Plagiarism (published article)


Preprint plagiarism


Author group A deposited a preprint onto a preprint server and simultaneously submitted the manuscript to journal A. Peer review in journal A took some considerable time, but the paper (paper A) was eventually published. During the long peer review of paper A, author group A noticed that another set of authors, author group B, had published paper B in journal B.


Author requesting removal of verbatim text from published paper


Author A contacted author B. Author B had published a paper several years ago that contained verbatim text of author A’s previously published work. The verbatim work was cited but presented to the readers as paraphrased from the original. Similarity checking software showed that the paraphrased text was too close to the original text; in fact, it was quoted verbatim.


Case Discussion: Possible plagiarism

Case Summary

Case 19-03

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  • 19 June 2019

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About this resource

Written by COPE Council
Version 1 April 2011
How to cite this  
COPE Council. COPE Discussion Document: How should editors respond to plagiarism? April 2011. 

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  • 12 February 2021

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Is it plagiarism to use text verbatim from a manuscript review?


A commentary was reviewed by journal A and rejected. The paper was then submitted and accepted at journal B. Journal B published the commentary. After publication, a reviewer from journal A wrote to journal B with a complaint of plagiarism. Text from his/her review was used in the commentary published in journal B


What extent of plagiarism demands a retraction versus correction?


A short research article described a new method and tested the method, showing proof-of-concept that the method worked; the idea for the method is presented as the authors’ own.


Paper B plagiarised paper A: what to do if a journal does not respond?


The author X of a paper published by journal A complained to the editor-in-chief of journal A that his/her paper has been plagiarised by a paper that has been published later by journal B. Moreover, the authors of the paper in journal B allegedly did not respond to letters sent by author X asking for an explanation about the apparent plagiarism.