Generating Multiple Publications from One Research Study in Academic Writing: An Ethical Problem (?)

Gündüz T.

Uludağ Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.29, no.1, pp.45-80, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Generating multiple publications from one research study is an occurrence often encountered in academic writing, especially in research areas that conduct field studies. Grey areas between producing more than one publication from a single piece of research and salami-slicing, which is considered as an ethical problem, may sometimes cause researchers to be exposed to ethical violation accusations or even to undergo administrative investigations. There is very little detailed information about salami-slicing even though it is considered as an act contrary to research and publication ethics. The same is true for generating more than one publication from a single piece of research. This article examines the nature, scope, and limits of salami-slicing, and aims to contribute to the understanding of salami-slicing by criticizing various approaches and arguments. In this context, the article seeks answers to the following questions: Is salami-slicing a kind of duplication or a type of self-plagiarism / auto-plagiarism? Is it necessary to publish the results of a research study as a single article? What does research integrity mean, and what are the things that disrupt integrity? What are the appropriate and inappropriate forms of dividing a single research result into pieces or of generating more from one publication? The article first creates a conceptual framework for what salami-slicing is and is not after reviewing the definitions in the official legislation and relevant literature, and then, examines the reasons that make salami-slicing unethical, and finally, expresses opinions on what the scholarly journal editors and research institutions should do to avoid the problem of salami-slicing