Re: Detecting Plagiarism

From: Sally Morris <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 19:14:24 +0100

At 09:58 AM 7/23/2003 -0700, Michael Eisen asked:

>Are there statistics on how often and through what means scientific journals
>detect and pursue plagiarism?
>These would be very useful to help frame these discussions, as would some
>concrete examples that demonstrate the role that copyright plays in these
>actions. It seems like you would be in a good position to provide some.

I'm not aware of any such statistics, I'm afraid

In my own experience as a journal publisher for more than a decade,
though we never once sued, we did engage in fairly strong correspondence
with the editors of other journals and - if all else failed - the bosses
of plagiarising authors to secure an apology and either acknowledgement
(if minor) or retraction of article (if major)

If other publishers lurking on this list have similar experiences,
I'm sure it would be helpful to hear about them!

How to detect the plagiarism in the first place is another matter -
I agree with Eb that few, if any, publishers would run a text-matching
search; it's much more likely to be detected either by the referee (if
(s)he happens to be famililar with the other paper) or - most common,
I would guess - by the plagiarised author


Sally Morris, Secretary-General
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK

Phone: 01903 871686 Fax: 01903 871457 E-mail:
ALPSP Website
Received on Wed Jul 23 2003 - 19:14:24 BST

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