Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced.

Mark is seen as an expert in his field of research ethics and research integerity. He is repeatedly invited to write chapters for edited research collections. The requests often ask him to draft similar articles to ones he has already published, albeit with changes to the jurisdiction or disciplinary mix. How should he plan his publication strategy?

Commentary (by Dexter Leung)

In the HKU context, it is useful to refer to the HKU Policy on Research Integrity (Section 2.2, ‘Publication-related conduct’) which states the following:

Publication of the same (or substantial parts of the same) work in different journals is acceptable only with the consent of the editors of the journals and where proper reference is made to the first publication.  In the author’s CV such related articles must be indicated as such and not give the impression that they are distinct research outputs when they are in fact the same.  Articles published in special/symposium issues should be clearly specified.

In addition, the HKU Policy on Research (Section 3.1, ‘Plagiarism and Self-plagiarism’) states the following:

Self-plagiarism is reuse of one’s own data or previously written work in a ‘new’ publication without acknowledging that the data set has been used or written work has been published elsewhere.