I am submitting an abstract for a conference that, if accepted, will be published in its "book of abstracts". I know that wouldn't cause any issues for submitting the paper to a journal, but I'm wondering whether I can actually copy and paste the sentences that I'm using for the abstract in the journal draft, or I have to rephrase them. Is it self-plagiarism? (The field is NOT CS, so the conference is worth very little, and probably after publication only the journal paper could receive some attention.)

I reviewed the answers to these three questions, but I couldn't find the answer to my question. Only this answer says "I'd avoid the same wording", but it's not clear whether that's just optional or could be as serious as avoiding plagiarism.

(Note: The conference's book of abstracts will be published quite a while before the journal paper, and probably even before submitting the journal paper.)

  • The best person to ask would be your advisor, you can go through the journal submission guidelines as well, and contact related persons regarding this. In CS, I've seen papers which are around 8 pages in length submitted to a conference, while an extended version of this paper is published in a journal. I'm not sure, but I guess it would be quite hard to rephrase the entire 8 pages worth of content.
    – Jihadi
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 3:01
  • I would rephrase it. Copy and paste conveys the idea of laziness. It is also possible that one has found just the perfect wording,of course. But at the end, you have wrote this question. Why not to try to improve your abstract? Why not to give to it a different cut having the paper and the journal in mind?
    – Alchimista
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


In my understanding this would be ok. But is it really appropriate? I write abstracts for conferences in a different style. The abstract for the paper will be visible "forever". Hence, I try to make them extremely clear, avoid jargon, be even a little dry. The goal here is to describe the content of the paper in a way that will be helpful and informative for people with very different background and even decades from now. For a conference I write abstracts in way that could motivate people to attend the talk. I use more informal language and maybe use some engaging phrases if they fit. The conference abstract will usually only be read during the conference and that's it.

My advice: Go and read your paper abstract once again. Then think about the content of the talk and imagine yourself standing in front of the audience giving the talk. Then go and write the abstract for the talk with this situation in mind. After that, recheck with the paper abstract and edit the conference abstract if necessary.

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