“Babes-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
In which self-plagiarism is concerned, considering the current state in the field, there are only two ways to go. The first way to go is to agree upon three minimal criteria for ethical writing (1. a new publication based on an old one is intended to target a new audience; 2. copyright laws are respected; and 3. it is made clear to the reader and in the author’s CVs that the new paper reproduces old ones or parts of them) and to follow them in order to allow for the full expression of the humanistic spirit of science (i.e., disseminating knowledge produced to solve various problems). The second way to go is to elaborate clear rules and guidelines to avoid self-plagiarism, endorsed by all the major actors in the field; from that point on self-plagiarism can be considered misconduct. However, these rules cannot be applied retrospectively, to a time when they did not exist and/or were not lawful. All things considered, the current state of the field is unfair for scientists! As there are no clear lawful regulations regarding self-plagiarism, most scientists are like Schrodinger’s cats, neither guilty nor not-guilty! It depends on who, on how, and on if someone is looking…!
Keywords: self-plagiarism, research, ethics