set of reviews to all the reviewers along with the decision so once you
have pointed it out in a review explicitly, it is not easy to overlook.
> I say this as an editor of a journal myself. I would like to think that the
papers that get multiply published do so because of honest oversight by
reviewers, and not because anyone is condoning self-plagiarism.
> Best Regards,
> ajay
> Ajay Divakaran, Ph.D.
> Technical Manager
> Vision and Multi-Sensor Systems
> Sarnoff Corporation
> 201 Washington Road
> PO Box 5300
> Princeton, NJ 08543
> adivakaran@xxxxxxxxxxx
> www.sarnoff.com
> Phone: 609-734-2204
> Fax: 609-734-2662
> -----Original Message-----
> From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Stefan Strahl
> Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2:58 PM
> To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: (off-topic) self-plagiarism
>> The old-school model supported by Dr. Divenyi doesn't work. As evident from
>> notorious cases in the past, it never did. - Lance Nizami PhD
> There is the option to ask the editor of a journal to retract an
> article, see for example
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sigpro.2005.07.019
> So Laszlo could contact the journals and ask them to reevaluate the
> publication knowing of the existance of the five other articles.
> :) stefan
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