Understanding text recycling: A Guide for Editors
To provide guidance on assessing in which cases text recycling constitutes research misconduct.
Unlike plagiarism, which is widely considered to be scientific misconduct, text recycling may be ethical or unethical depending on how and where it occurs. In some contexts, text recycling is ethical, professionally appropriate, legal, and may even be desirable for clear communication. In other situations, text recycling may be unethical or professionally inappropriate because it infringes copyright, violates a publishing contract, or inhibits communication. A number of different but intertwined factors can affect whether or not any instance of text recycling is appropriate. These include authorship, prior dissemination or publication of the original document, the amount and nature of recycled material, and the centrality of that material to the original document. These matters are discussed below in the section Additional Considerations. We note here that this document is primarily aimed at editors of research journals. Editors who deal with other types of manuscripts will find that most of the principles described here will apply to those contexts as well. This guide is a product of the Text Recycling Research Project (TRRP), a U.S.-based multi-institution initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. While some of the issues addressed here are not universally agreed upon, this document is based on published research conducted by the TRRP (including surveys of and interviews with journal editors) as well as guidelines from a number of leading organizations of editors and publishers.
Reference of the resource
Susanne Hall, Cary Moskovitz and Michael Pemberton for the Text Recycling Research Project; V.1, June 2021.