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Duplicate or overlapping publications is a situation where an author publishes the same body of work in its entirety or at least 2/3rd of the original work in multiple journals in order to increase his or her publication count.

Authors and researchers are usually caught in such situations due to pressure to publish or pressure to obtain certain privileges from their academic institution or grant agency. 

There are several drawbacks associated with this kind of unethical research conduct and they include: 

i).  Redundancy : 

this means that there are multiple publications with the same content and value, hence there is no real progress made, They are all saying the same thing. They do not help the future readers or researchers to make positive progress in subsequent works, they only keep repeating the same old knowledge into many places.

ii). Waste of Time : 

Such a practice amounts to a waste of the author's time as well as the reader's time. This is because research is dynamic and every day new knowledge is expected to emerge in every discipline. However, an author who takes to redundant, duplicate, or overlapping publications is actually wasting valuable research time which would otherwise have been channeled to discover new knowledge in the given research area.

iii). Confusion: 

Where multiple publications are made of the same literary content, it tends to cause confusion to the editors, reviewers, and researchers who struggle to identify if there is any new knowledge in the multiple publications. This ultimately leads to confusion because in the end they may be forced to retract some of the publications which may have already been cited by other researchers who did not realize that the works were duplicated or overlapping.

iv). Poor Literary Development of The Scholar :

When a research scholar resorts to duplicate or redundant publishing, he or she fails to develop his / her literary prowess and this ultimately leads to poor quality of researchers who may not be well fitted for technical positions in life and career paths where they belong.

v). Public Loss of Trust in the Parent Organisation : 

Any organization whose members are identified to consistently indulge in duplicate or overlapping publications will eventually lose the trust of the public or funding agency. It is therefore the responsibility of such organizations to ensure that they set up a research and publication ethics committee to vet and approve research works coming from members of their organization in order to ensure quality and guarantee adherence to ethical standards. Also, it is important for such organizations to retract any identified duplication or overlapping publications without recourse to who it is.


Source : clipartstation.com

A plagiarism software is a computer application that is designed to identify and quantify the extent of "external material" or "similarity to external material" that is contained in any given literary work. 

Plagiarism is a serious and unpardonable misconduct when it comes to academic publishing. It is a situation where an author presents part or whole of another authors work within his own work as if it originally belonged to him and goes ahead to publish same into public domain without making citation or reference to the origin or source of the material.

Because research is a continuum, it is expected that future researchers fall back on already existing body of knowledge for guidance and direction while conducting their own original research which will in turn lead to their own original new found knowledge. However ethical guidelines for research, mandates the researcher to make proper declarations wherever he has borrowed material from another author. This would ultimately contribute to and enrich the existing body of knowledge in the given research field.

However since it has been observed that researchers frequently fail to declare the borrowed contents in their works, the plagiarism software tool is applied while reviewing articles in order identify any such similarities between the current proposed publication and existing database of knowledge.


i). Submission : 

First the author submits his proposed literary work to a given journal or group of editors who call for papers or are desirous of compiling new knowledge in the given field of interest. The submission is required to be made in a soft copy (editable).

ii). Plagiarism check : 

The group of editors or reviewers usually have an in-house software application installed on their computer or available online where they pass the softcopy proposal through in order to check it for any possible similarities between existing database in the given field. The software is usually designed to read through the entire proposal and check it against the existing published works that have been catalogued in its memory. 

iii). Plagiarism quantification : 

The software usually presents the result of its check in terms of number of phrases, sentences and paragraphs that bear significant similarity to existing publications known to the software. This number of similarity occurrence is calculated a s percentage and usually only 10-15% of similarity is allowed. Literary works bearing similarity beyond 15% may require further human investigation to determine and establish possible plagiarism.

iv). Acceptance or Rejection : 

Based on the results from the plagiarism quantification by the software, the group of editors will either accept or reject the submitted proposal and will advice the author to make adjustments accordingly and resubmit for further evaluations.

Plagiarism detection software works as a safeguard for original content and serious writers, to protect their creative properties from literary thieves.