The APA manual states this:
Who is best served by our policies of self-plagiarism? Is it the scholars who conducted the work? Is it the public whose tax dollars fund the research? The same public who then must spend tax dollars to read the research in over-priced journals? Most importantly – is it knowledge itself?
No. Policies of self-plagiarism serve publishers, not science. In fact, the APA code of ethics states this:
This is a HUGE mistake. The web has unleashed an ability for science to leave the cloistered halls of academia. We need to syndicate our results to the general public.
Furthermore, the problems the world faces are too substantial for anyone discipline to solve. Why should years of research have to be retooled to be cross-posted in journals from vastly different fields?
We should be disgusted – both as researchers and as human consumers of information.
Researchers often sign away their copyright when publishing their articles. So, when you syndicate YOUR ideas, you are infringing on the copyright of stakeholders who seek to profit from your efforts.
In fact, according to the APA 6th edition manual in 2010:
So, what is the solution? First, you must respect copyright. If you sign away your work to publish – then respect it. You can release pre-draft versions to elicit “feedback” however many journals frown on this.
They want to horde your treasures. It makes sense now folks! Publishing is big business!
You could also publish in open science journals or simply on the web. Although, these journals may have lower impact values or be financially closed (such as AERA “open” journal charging $800 an article).
We as researchers also need to push back against policies that protect publishers and not science.
Some simple guidelines to follow (in my opinion):