I've already published a paper on a topic (let's call it topic A). In that paper I reserved a chapter/section right after the introduction to introduce a topic C that is important to understand before presenting my research and results in the subsequent chapters.

Now I've started on a new paper on a different topic, topic B, but still related to topic A. The paper still requires the readers to have some knowledge of topic C I introduced in the beginning of the previous paper.

The readers of my second paper are not necessarily interested in my first paper, so should I:

  • Keep a section/chapter to re-introduce topic C? And in that case, I feel I can't just copy-paste the same text.

  • Just reference to the topic C chapter in the previous paper and skip it as a chapter in the new paper.

I feel like I should keep a chapter for it, but modify it to be adapted to the new paper. But still most of the information will be exactly the same.

Any suggestions for what would be appropriate to do?

(This is regarding an engineering field.)

1 Answer 1


Topic C is seemingly a prerequisite to topics A & B, therefore topic C must be introduced in papers that deal with topic A, B or both, to ensure that such papers are self-contained. That said, if topic C is standard, then there's no need for an in-depth introduction and a citation to an introduction will suffice.

It is unclear whether the introduction to topic C in the context of topic A will be the same as such an introduction in the context of topic B, because different aspects of topic C will be relevant. So, some differences between introductions are possibly when topic C is introduced in the context of topic A and when topic C is introduced in the context of topic B.

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