Should I cite something taken from my own publication?
I am drafting a manuscript for publication. I want to refer to something from my previously published paper. Should I cite my own paper?
Yes, you will have to cite your own paper. Not citing something that is in the public domain, although it is your own work will be deemed as ‘self-plagiarism’. As described on the WriteCheck website by Turnitin website ‘Self–plagiarism is the use of one’s own previous work in another context without citing that it was used previously’. This essentially means that you present something that you already have credit for as a new piece of work, thereby claiming double credit for the same work.
Self-plagiarism, like every other form of plagiarism is a serious offence and should be avoided at all cost. I can lead to the rejection of your submitted manuscript if detected by the editor of the journal.
Sometimes, if you submit work that was presented at a conference for publication in a journal and not mention to the editor in the cover letter that you send along with the paper, it can lead to a case of self-plagiarism. This often happens because most conferences tend to publish the abstracts that they receive for posters and oral presentations online. If this abstract is detected and recognized by a search engine or abstracting service, it will detect it as plagiarized content. Therefore, in order to avoid charges of self-plagiarism it is a good practice to mention the history of presentation of that particular work to the editor of the journal you are submitting your manuscript to.
On the other hand, although it necessary to cite any of your own work that is reported before, excessively citing your own work is not a good practice either and needs to be avoided at all cost. Excessive self-citation is a breach of publishing ethics and is considered as an attempt to artificially boost your own citation count.
There are several good plagiarism detection tools and services that can help you detect self-plagiarism before you submit your manuscript to a journal. Enago’s Plagiarism Check is one such service provider which will ensure that you manuscript is free of self-plagiarism as well as other types of plagiarism.