Chris Anson, Susanne Hall, Michael A. Pemberton & Cary Moskovitz. Reuse in STEM Research Writing: Rhetorical and Practical Considerations and Challenges. AILA Review, Vol. 33, 2020, pp. 120–135. issn 1461-0213. doi.org/10.1075/aila.00033.ans LINK FULL TEXT
Text recycling involves the verbatim reuse of text from one’s own existing documents in a newly-created text— such as the duplication of a paragraph or section from a published article in a new article. Although plagiarism is widely eschewed across academia and the publishing industry, the ethics of text recycling are not agreed upon and are currently being vigorously debated. In this article, we first describe and illustrate text recycling in the context of academic writing. We then explain and document several themes that emerged from interviews with publishers of peer-reviewed academic journals. These themes demonstrate the vexed and unsettle nature of text recycling as a discursive phenomenon in academic writing and publishing. In doing so, we focus on the complex relationships between personal (role-based) and social (norm-based) aspects of scientific publication, complicating conventional models of the writing process that have inadequately accounted for authorial decisions about accuracy, efficiency, self-representation, adherence to existing or imagined rules and norms, perceptions of ownership and copyright, and fears of impropriety.