I presented a paper last month in an IEEE conference and now I am writing another paper on the same topic but the method is different. While writing the Introduction and Related Works part of the paper, I have noticed that I am unintentionally repeating my words or sentences. I have no intention to copy the same lines from these sections from my previous paper, but by chance if it comes out to similar, is it considered as self plagiarism?

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    You may find this problem partly disappears on its own. I think it is both efficient and natural to phrase things in a new draft similarly to how you just did in an accepted paper; the process of revision after revision to the current draft will probably evolve it to a much different state in the end.
    – user38309
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


There are two basic approaches to the potential issues of self-plagiarism in such a case:

  1. First write the paper, then ensure there is no significant re-use of text by going through and paraphrasing.
  2. Embrace the reuse and explicitly declare (with citation) which elements are adapted from the previous publication.

You will clearly need to reference and compare with the prior publication in any case, as this is obviously a closely related work. As such, your text must be different in many ways reflecting the different context created by the first publication. Personally, however, I would prefer to use the second strategy and perform a declared reuse of text rather than attempt to arbitrarily paraphrase just for the sake of being different.

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    When reading a series of papers, I strongly prefer the ones that follow the second strategy. If the wording is different there is no way to tell whether it is just for the sake of difference or because of some subtle change in meaning. Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 15:37

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