Is reusing materials and methods self-plagiarism?
Yes, reusing the material and methods section from a previously published paper would definitely be considered as an act of self-plagiarism. Self-plagiarism is a form of plagiarism where an author replicates the entire or portions of previously published work in a new publication. Many authors have this misconception that considering that they are original authors of the work, a case of plagiarism does not stand true. However, what they often ten to overlook is the fact that the copyright of the work is with the publisher and not with them. It can also be a violation to the agreement signed with the new publisher stating that the work submitted to them for publication is original. Therefore, replicating anything, irrespective of which part of the paper it is can be termed as self-plagiarism and violation of publication ethics.
Ideally if you have to use the entire material and methods section of a paper it would also amount to duplicate submission in addition to self-plagiarism, both of which are serious offences in the field of academic publishing. In cases, where you are using a small part of your material and methods in another paper, there is no need to replicate it, you can simply refer to it by mentioning what you are doing and referencing the paper that you have originally published the methodology in. For e.g. the gene was amplified using the PCR protocol mentioned in XYZ et al. (20XX).
Additionally, there are other forms of self-plagiarism that exist. Roig (2006) has identified the following types of self-plagiarism.
- Republishing previously published work without intimating the reader or publisher of the journal
- ‘Salami Slicing’ of a papers to increase the number of publications rather than a single paper.
- Reusing portions of a previously written work, irrespective of whether it is published or not.
In case you would like to ensure that your manuscript is absolutely free of plagiarism, you can use Enago’s Plagiarism Check service.