One area where blatant duplication does sometimes show up
is in reviews. Many authors will write essentially the
same review over and over and over again. While this
is partly understandable (after all, it is review), I
have read some reviews which are essentially identical (usually
Figures and all). Even more annoying, I have sometimes not
realized this until a significant time post xeroxo.
The root problem in this case IMHO is authors simply publishing
reviews of their field more frequently than the field deserves,
combined with the laziness of not at least customizing the
review for the particular journal (i.e. a review in AR of Genetics
should have a slightly different emphasis than on in AR of Biochemistry).
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI
robison at biosun.harvard.edu