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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 6;112(1):25-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415135111. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Patterns of text reuse in a scientific corpus.

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Departments of Physics and.
Departments of Physics and Information Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853


We consider the incidence of text "reuse" by researchers via a systematic pairwise comparison of the text content of all articles deposited to from 1991 to 2012. We measure the global frequencies of three classes of text reuse and measure how chronic text reuse is distributed among authors in the dataset. We infer a baseline for accepted practice, perhaps surprisingly permissive compared with other societal contexts, and a clearly delineated set of aberrant authors. We find a negative correlation between the amount of reused text in an article and its influence, as measured by subsequent citations. Finally, we consider the distribution of countries of origin of articles containing large amounts of reused text.


arXiv; n-grams; plagiarism; text mining

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