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I have published a review paper a few years ago in an important journal which was recently (last month) cited by a review paper related to the topic (published in another journal).

However, a significant part of that new paper (basically an entire section of a few pages) is extremely similar to my paper. It is not copy/pasta, but very close. There are several sentences that are almost alike and even match my writing style and line of reasoning, which I consider paraphrasing plagiarism. On top of that, there is a table which was copied/pasted exactly as in my paper.

I feel that my work is not acknowledged and I feel that the authors are publishing this information as it was collected and critically analyzed by them. It took me months of reading and cross checking dozens (if not hundreds) of papers to be able to make the review and summary of that information with confidence and with a critical view. The authors of this new paper do cite my work as a reference here and there, but they present all that information as collected from their own sources.

I just feel that this is not fair and honest, but maybe it's just my feelings and maybe are not doing anything wrong...

Can you tell me if I have reasons to act on this, and how should I proceed to get my work acknowledged properly ?

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    They certainly did something wrong (plagiarism) but how you should react is up to you based on your opinion. What do you want to achieve? – Anonymous Physicist May 8 at 11:20
  • @AnonymousPhysicist I favor knowledge transfer above other things, and the information they used fits well in their paper and will certainly benefit the reader. However, I also put honesty above other things. So, I don't mind they leave the text as is, as long as my work is acknowledged properly - that's what I want. – cinico May 8 at 11:28
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    Have you contacted the editor/publisher of the journal in which the other article appeared? They may not approve, but may not have known. – Wolfgang Bangerth May 8 at 12:40
  • @WolfgangBangerth I didn't act on it in any way yet (apart from this post). I was unsure what would be the best approach to this. – cinico May 8 at 14:12
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    You need to edit the question to say "How should I proceed to get my work acknowledged properly?" assuming that is what you want. – Anonymous Physicist May 9 at 0:52
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First I would suggest you ask someone fairly experienced to read both papers - yours and the new one - to check whether an independent person feels that they are similar. In many disciplines, review papers have a very formalised structure. This means that they all look fairly similar to each other and tables (for example) may be essentially identical.

You could also look at the specific sentences that you feel are being duplicated and also look at another review on a closely related topic. Are there also very similar sentences in that third review? This will give you an idea of whether the similarity is simply because of the requirements of reviews (such as methodology statements about the key terms being searched).

If you still feel that the review is plagiarising, then you can contact publishers and editors as suggested in the other answers. However, I urge you to be sure first as this is a serious accusation and it is risky to rely on only your own judgement of similarity.

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  • Other answers ae great and I will follow their advice, but I specially agree with the suggestion to involve an independent third party to evaluate it first – cinico May 9 at 11:18
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You could consider contacting the editor of the journal that published your paper. Presumably you transferred the copyright to the journal. They have a vested interest in protecting their copyright. They may be able to request the other journal make a correction on your behalf

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You could trace the similarities sentence by sentence, give reasons for your doubts, and post your evaluation on PubPeer.

If you deem such a public evaluation to be too far-reaching for now, there may be another venue. Some countries have established institutional bodies for scientific integrity to whom you could delegate your matter. An independent commission will then look into it and assess your claims. Such an evaluation may contain more expertise and add greater legitimacy to your judgement. Ask your national Academy of Sciences.

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