I graduated from my PhD in 2019 and published my thesis online. Just before COVID I submitted an article based on a thesis chapter, but because of life getting in the way I was unable to finish it and it was taken out of the review process with encouragements to submit it again.

I am almost done with the new version, but I discovered that an article about the same topic has been published last year by another team to another journal, with an introduction that paraphrases my own introduction to a large extent. The rest of the paper is actually interesting, and they do cite my thesis.

The question is, can I still submit my own article whose introduction is very close to my thesis chapter? Or should I rewrite the intro from a completely new angle because otherwise this would count as plagiarizing the paper that was published by the other group?

  • 2
    Can you clarify: the paraphrasing article was written by you in a fit of absence of mind or by someone else using your thesis? Commented May 19, 2023 at 11:25
  • Are you suspecting that one of the reviewers kept a copy of your manuscript and just paraphrased what you said? Or are you saying that the newly published paper pretty much addresses the same issues as you had done in your intro, without ever seeing your intro? In other words, are we talking about plagiarism or about independent production of similar text?
    – Cheery
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 12:48
  • The article with the paraphrasing introduction was written by another research group. In their intro they do cite results from my thesis (which is already available online) but the structure and flow of ideas is similar to the chapter I want to publish. The rest of their article is novel and interesting.
    – user195539
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 13:03
  • Then 'paraphrasing' is not the word. You should edit your question.
    – Cheery
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 13:51
  • 1
    What do you mean by "can" here? Are you, as the tags indicate, worried about plagiarism? Clearly if text A was written (and even published in the form of a thesis) before text B, then text A cannot possibly plagiarize text B. Commented May 19, 2023 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


I would add a footnote to your chapter pointing out that "The material here appeared previously in a paper (citation...) that cited this thesis as the source." Or similar wording.

That makes it clear to a reader, which is what you need.

Since this is a thesis, discuss it with your advisor.

  • Like you said, ideally the end goal should be to help readers :)
    – user195539
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 12:37

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