Q: Two of my review papers have similar Methods and Discussion sections. Is this self-plagiarism or salami slicing?

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I wrote a review paper about a surgical form of upper limb before. Now, I am going to write another systematic review paper on a surgical form of lower limb. However, though the surgical forms are not the same but similar, the method (especially the search method and taxonomy) and discussion are unavoidably similar. I will cite the former paper, but I‘m afraid that the latter paper would be regarded as self-plagiarism or salami slicing.

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Answer:

As you have written, both are review papers around a similar surgical method and having a similar Discussion. Based on this, it could be a case of salami slicing if you were to publish the second paper. Salami slicing involves splitting a single study into smaller articles. This is basically done to increase the number of published articles and possible citations. It would be self-plagiarism if you were to use content from the first paper extensively in the second paper, as the first paper is now the copyright of the journal. What we would suggest doing here is to publish the second review as an addendum to the first paper. You could write to the original journal seeking their opinion and guidance on the second paper.

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