An answer on Stack Overflow was recently brought to my attention as possible plagiarism, but I determined that the source of the suspected plagiarism was actually written and posted by the answerer elsewhere and later copied over to Stack Overflow verbatim.
The question Do we have a policy about self-plagiarism? seems to cover the opposite scenario, where someone might want to copy their Stack Exchange answer onto another SE question or elsewhere on the Internet.
Is this an acceptable practice?
I am assuming:
- That the answerer has permission to post the answer here, either because they never gave up the rights to the content or they have retained enough rights to also post it here.
- That the answer is at least minimum quality and makes an effort to answer the question (that is, it's not simply a rant from the answerer's blog, or random ponderings with nothing to do with the question asked).
In response to Anne Daunted's question, no, they did not disclose that they were copying over content that they had previously written and posted elsewhere. It got brought to chat as a possible plagiarism to be flagged. I investigated and declined to flag, commenting instead that it looked ok enough to not be flagged for summary deletion by a moderator. Instead, I decided it would be best to leave it to voters to decide how useful it is.
While this question is inspired by something that happened on Stack Overflow, it belongs here because it is relevant to every site, and there is no obvious reason that such a policy is or should be different across the network.