I just started my research career, and I may have made a mistake in the Supporting Information part of one of my papers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Long story short: I published two papers, and they are all about mathematical modeling. For the first paper, I put the detailed model setup and parameters in the supporting information. For the second paper, I basically used the same model but expanded model capabilities, and I still listed the model setup and parameters in the SI part. The model setup and configurations for these two papers are basically the same, such as tables, equations, languages, etc. I sort of copy-pasted the key tables and equations from my first paper to my second paper, but they are all in the SI part, and I cited that the model setup and parameters are from the first paper.

So I wonder if what I did in my two papers in the SI part represents a plagiarism problem? If yes, are there any ways to make it correct? Please advise me.

  • 1
    The fact that the self-plagiarism is in the SI is not relevant. – Anonymous Physicist May 31 at 6:12
  • Just out of curiosity, if you cited your 1st paper in your 2nd paper anyway, why did you decide to copy-paste all that stuff and not simply write "the model has been discussed in detail in Ref. [N]"? – sleepy May 31 at 8:31

If you correctly cited the earlier work in the later then it isn't self plagiarism. A reader, seeing the citation has access to the original. Self plagiarism is avoided completely by citation. Plagiarism isn't about copying. It is about failing to include correct attribution.

Copying is a copyright issue (assuming citation). If you still hold copyright to the original then copying fairly extensively is ok, but it should be indicated as such (quotations). Properly quoting lets the reader see what is new and what is old. Perhaps you failed here.

If you don't hold copyright then copying without quoting or copying too much can mean that you have violated the rights of the copyright holder. And, perhaps you failed here, also.

But it wasn't self plagiarism. The reason self plagiarism is an issue is that a reader of the second paper may need (and deserves to see) the complete context of an idea in order to evaluate it properly. If you self plagiarize then the reader is cut off from the earlier context (including, perhaps all referenced work there).

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