The other day I was analyzing the brand-new journal Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research and observed that the journal had attracted submissions from several well-respected Western linguists.
One of them was Dr. Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California. He has an article in the first issue of the journal (volume 1, number 1, January, 2013) entitled “Reading and Vocabulary Acquisition: Supporting Evidence and Some Objections.”
Because I normally don’t see contributions from prominent researchers in brand-new Iranian OA journals, I emailed Dr. Krashen to confirm whether the article to the journal really originated from him. To my surprise, he told me he indeed submitted the paper to the journal. I also received a lecture about the “prestige journals” being “predatory in their own ways.”
I always look for plagiarism in the articles of publishers I analyze. I got a hit when I searched in Dr. Krashen’s article in the Iranian journal.
Strangely, the hit
lead led to Dr. Krashen’s website and this PDF version of another one of his articles.
What I quickly discovered was that Dr. Krashen had passages of identical and nearly-identical text in two of his articles.
Here is the citation for the earlier article:
Let’s examine the relevant sections of the two articles. We’ll call the original (earlier) text L1, and we’ll call the self-plagiarized text (from the Iranian journal) L2. The text in common to both articles is underlined. [See the full pages here.]
It’s clear that much of the text in L1 matches the text in L2.
Let’s review the definition of self-plagiarism. According to iThenticate, “Self-Plagiarism is defined as a type of plagiarism in which the writer republishes a work in its entirety or reuses portions of a previously written text while authoring a new work.”
Note that Dr. Krashen did not include a self-citation to his 2012 work in his 2013 paper. He re-used the content without any attribution. Moreover, the original journal bears a copyright statement, so this act may also qualify as a copyright violation. It’s ironic that Krashen’s second article is about scholarly communication, yet he appears to be violating the rules of scholarly discourse by re-using / copying his own work without attribution.
Did Dr. Krashen commit self-plagiarism in the Iranian Journal? It appears he did.