Q: How can I proceed with this manuscript?

Detailed Question -

Hi all, I submitted a manuscript to one of the medical sciences journals and it was accepted for publication after minor revision. Unfortunately, the editor informed us the similarity index was high (40%) and the final decision REJECT was made. Looking at the similarity index, which I missed checking before submission, the said similarity index was correct. But the majority ( 80%) of the similarity index was in the methods part and it was from my own paper published a few months ago.

My question: do I need to write to the editor and explain the situation or submit it to another journal?

1 Answer to this question

Dear Author, thank you for your query.

Most journals have a set similarity index and if that index for your manuscript is higher than the limit set by the journal, the journal will outright reject the paper. There are several ways of dealing with plagiarized text:

  1. Ensure copied text is clearly identified and the source acknowledged.
  2. You should always cite the source when you are borrowing a concept or an idea from another paper, even if you have summarized it in your own words.
  3. If you are using the same words as that of the source material, you should always use quotation marks.
  4. Remember that even if you are using a concept or idea from one of your own previously published papers, you have to cite the source; else, this will be considered as self-plagiarism.
  5. Once you have revised the paper, ensure that you run through a plagiarism software and then consider submitting it to another journal.