Q: Is it self-plagiarism to quote parts of my PhD thesis in an article?

Detailed Question -

Is it self-plagiarism to directly quote parts of the thesis when writing articles? Or is it sufficient to indicate that the article is based on the thesis as a footnote for many quotes?

1 Answer to this question

If your thesis is published or is available online in any form, it is best to quote sparingly and to cite the source each time you quote. This is because the journal's automated plagiarism check will detect similar content, and if the similarity exceeds a certain percentage, the paper might be rejected without review.

If your thesis has not been published and is not available online, you can use parts of it in your journal article. However, make sure you do the following:

  • Mention in your cover letter that the paper is based on your PhD thesis
  • State in a footnote that the paper is based on your thesis
  • Include the thesis in your reference list

However, note that a thesis and a journal article are two completely different genres of writing, and quoting large chunks of text might not be the best way to convert a thesis to a journal article. A better approach would be to condense sections of the thesis by paraphrasing. 

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