Q: What percentage of duplicate content is acceptable for the Methods section?

Detailed Question -

It's a paper about Psychology Cognitive Neuroscience and the target journal is Psychophysiology. What's the acceptable duplicate percentage for this journal?

1 Answer to this question

The percentage of similarity that a journal accepts is based on the journal's policy. This is something the editorial board decides internally and such information is usually not disclosed. Therefore, it's difficult to tell what percentage of duplicate content a specific journal will accept. However, generally speaking, more than 20 percent of similarity in the plagiarism check report is not acceptable to most journals. However, it also depends on which section of your paper has the most duplicate content. Editors are usually more tolerant of similarity in the Methods section of a paper, so sometimes even >50 percent similarity in the methods section might be acceptable. So, if your paper has a lot of duplicate content in the Methods section, but not so much in the other sections, even 25-30 percent similarity might be acceptable. It would be a good idea to self-test your paper using one of the plagiarism detection tools available online. Once you get the report, check which sections of the manuscript have maximum similarity. If it's the Methods section, you need not worry, but if there's duplication in the results or discussion, you should definitely rework those sections before you submit the paper to the journal.

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