Q: Where can I report extensive self-plagiarism and self-citation?

Detailed Question -

I have a very simple question. If someone does a high amount of self-plagiarism and self-citation, under the support of index university and government, is there any international organization available to report this act for an appropriate penalty?

1 Answer to this question

As far as I know, there isn’t any such body. Plagiarism is more of an ethical concern than a punishable offence. Self-citation also goes against academic publication best practices, but again, is not really punishable.


Generally speaking, if intentional plagiarism is detected in a manuscript, the journal editor approaches the author's institution. Punitive measures, in extreme cases, involve banning an author for publication in a journal for a specific period, generally around 2-5 years.


However, if, as you are saying, the author's institution and is aware of the issue and is refusing to take action, there's not much you can do. If the plagiarism involves published articles, and if you have adequate evidence, consider writing to the journal that has published the paper. See if you can push the journal editor to approach the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and ask for their views.


On a separate note, copyright laws do exist and someone who plagiarizes extensively might be sued if there’s a copyright breach involved. You will need to find out if the nature of plagiarism done can be considered as copyright breach. You will need to approach the copyright holder (usually the journal) of the article that has been plagiarized and motivate them into taking action. 


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