Often called “self-plagiarism,” text recycling occurs frequently in scientific writing. Over the past decade, increasing numbers of scientific journals have begun using plagiarism detection software to screen submitted manuscripts. As a result, large numbers of cases of text recycling are being identified, yet there is no consensus on what constitutes ethically acceptable practice. Text recycling is thus an increasingly important and controversial ethical issue in scientific communication. Nonetheless, little actual research has been conducted on text recycling and it is rarely addressed in the ethical training of researchers or in scientific writing textbooks or websites.
The Text Recycling Research Project is the first large-scale investigation of the topic. The aim of the project is to better understand text recycling, to help build consensus among stakeholders, and to promote ethical and appropriate practice.