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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 2013 Vol.14 No.4 P.355-358


Be careful! Avoiding duplication: a case study

Author(s):  Yue-hong (Helen) Zhang, Xiao-yan Jia, Han-feng Lin, Xu-fei Tan

Affiliation(s):  Journals of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE (A/B/C), Hangzhou 310027, China

Corresponding email(s):   jzus@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  CrossCheck, Bioscience papers, Case study, Plagiarism, Method section, Similarity index

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Yue-hong (Helen) Zhang, Xiao-yan Jia, Han-feng Lin, Xu-fei Tan. Be careful! Avoiding duplication: a case study[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2013, 14(4): 355-358.

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In bioscience papers, besides the other scientific misconduct issues, replication of the method section is a common problem because duplication is always being detected in the section Materials and Methods. We editors often receive comments and queries from authors who think that it is a matter of course to copy their own published materials as opposed to copying those of others. How should editors handle such papers with similar content in the method section and how to guide authors in writing the method section without being accused of plagiarism? What is right? What is wrong? Here we studied an example to explain this problem.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


[1]Jia, X.Y., Zhang, Y.H., 2013. Problem of duplication in the method section in bioscience papers: Part 2. China Publishing Journal, 309:6-8 (in Chinese).

[2]Jia, X.Y., Tan, X.F., Zhang, Y.H., 2013. Replication of the method section in biosciences papers: is it plagiarism? Scientometrics, in press.

[3]Lin, H.F., Zhang, X.X., Zhai, Z.Y., Wu, X.F., Zhang, Y.H., 2009. Using CrossCheck to protect original scientific research writing against academic misconducts. Chinese Journal of Scientific and Technical Periodicals, 20(4):580-584 (in Chinese).

[4]Lin, H.F., Jia, X.Y., Zhang, Y.H., Zhang, C.J., Jin, M.Q., Zhang, X.X., Zhai, Z.Z., 2011. Guarantee academic originality: duty of journal editors—workflow and analysis with CrossCheck of JZUS (A/B/C). Chinese Journal of Scientific and Technical Periodicals, 22(3):328-333 (in Chinese).

[5]Meddings, K., 2010. Credit where credit’s due: plagiarism screening in scholarly publishing. Learned Publishing, 23(1):5-8.

[6]Tan, X.F., Zhang, Y.H., 2013. Problem of duplication in the method section in bioscience papers: Part 1. China Publishing Journal, 309:3-5 (in Chinese).

[7]Zhang, Y.H., 2010a. Chinese journal finds 31% of submissions plagiarized. Nature, 467(7312):153.

[8]Zhang, Y.H., 2010b. CrossCheck: an effective tool for detecting plagiarism. Learned Publishing, 23(1):9-14.

[9]Zhang, Y.H., Jia, X.Y., 2012. A survey on the use of CrossCheck for detecting plagiarism in journal articles. Learned Publishing, 25(4):292-307.

[10]Zhang, Y.H., McIntosh, I., 2012. How to stop plagiarism: blacklist repeat offenders? Nature, 481:22.

[11]Zhang, Y.H., Jia, X.Y., 2013. Republication of conference papers in journals? Learned Publishing, in press.

Open peer comments: Debate/Discuss/Question/Opinion


shengqinhui@No address<No mail>

2013-05-17 09:23:28

dear editor:

There are not so many new methods every day and even new methods need to be tested by others. how to give the different one in every different papers?

Dr sheng

AMJAD@AARI Faisalabad<qureshifsd@gmail.com>

2013-05-06 10:46:26


You have raised a very serious issue in writing the manuscripts.

It will guide the future authors to write according to the directions in the said paper....

hanane@university mohamed premier<zidane-hanane@live.fr>

2013-04-27 21:30:30

easy rapidely submission and more important is diversity of subjects. Good luck!

yong-ming zhang@Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital<zymcool@mail.hz.zj.cn>

2013-04-25 14:59:24

This study is evidence-based and very important contains a lot of useful information especially for those who wish to publish their results. Moreover the paper is a useful guiding for improving the quality of papers and academic integrity.

Yuanshu Zhang@No address<yuanshuzhang3017@126.com>

2013-04-25 11:18:37

Dear editor

I like the article. It is a good discussion.

Zhang XP@No address<zxp99688@sina.com>

2013-04-24 21:43:18

Dear editor:

I think the authors have the rights to copy their own published materials or methods but they must reffer the original paper.

Sincerely Dr.Zhang

Jian-yu Meng@Inner Mongolia Agricultural University<meng\_jianyu@hotmail.com>

2013-04-24 10:01:37

It is good suggest and very useful for authors.

Jianying@No address<zjy@zju.edu.cn>

2013-04-24 09:24:44

It is an important suggestion for teaching students in science.

Dr M Ishtiaq Ch@Department of Botany; Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST) Bhimber Campus Bhimber Azad Kashmir Pakistan<drishtiaqajk@gmail.com>

2013-04-24 02:01:04

Dear Sir

I think it is correct to use standard protocol/method whether it edited minor or modified well. The purpose should lie in novelty of results which should justify the objectives of paper. However if the paper is on protocol development and optimization then it should be revised and well different all previous methods of that technique.

with best regards

Prof Dr M Ishtiaq Ch

Bharat Bhusan Patnaik@Chonnam National University South Korea<drbharatbhusan4@gmail.com>

2013-04-23 22:03:29

Dear Sir/Madam

Plagiarism in Methods section cannot be justifably wrong as currently the trend is to give detailed methods so that it can be replicated and in some cases with necessary modifications. Though i feel that the wordings can be rearranged a bit every time it is presented for publication. That is ethically justified.

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