This is a tag that was introduced quite recently. Although the term seems to be quite accepted today, a few experts (one of which is an editor of an IEEE transaction journal) claim that is more of a misnomer.

Plagiarism generally means stealing the written work of another by copying it in your publishable work without necessary attribution of the source. But re-publishing your own work cannot be referred to as stealing. This can be recalled as double-publication or content-recycling. However due to widely used literature, the word 'self-plagiarism' do refer to double-publication.

Should we continue to keep the tag as it is or rename it to duplicate-publication and make any references to self-plagiarism suggest double-publication instead?

1 Answer 1


It's not the same thing. Self-plagiarism also includes reusing your own work outside the context of publication. (For example, in coursework, or grant proposals.) Self-plagiarism can include re-use of a small bit of content (such as a methodology section) in essentially different papers, while duplicate publication refers to trying to publish the same paper twice (in its entirety.)

Misnomer or not, self-plagiarism is the most commonly used term for this practice. We generally try to use commonly accepted terms for things as tags.

  • 1
    I agree. I would strongly suggest to synonymise [double-publication] to [self-plagiarism] though.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Sep 25, 2015 at 7:10
  • I agree with this - they're similar, but no so similar that they're synonyms.
    – Fomite
    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:34

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