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INSTICC Ethical Norms regarding Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

INSTICC enforces a strict non-plagiarism policy at all the congresses sponsored by this association. Although it is possible to argue that plagiarism is quite different from self-plagiarism, it is hereby clarified that INSTICC does not accept self-plagiarized texts as well, due to the notion that academic research work is supposed to be original and thus should be published only once, at least in archival publications of large dissemination scope such as INSTICC congress proceedings.
Below we clarify the notions of plagiarism and self-plagiarism that are adopted by INSTICC, and add a couple of tolerated exceptions to the latter.

Plagiarism, as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work" as quoted in (Stepchyshyn and Nelson, 2007).
Plagiarism is not copyright infringement. While both terms may apply to a particular act, they are different transgressions. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material protected by copyright is used without consent. On the other hand, plagiarism is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through false claims of authorship.

Duplicate publication or self-plagiarism is a mild form of plagiarism that refers to publishing the same intellectual material more than once, by the author or publisher, i.e. the reuse of significant, identical, or nearly identical portions of one’s own work without acknowledging that one is doing so or without citing the original work.
The issue can be either legal, in the case where copyright of the prior work has been transferred to another entity, or merely ethical. Typically, self-plagiarism is only considered to be a serious ethical issue in settings where a publication is asserted to consist of new material, such as in academic publishing. It does not apply (except in the legal sense) to public-interest texts, such as social, professional, and cultural opinions usually published in newspapers, magazines or even on the web (such as this text).

INSTICC congresses explicitly ask the authors to avoid this. It is indicated in their submission guidelines that "Authors should submit an original paper in English,..." and further specify that "Papers that are out of the congress scope or contain any form of plagiarism will be rejected...". Tolerated exceptions:

  1. INSTICC allows limited reuse of the authors’ own texts as long as the parts of the text that are reused are a small percentage of the whole text, and as long as these are clearly identified by referring to the original work and by emphasizing the reused text in italics or using a different font than for regular text.
  2. INSTICC also allows reuse of the authors’ own material as long as the material was published earlier as a technical report in a non-archival publication (i.e. not widely available, without ISBN) or not in English.


Stepchyshyn, Vera; Robert S. Nelson (2007). Library plagiarism policies. Assoc of College & Resrch Libraries. p. 65. ISBN 0838984169 .