I know this has been asked before, but...


Is it okay to plagiarise oneself? I'm writing a conclusion section for one of my chapters and I really can't be bothered to re-write something saying exactly the same thing as I've already written in a published paper. It's mine anyway, so I'd like to think I can do with it as I wish. Do you think that's okay, or is there some rule about ripping yourself off not allowed?


Can you just write it, then reference yourself? How long is the section?

Avatar for sneaks

I went to talk recently on this.

You can plagarise from thesis - publication (as long as they're yours!)

But you cannot plagarise across publictions, e.g. I have 3 publications, which all require essentially the same introduction paragraph, but I'm going to have to re-phrase it if I want to publish all three papers.


Hi cornflower, it's quite a few hundred words. It's not the kind of thing I can just reference using my paper because it's supposed to pull the full chapter together. I just want to cut and paste it rather than have to completely re-write it in a different way. But, I suspect it's not really allowed.

Avatar for sneaks

Unless your uni has specific regulations about this, then you can definitely plagarise oneself. I am essentially putting my 3 publications in as chapters - I'm going to expand them, but not change them really, the wording will be identical in 90% of the chapter.


I've always been warned about self-plagiarism, and given strict instructions never to do it. Maybe check with your sup to be sure, or reword it to be on the safe side.


could you put something like. In conclusion, in my paper ref xyz which relates to (whatever the  section of the material concerned is) I noted that - and put in your ready prepared section -. This has been developed, refined and located within the overarching concept expressed within the chapter... whether this will work or not may depend upon your thesis of course. My supervisors are always quoting themselves, but I suppose they are not quite in the same position as we are:$


It must be uni/department specific because like Bleebles I've always been told it's not acceptable. I did my masters and both undergrad degrees at 3 different unis and we were told that self plagiarism indicates an inability to express yourself succinctly in more ways than one (nb not my words/thoughts/opinion) and therefore to be avoided. But I've heard from other people at different unis that they happily plagiarised themselves and their sups did not see any major crime in it.

Probably best to check the rules and regs at your uni. I'm sure it's in a Handbook somewhere - wherever there's a degree there's a dreaded Handbook.

Avatar for sneaks

I reckon its probably 'bad form' to plagarise yourslef across different thesis chapters e.g. nick a paragraph from chapter 1 and re-state it exactly in the discussion.

But writing a publication paper FROM thesis content seems perfectly acceptable, I mean you're discussing the same work, why should you have to re-phrase? I know that in my field that journal editors have NO problem with thesis > publication plagarism, so I don't see why publication > thesis plagarism should be any different.

However publication 1 > publication 2 plagarism is not allowed.