I am currently writing my master thesis and I am also running a popular blog about my research area. Some people asked me about certain topics and if I could write about them on my blog to make them more understandable to newcomers in our field.

Now it is tempting for me to just copy parts of my yet uncompleted thesis and mash together into blog posts. This will help me to save time writing them (I usually do not have the time) and it will benefit others. However, I worry that people see that as self-plagiarism. In particular people on the thesis committee might say I copied parts of the thesis from the internet.

What would be the right way to save me from trouble here. Shall I cite my unpublished thesis, or should my thesis cite my blog posts? Should the blog posts have clear indications that I copied verbatim from my unpublished thesis? Will I get into trouble if people see that in my thesis I copied verbatim from my blog posts (if I cite my blog posts rather than the other way around).

2 Answers 2


You should do two things:
1) Discuss this with your advisor. He/she will know the regulations better than we do.
2) Make it clear on the blog that you the blog-writer and you the thesis-writer are the same person, e.g. by using your real name.

Another issue, that you didn't yet consider but that surely needs consideration is the copyright for your thesis. At some universities, the department/university library wants at least some rights on your thesis. If they then find parts of said thesis copied verbatim to an online platform, you might get into trouble. It might well be that this is not the case at your university or that they don't care as long as you cite your thesis, but this is something you need to clarify before posting stuff.

  • 2
    Once you've established 2, there's no need to cite your unpublished thesis nor your blog. Nor is there a need to indicate that you copied verbatim from my unpublished thesis. (That said, you may like to mention that your results have been disseminated via your blog, because dissemination is a contribution.)
    – user2768
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 10:08
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    sometime citing thesis in blog post is not allowed especially if your work is patent by the university.
    – Kumar
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 10:11
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    @Kumar I think you mean: sometimes universities must be offered the opportunity to patent results, prior to any publication (including publication in a blog post). Merely citing an unpublished result needn't interfere with the patenting process.
    – user2768
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 10:29

Self-plagiarism in your thesis from previously published work during the course of degree program is totally acceptable. Even you don't need to cite your published work in thesis. However, this applies to work published in established journals and conferences, for blog posts you must check rules and regulations of your university. I my school it is not allowed to write a blog post before registering a patent or publishing work in Journal, conference or thesis.

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