I am a theoretical physics postdoc. A while ago I began collaborating with a certain group of experimentalists on a joint project. This group has a good reputation in the field and I regarded the collaboration as a good opportunity. They work at a different institution from me and I am the only person from my institution involved in the project. My boss knows about the project but was happy to let me pursue it without being involved.
I sent my collaborators some calculations a while ago, which I believed should more or less wrap up the project and bring us to a point where we could write it up. They were a long time getting back to me - so long in fact that I began to assume they had lost interest in the project - but then out of the blue they sent me a draft paper and asked for my comments.
On first reading the draft seemed good. It gives an accurate description of both the experimental and theoretical results from the project. But then I went back and read another recent paper from the same group (which I was not involved with). I then realised that several paragraphs from the draft paper were copied verbatim from this other recent paper.
The paragraphs in question are from the introduction and methods sections of the paper. The draft paper and the recently published one are closely related in subject matter and the experimental part of the work uses a lot of the same methods, so to some extent I can understand why they may have regarded it as efficient to simply copy certain parts of the text over. On the other hand, I feel uncomfortable about this degree of self-plagiarism.
Is it worth making a fuss about this? I am very much the junior partner in this collaboration and getting this paper in collaboration with this group would be helpful on my CV, at a time when I really need to find a job. So I have incentives not to rock the boat too much. On the other hand, I know some people regard self-plagiarism very badly and if my name is on the paper I will be as much to blame for it as anyone else.